On Sunday April 15th, the Mountain Bike superstars will light up Nals (Südtirol, Italy), at the 18th edition of the HC event (LIVE streaming for the Open Men’s category). Great expectations for the UCI Junior Series
Internazionali d’Italia Series – the most important Mountain Bike Cross Country circuit in Italy – is moving toward an exciting opening round, to be held in just a month from now. In fact, the Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race, scheduled in Nals (Bozen, Südtirol, Italy) on Sunday April 15th, will open the challenge run by CM Outdoor Events, with the backing of the Italian Cycling Federation and the International Cycling Union. The 18th Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race (first edition in 2001) was elevated by the UCI to the “hors catégorie” category, rewarding the remarkable work of the ASD Sunshine Racers Nals, organizing a top-level event from almost two decades ago.
The event’s programme will be run over two days: on Saturday April 14th, Cadets and Rookies will take in a special technical challenge, one-of-its-kind in Italy but now traditional in Nals, featuring balance trail, jumps, obstacles, handling on dirt and counter-sloping hairpins. Last year a Bike Park was inaugurated in Nals for young athletes to train and improve their handling skills in full safety. The Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race will continue Sunday with the “main event”: Cadets and Rookies will open the day’s programme, followed by the show of the UCI Junior Series, the “World Cup” for the Junior category, that will live in Nals its sole Italian fixture of the season, with the presence of the best MTB prospects in the World. Finally, it will be time for Open races (Men and Women), characterized by a great novelty: MTB fans will be able to follow the Open Men’s race integrally in LIVE streaming, and enjoy the highlights of the Open Women, Junior Men and Women challenges. The Nals’ race features a tough and spectacular route, characterized by the long Nachtigall climb and the following technical descent, taking the riders back to the finish line in the Nals’ city centre.
Meantime, Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race’s entry list is shaping up, featuring Mountain Bike stars such as the defending champions, Marco Aurelio Fontana and Gunn-Rita Dahle (aiming for a seventh win), and big rivals like Stephane Tempier, Italian National Champion and local hero Gerhard Kerschbaumer, Malene Degn, Irina Kalentyeva and the U23 World Champion Sina Frei. More athletes will announce their participation in the upcoming weeks after returning from the World Cup’s opener in South Africa and the Absa Cape Epic.
Therefore, there are plenty of reasons for expecting a big spectacular event, ready to attract many fans to a territory with a real passion and attitude for cycling, both road and MTB. “We have started the project 18 years ago, and the World has changed in the meanwhile: now, sustainable tourism is a wonderful reality – said Sunshine Racers Nals’ President Florian Pallweber. – I like to think that some people have discovered the pleasure of riding surrounded by nature also thanks to the champions of the Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race. We are proud of our almost-20-year history: a feat that would have been impossible to reach without the support of the Bozen Province and the Municipality of Nals, and the passion of partners like Marlene, Forst and Raiffeisen Bank”.
“The collaboration with Internazionali d’Italia Series has been very positive in recent years – continued Pallweber – giving an important contribution to the growth of our event as a whole. This year, the streaming technology will debut in Nals: an absolute novelty that brings excitement to us and our partners. The Live streaming will bring the show of the MTB champions and the landscapes of Nals and Südtirol to the fans all over Italy and beyond”.