QCOSTARICA – With more than 4,000 registered cyclists prior to the event, and with almost 6,000 taking part on Sunday, February 12, the Gran Fondo Andrey Amador 2023 (GFAA), promised to be the most anticipated event in the Costa Rican sports sector.
In its second edition, the activity was consolidated as an optimal platform to promote Costa Rica as an ideal destination for sports, before millions of viewers who have followed the event on international platforms.
This 2023, the GFAA had the international participation of the Italians Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali, the Spanish Joaquim Purito Rodriguez, Dani Moreno and the Spanish-Colombian cyclist Óscar Sevilla.
Leonora Jiménez, organizer of the Gran Fondo explains that this activity is endorsed by FECOCI and the organization emphasizes the social commitment and economic reactivation for the neighboring areas through which the GFAA passes, as well as the contribution to various chains, the promotion of sports, the promotion of health and road safety.
“Last year we did an accounting of what the activity generates directly to the Costa Rican chains. In 2022 alone, the activity managed to generate some ¢500 million colones, impacting producers, transporters, hoteliers, the food sector, and this year it could be much more. However, we have also reported the impact on entrepreneurs who go from the center of the city of San José to coastal areas, or from large carriers to small ones, airbnb’s, or local producers with fruit stands on the routes, among others”, adds Jimenez.
According to official data from the organization, only on the day of the activity, more than 1,000 jobs are directly generated, 200 of them are placed among the banderilleros, private security, production teams, and activations with stands at the goals located in five locations: Paseo Colón, Escazú, Orotina, Garabito and Quepos.
“Sport is without a doubt an example of the GFAA, which is why I know that today when we meet, we do it for something that goes beyond cycling and the sport itself, we meet for what the sport itself represents. It is knowing that if we put our hearts into something and dedicate ourselves to that cause with frank dedication, there is no obstacle too great, no goal impossible to be achieved by the human spirit,” added Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves.
For his part, the mayor of San Jose, Johnny Araya, also supports the activity and explains that with the GFAA a precedent is set with the second edition of a world-class event, making it a traditional one for the future of Costa Rica. In addition, he adds that with this race the country is placed on the international sports map, generating great opportunities for different sectors.
Jiménez added that this second edition means a great evolution. “We want to make a project that has all the ingredients to be world-class and the impact it has: economic, social, visibility, and messages of inclusion. For us, it is very exciting to be catalysts for these messages and this year we have achieved it thanks to the support of the government, the Municipality of San José, the Spanish embassy in Costa Rica, among others”.
On the other hand, Andrey Amador, an elite Costa Rican cyclist, commented that what seemed impossible before, today is an event that means a lot to him, motivating him to return to cycling soon.
“There are more people who have joined and it is not only an event as such, but it goes further, because in the background there is a great social cause. This year we have more than 35% of the registrations with scholarships, this excites me, since it allows us to bring this contribution to all those who need it in Costa Rican sports,” said Amador.
According to Jiménez, this year the activity increased participation by around 10%.
“We ourselves regulate the registration since this year we had a new goal. For example, the Garabito area, wanted the race to pass through there in 2023, therefore, we know that many areas of the country are seeing the value that this type of activity can generate and makes visible the desire that more people want to venture into this sport,” she concluded.
The GFAA will return in its third edition in 2024, with more expectations and large participation that will be announced in the course of this year.