Italians dominate GFNY World Championship NYC

Samantha Arnaudo and Luca Vergallito take the GFNY crown to Italy



NEW YORK CITY, May 17, 2022 – The 10th GFNY World Championship NYC remains world’s most international cycling race and the largest cycling race west of Europe. The anniversary edition had 6500 riders from over 90 countries registered for the race. And after 103 miles with 8500 feet of climbing were battled out on the roads of New York and New Jersey, the crown went to two riders from Italy.



The start of the Championship is always fast but it wasn’t until the climb at Alpine Hill that Italian Fortunato Ferrara, GFNY Santa Fe champion, attacked and was soon joined by Americans Conor Pulvidente and Nick Wheatley-Schaller as the race turned onto route 9W. By the time the trio approached Bear Mountain at mile 40, a large pack of 60 racers was nearly five minutes behind.

Wheatley-Schaller suffered the fate of so many other ambitious riders, cracking on the ascent of Bear Mountain. Ferrara topped Bear first, and Pulvidente fell back, but the chase group of thirteen was getting closer. On the way to Gate Hill at mile 60, it was just Ferrara braving it alone in front, with the ravenous pack bearing down only two minutes behind.

At the approach to Cheesecote at mile 65, two other Italians, Luca Vergallito of Officine Mattio Cycling Club and Swatt Club’s Mattia Gaffuri, launched off the front of the chase group, eventually joining their compatriot near the Pomona Aid Station. Both youngsters just come off a career as young pros with Giro d’Italia U23 under their wings. The trio worked together until the NY/NJ State Line Climb, when Ferrera’s valiant earlier blitz finally caught up with him.

It was down to the final two, as Vergallito and Gaffuri sped back up River Road. The chasing group couldn’t get organized, watching their chances fade as the two Italians kept up the furious pace.

With 150m to go on Fort Lee’s Hudson Terrace, Gaffuri opened the side by side uphill sprint but it was Vergallito who had more left in the legs and took the GFNY World Championship crown in 4:17:52.

GFNY Chile Champion Adrian Alvarado Teneb snatched third from a fading Ferrara, three minutes behind the winner.

With Francesco De Candido Romole in fifth, Matteo Draperi in ninth and 2017 champ Ricardo Ricco in eleventh, Italy had a whopping 6 riders in the top 11.

Omar Azzem dominated the GFNY races in his home Uruguay and showed with his sixth place that he was no fluke, winning the sprint against Felipe Aros Plaza of the neighboring Chile.

Camilo Salazar of Ruta 56 was best Colombian in “only” 8th place, surely a disappointment for his country, representing with over 800 riders and always in top spots at the championship. But the Colombians didn’t miss a beat and celebrated the race like no other at the GFNY Finish Village.

GFNY’s own Flavio de Luna (Mexico) rode aggressively all day but – in his own words – “ran out of gas” at the end, not having trained enough or raced at all yet this year. A 10th place is impressive, considering he worked all weekend for the GFNY video production.

Nick Wheatly Schaller was first American in 16th place. He raced offensively and showed himself out there with a great early performance. This should spur more of his compatriots to put the stars ‘n’ stripes further up in the mix for the 2023 championship crown.



Defending champion Jill Patterson had been busy racing GFNYs on several continents, bringing home a win from Ecuador and several podium finishes. If a rider wanted the 2022 crown, she first had to take it from her.

And so Italian Samantha Arnaudo (OM.CC) did, leading the race start to finish in dominating fashion and crossing the line in 4:42:24. In second was German pro Hannah Fandel, three minutes back. Patterson rounded out a world class podium in 4:47:38.

Ecuadorian pro Daniela Zambrano came in fourth, with Arnaudo’s teammate Silvia Visaggi in fifth. Lorena Vargas was first Colombian in sixth ahead of the experienced racers Marcia Barrios (Venezuela) and Paolina Allan (Canada).



The GFNY LIVE coverage in English and Spanish drew in 100,000 viewers who had the opportunity to comment on the race action and ask the commentator teams questions.



Top finishers were guided to the antidoping control by USADA as soon as they finished. Race Director Uli Fluhme conducted checks for motors on bikes of the top finishers. No motor was found.


Find out everything about the race at NYC.GFNY.COM.



About GFNY Global Endurance Sports Series

GFNY Global Endurance Sports Series is a sports event company with three decades of experience in racing, planning and organising events. The global endurance sports brand hosts multiple events throughout the year around the world on five continents.

Working with partners around the world to deliver a first-class experience, GFNY Global Endurance Sports Series puts their athletes first.



30 plus events around the world. View the 2022 calendar here

Riders get to BE A PRO FOR A DAY ® by competing against others, themselves and the clock in a personal endurance challenge.

Top 10% (20% at regional championships) of finishers in each age group qualify for the Racer Corral at every GFNY World event.


GFNY World Championship NYC

The 10th annual GFNY World Championship New York will be held on May 15, 2022. The race features the world’s most international peloton with riders from over 90 countries. Athletes take on a challenging 100-mile route from NYC to Bear Mountain to Fort Lee to compete against each other, the clock and themselves in a personal endurance challenge.

The official GFNY website is:


Further Material for Media Use

Official GFNY NYC race video: here

GFNY NYC Press Images: here 

GFNY Results: here

GFNY World calendar graphic: here

Previous GFNY press releases: here


Media Contact

Gran Fondo New York Inc.

Uli Fluhme,

Caroline Lindsay,


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