La Thuile MTB Race like graduation test for homeboy Vittone

After a brilliant performance in Capoliveri and the fourth place in Val Casies, The Team KTM Protek 19-year-old looks to close on a high on Saturday in Internazionali d’Italia Series’ finale 

Graduating as a rider, days after doing it at high-school: that’s the approach of Italian MTB prospect Andreas Emanuele Vittone, 19, in view of La Thuile MTB Race, Internazionali d’Italia Series’ final stage, to be held in Aosta Valley on Saturday, June 26th.

It will be the home race for the Aosta-born, Gressan-raised youngsters, hoping to close on a high an Internazionali d’Italia Series edition lived in the spotlight.

The first four stages of the most important Italian Cross Country challenge gave Vittone days to remember. One above all: the standout performance of Capoliveri Legend XCO, where the Italian rider battled the likes of Schurter and Avancini for 6 of the 8 laps. “It doesn’t happen that often to race against Schurter and Avancini, so I wanted to try and test myself with their rhythm rather than opting for a more cautious approach.

On June 2nd in Val Casies, South Tyrol, the Team KTM Protek athlete claimed a solid fourth place after riding a wise race. Now, the 19-year-old rider from Aosta Valley aims to extend the momentum to La Thuile, within mind another podium spot and the hope to redeem the unimpressive performance of the 2019 edition, when he nevertheless claimed the Internazionali d’Italia Series overall classification in the Junior Men category.

I was nervous because I was in front of my fans and in the only Italian stage of the UCI JR Series. In addition, my condition was not the best”, reminds Vittone. – “I’m feeling good after the altitude training and the HS exams. Now, I’m focused on Mountain Biking”.

On his way, Vittone will find competitive rivals like Open Men’s leader Simone Avondetto (Trek-Pirelli) and veteran Maxime Marotte (Team Santa Cruz FSA). “Simone is a great guy, I have been racing against him for a long time, since the youth categories, and now we are arguably the strongest U23 riders in Italy. Marotte is an athlete from a different generation. I really appreciate Max because is one of the few capable to challenge the MTB NextGen, like Nino Schurter”, explains Vittone.

Vittone has already tested the 4-Km circuit charted by Enrico Martello, the most technical in Italy. “That’s a course to study carefully. The ascents are short but steep, and you have to find the right pace or the altitude will take its toll. It’s a beautiful ring, characterized by technical sections and free of dangerous segments”.

La Thuile MTB Race offers two days of action. Main courses on Saturday, June 26th, will be the Internazionali d’Italia Series competitions: Men’s UCI Junior Series at 10.30 CET, Women’s Open race and UCI Junior Series at 12.30 CET; Men’s Open race at 15.00 CET. On Sunday, June 27th, the youth competitions will close the program with Men’s Cadets at 10.00 CET, Women’s Cadets and Rookies at 11.00 CET, and Men’s Rookies at 13.30 CET.