Internazionali d’Italia Series’ defending champion aims at a second win in a row at Sunday’s Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race. “The rivals are very strong. Marotte is the favourite”
With 24 hours to go to the Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race, the atmosphere in Nals (Bozen, Northern Italy) is starting to be on fire. On Sunday April 15th, the South Tyrolean village is becoming the “capital of Mountain Bike”. Maxime Marotte, Stephane Tempier, Florian Vogel, Gerhard Kerschbaumer, Lukas and Mathias Fluckiger are ready to assault the crowns of Marco Aurelio Fontana, Internazionali d’Italia Series’ defending champion and last winner in the South Tyrolean classic, elevated this year to the UCI HC category.
Compared to the eve’s expectations, the “Prorider” will have a rival in less: Dutchman Mathieu Van der Poel announced his waiver in the last hours, but the list of the opponents remains impressive, with 6 athletes of the top-15 of the UCI World Ranking at the start. “Nals is one of the most important stages at Internazionali d’Italia Series – said Fontana. – In addition, the HC classification has attracted the top riders in the world”.
The Olympic bronze medallist in London ’12 won the first seasonal race at Trofeo Laigueglia MTB Classic, training hard in the last weeks to present in the best way at the Internazionali d’Italia Series’ opener. “I have a good condition – explained the Italian biker – but all the Team Bianchi Countervail is very excited for the debut in the challenge. Together with my teammate Stephane Tempier, we will try to conquer the repeat in Nals”.
Tempier in 2016, Fontana in 2017: the two latest editions of Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race became a “ celeste” triumph and this year’s edition team chaired by Felice Gimondi can count on one of the strongest couple on paper. “Stephane is a worldwide certainty, not by chance he’s on the top three UCI ranking – the Prorider added – We are both very suited for a tough circuit such as the one in Nals, we are targeting the podium. Among the opponents, Gery Kerschbaumer will do well, riding in his own land, and Maxime Marotte, who is doing very well, he’s the one to be beaten”.
Two racing days in Nals: today, Saturday 14 April, the schedule will start with Rookies and Cadets athletes facing technical ability competitions. On Sunday, the “main event” is going to take place: at 8.15 with Women Rookies and Cadets, then Men Rookies (9.00), Cadets (10.00) and UCI Junior Series (11.15). A juicy preview will follow with Women’s Open (13.00) e Men’s Open (15.00), the best interpreters of the discipline at the start, ant the big piece of news is the live streaming of the Internazionali d’Italia Series official channels. The Men’s race open will be available in a complete live streaming, with detailed highlights about the other competitions.