In the women’s field, the expectations were high for Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM), the 2018 World Champion competing for the first time at Internazionali d’Italia Series. The 25-year-old Californian did not disappoint those who looked for her to star in the first edition of Capoliveri Legend XCO.
On her seasonal debut, however, Courtney had to fight perhaps more than expected to get the better of a surprising Chiara Teocchi (Trinity Racing), who confirmed a brilliant start to the season with a second place that is worth gold.
The Courtney-Teocchi duel was staged right from the launch lap when the American lined up the group and the Italian immediately slipped into her wake. The two opened an advantage over the rest, with Dane Caroline Bohe (Ghost Factory Racing) the only athlete able to stay at striking distance. Further behind the other Italians, with Lechner (Trinx Factory Racing), Berta and Seiwald (Santa Cruz-FSA) soon out of the discussion for the big target.
In the first three laps, Courtney slowly managed to add small seconds between herself and the athlete from Bergamo, who, however, reacted in the fourth lap to get back in the wake of the American, while Bohe’s disadvantage grew to nearly a minute. Courtney’s decisive action came uphill on the penultimate lap, an attack that allowed her to gain about twenty seconds on the Italian, then managed to the finish line with 24 seconds on Teocchi. Third place for Caroline Bohe (+0.46), who conquered the leader jerseys of both the Open and Under 23 Women’s categories in the process.
“It was the perfect start to the season: first win in a beautiful place,” commented Courtney. “I am also happy with my conduct in the race: I had a great desire to get back in the action, but it is always difficult to predict the sensations of the first outing. I managed myself well on a demanding track, I was always in control, and I am very happy for that”.