Felix Großschartner (Austria) and Illi Gardner (Great Britain) are the winners of the first edition of the Championnats d’Europe des Grimpeurs, which took place in Switzerland on the legendary 12,780 metre climb from Airolo to the 2091-metre-high Gotthard Pass.
Großschartner and Gardner won after a real test of strength in the enchanting setting of the "serpentine" road, which is distinguished by its stones and 24 hairpin bends up to the summit of one of Europe's most famous passes.
The strong Austrian rider, back from his participation in the Tour de France, won the European title in 35'40" ahead of Italy's Mattia Gaffuri, second at 49", and France's Arthur Blanc, bronze medallist at 1'44".
In the women's event, Illi Gardner unquestionably dominated with a time of 44'26", ahead of Austria's Anna Plattner (46'04") and Anna Kiesenhofer, Olympic gold medallist at Tokyo 2020, who finished third with a time of 46'42".
As well as the Masters titles, the Under-23 titles went to Jan Christen (Switzerland) and Lisa Strothmann (Germany), while the Junior titles went to Max Bock and Sarah Strothmann (Germany).
The event, the only one of its kind, was totally sustainable: all the vehicles in the race (cars and bikes) were electric.