Numerous Cycling Lovers Ready for 2019’s Istria Granfondo Marathon

Lauren Simmonds

As Glas Istre writes on the 11th of October, 2019, this year’s Istria Granfondo Cycling Marathon will take place from October the 18th to October the 20th, and many cycling enthusiasts will arrive in northwestern Istria primarily because of it.

This is the eighth year that this popular race is being held, with a total of three races available – Granfondo Small (94 km, altitude 1,170 m), Granfondo Classic (119 km, altitude 1,650 m) and Granfondo Family & Gourmet Tour (25 km). More than 500 participants from over ten countries have registered to partake in the race ten days before its start, and the number of participants is expected to increase even further still.

Istria Granfondo is the longest-running and most popular Granfondo in all of Croatia, organised by a cluster from northwestern Istria, and it attracts numerous cyclists and recreationalists year after year without fail.

The popular recreational road cycling race will have two races – The small at 94 km, and the classic one at 119 km – and they will be held on Saturday the 19th of October.

The start and finish of both of these races will be in Umag, right next to the Stella Maris Resort, and the races will take cyclists across the coast and the picturesque inland area of northwestern Istria. The difference from last year’s races is the slightly modified Granfondo Classic race track. The new elements are the ascent between Livade-Oprtalj and the segment of “strade bianche”, that is, a small part of the 3 km long trail that is completely flat with a well-trodden gravel road.

Professional cyclists are of course coming to the race, among them Josip Rumac, national champion in road cycling and the winner of the only medal at the world championships for Croatia. Josip is coming to the Istria Granfondo for the fifth time, and in 2019 alone, he has already competed in 60 professional races.

On Sunday, the Istria Granfondo Family & Gourmet Tour recreational bicycle is scheduled. The course is 25 kilometres long, and a rich accompanying program will be provided for the participants, which includes lunch, a bike balance competition, sweepstakes, music and other entertainment. The registration fee is fifty kuna, and participation is free of charge for children under twelve years of age.

Radoslav Rogina, the best-placed Croatian rider in the CRO Race cycling race, also announced his arrival at the race. Rogina is one of the most experienced Croatian cyclists and a member of the Slovenian team Adria Mobil.

This year, the race’s sponsors have secured valuable prizes for the winners. The absolute winner will be taking the Bianchi Via Narone 7 Alu bike home, which will be awarded by longtime partner Keindl Sport. In addition, all participants who download their starter pack on Friday will be able to participate in a raffle and thus have the opportunity to win a Garmin Edge 530 cycling computer.

Since the start of the organisation of the Istria Granfonda, the logistics, as well as the starting and target plane of the race, have been managed by the same team as on the former Tour of Croatia and this year’s CRO Race.

The first three places will be declared after the race by official protocol in as many as eleven categories for each track, and interesting and valuable prizes will be secured.

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