The inaugural GFNY Uruguay was the first mass participation cycling race ever held in the country. The host town of Punta del Este set the scene with its many beaches, elegant seaside homes, yacht harbor, high-rise apartment buildings, exclusive hotels and glitzy restaurants. “Punta” is South America’s most glamorous resort.

GFNY Uruguay offered two distance options: a long route of 112-mi / 182km and 6,575ft / 2004m of climbing and a medium route of 53-mi / 85km and 2,637ft / 804m of climbing.
GFNY Uruguay offered two distance options: a long route of 112-mi / 182km and 6,575ft / 2004m of climbing and a medium route of 53-mi / 85km and 2,637ft / 804m of climbing.

Punta is notoriously windy and conditions on race day were no different: gusts of up to 60km/h made the racing interesting. A compact peloton took the first 40km along the coast at high speeds. After numerous fruitless attacks, Martin Ericla from Argentina escaped successfully and used the strong tail winds to build his lead to 6 minutes. Some riders in the chase group started to get nervous but the seasoned racers knew that once the hilly section with cross- and headwinds would begin, this lead would crumble quickly.

After the medium and long distance diversion at km 70, the racing hit its decisive phase in the steep Uruguayan hills. A 12% climb at Pueblo Eden burst the peloton and a lead group of five eventually formed. They soon caught up to Ericla who was spent from his solo effort and eventually dropped all the way back to the second group.

Uruguayan Jose Silvera Bonifacio took the win in 5:09:08h, outsprinting compatriots Gustavo Piriz and Leandro Ferraz.


“Here in Uruguay, we’re used to doing circuit races with multiple small loops,” said Bonifacio after his win. “I loved racing on such a big, one loop course, including the early miles right through the heart of Punta. This was an experience on another level, very exciting!”


Meanwhile the women’s race was solidly in Argentina’s hand: Laura Rossi took the win in 6:05:45h, taking half an hour out of seasoned GFNY racer Paula Fanti from Buenos Aires. Veronica Lienhard, also from BA, completed the podium.

For the age groupers in the peloton, GFNY Uruguay served as a qualifier for the racer corral at the GFNY Championship in NYC on May 15, 2016. The top 10% in each age group earned one of the coveted spots in the front of the 5000-rider peloton in NYC.

97 Kopie

“Being part of a peloton of mostly South American athletes is a unique experience,” adds GFNY CEO Uli Fluhme who raced as well. “Their passion not just for life in general but also for cycling in particular is compelling. Plus, thanks to the incredible support of the local police forces, everyone was truly treated like a ‘Pro for a Day’ as the motto of GFNY states.”

Next stop on the GFNY World calendar is Bogota, where the second annual GFNY Colombia will be held on April 10. It’s the last GFNY before the Championship in New York on May 15.

About GFNY

The 6th annual Campagnolo GFNY New York on May 15, 2016 will be the second annual GFNY Championship. The race features the world’s most international peloton with riders from over 70 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 50-mile GFNY BEAR on the same day is a non-competitive ride from NYC to Bear Mountain.

GFNY WORLD events are now held in Italy, Germany, Mexico City, Indonesia, Cozumel, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and at Mont Ventoux/France. Riders there have a chance to qualify for the elite racer corral at the GFNY Championship in NYC by placing in the top 10% of their age group.

Find out more on the GFNY Website.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of GRAN FONDO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.