lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

Cozumel is gearing up for the GFNY international cycling race with around 2,000 competitors, next Sunday.

This will be the second year that the long distance race has been held on Cozumel and reinforces the island's position as a global sport tourism destination. Other regular international sporting events now held on the island include Ironman endurance competitions and International Triathlon Union races.

GFNY stands for Gran Fondo New York, so-called because the organization's first event was a "Gran Fondo" long distance bike race in New York, in 2010.

Building on its success in New York, GFNY organized two international events last year, one in Cozumel and the other in Italy.

This year they have gone a step further with a world series including next Sunday's race in Cozumel, as well as others in Puerto Rico, Spain and Colombia. In 2016 they will add France, Italy, Uruguay and Germany to the list.

Billed as the "first Gran Fondo in paradise", organizers are warning competitors in Cozumel to remember they are in a race and not to be distracted by the incredible island views.

There will be two courses: the Gran Fondo 100 miles (161 km) and the Medio Fondo 50 miles (80 km). Both start in the downtown oceanfront area by city hall and circle right around the island's scenic coastal roads. The shorter course is one lap of the island and the longer course is two laps.

Locals will be hoping for another national success, after Mexicans Yayir de Jesus Jimenez Godinez and Michelle Flipo won the men and women's long course races in times of 4 hours 7 minutes 26 seconds and 4 hours 15 minutes 14 seconds, last year.

GFNY promise a fun-filled start to the race with live bands, helicopters in the sky, media and well-prepared participants ready to give 100% effort on the course.

The race will start at 7am and there will be finish line festivities throughout the day, so, even if you're not competing, if you're on the island next weekend don't miss out on the Sunday cycling fun!

Find more information on the GFNY Cozumel website