The early UCI Mountain Bike World Cup rounds brought little satisfaction to the 29-year-old, now looking for his best feelings in Internazionali d’Italia Series’ stage 4 Valle di Casies-Südtirol Trophy, on Wednesday, June 2nd. “The Olympic Games remain my goal, but I have to earn my spot”
After underwhelming performances in the early UCI Mountain Bike World Cup stages – 14th in Albstadt and 38th in Nove Mesto – Gerhard Kerschbaumer looks to revert the trend in the build-up for the Tokyo Olympic Games and the World Championships in Val di Sole in Internazionali d’Italia Series stage 4, Valle di Casies – Südtirol Trophy, on Wednesday, June 2nd.
Organized by SSV Pichl/Gsies, the South Tyrolean event has earned the UCI C1 category in its first edition, providing a good testing ground for the riders as the Tokyo Olympics approach. “The OG are still quite a long way to go, but the time to shine is now”, said Kerschbaumer. – “Italian Team Coach Mirko Celestino has to choose only three of us and the next races will be crucial. I’m disappointed about my latest performances, it’s time to shift gears. While training I have good feelings, and I’m waiting for it to translate into racing performance: I want to go to the Olympics, but I have to earn the call of the Italian Team”.
In Valle di Casies, Kerschbaumer will find several other contenders for the three spots of the Italian Olympic team, starting with Italian National Champion Luca Braidot. “The OG and World Champs in Val di Sole are big goals for all of us. Now, I want to find my best feelings and I hope that will happen in Valle di Casies. That area is ideal for the MTB races, with its difficult and technical routes. I’ve been training a lot, now it’s time to achieve results”.
Team Trek Pirelli’s Janis Baumann and Vlad Dascalu lead the international field. The Romanian, former U23 World Champion, is one of the most promising riders at international level. “The presence of strong rivals is a constant at Internazionali d’Italia Series. I look forward to testing myself in the race”, concluded the silver medallist at the 2018 World Championships in Lenzerheide.
The program of Valle di Casies-Südtirol Trophy starts on Tuesday, June 1st with the Italian E-Bike Championships at 16:00 CET. On Wednesday, June 2nd, the Internazionali d’Italia Series races will take place: Junior Men at 10:00, Open Women and Junior Women at 12:00, and Open Men at 14:00 (all CET hours).
INTERNAZIONALI D’ITALIA SERIES’ CALENDAR
Stage 1 – Andora Race Cup – March 7th
Stage 2 – Capoliveri Legend XCO – April 5th
Stage 3 – Marlene Sudtirol Sunshine Race – April 10th
Stage 4 – Valle di Casies-Südtirol Trophy – June 2nd
Stage 5 – La Thuile MTB Race -June 26th