After his solid display in Nals, ended with fifth place, on Sunday the Under 23 European Champion will line up at Titano XCO with a mission: “Keep showing up strong and take the leader’s jersey”
One thing’s for sure: Gioele Bertolini isn’t the rider who suffers a category jump. His approach to the Elite world, with confidence and personality, suggests it. Results confirm just as much: the reigning Under 23 European Champion, 22-year-old Bertolini has already achieved victories and prestigious results in his first Elite season, both in cyclocross and mountain bike. Most recently, he secured a meaningful fifth place at the Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race, the “hors catégorie” race that also opened the 2018 Internazionali d’Italia Series.
Seven days after the race in South Tyrol, “Gio Il Bullo” will get back to racing action on Sunday April 22nd in San Marino at Titano XCO, second stage of the circuit, also marking the first time that an Internazionali d’Italia Series’ race takes place beyond the Italian border. At the Mount Titano, Bertolini will try to go for the leader’s jersey of the main Italian cross country circuit. “The race in Nals gave me good indication: I can compete against the strongest rider in the World, and I have showed I belong among the strongest Italian riders right now. My goal for Sunday is to confirm on this level and wear the overall leader’s jersey”, Bertolini said.
After closing the cyclocross season on the rise, taking a sixth position at the World Championships, the Focus Selle Italia athlete has shown his good condition early in the mountain bike year, winning on the season debut in Verona (Italy) and then in Chelva (Spain).
“There were several big fixtures in this early season, such as the World Cup opening and the early Internazionali d’Italia Series’ stages. I wanted to be ready, and I managed to.”
Strong legs and sharp mind will be needed to take it at Titano XCO: the Federazione Sammarinese Ciclismo organizers have set up a demanding course, with technical stretches like the “trunks’ descent”.
“I saw the route with some videos: I expect an interesting race – said Bertolini. “Unfortunately I couldn’t recce it personally, differently from Luca Braidot, who will be one of the riders to watch. Andrea Tiberi and myself will be ready for the challenge, as we want a success for our team.”
The programme will be over two days: on Saturday April 21st the amateur races organized in collaboration with San Marino MTB Team will take place, whilst on Sunday it will be time for the Junior and Open (Elite e U23) races. The Open Men’s challenge will be live streamed on the circuit’s official channels, with highlights from the Open Women’s, Junior Men’s and Women’s races.