After the remarkable displays in the World Cup, Internazionali d’Italia Series’ U23 overall leader looks to defend her leadership in Pineto and Chies d’Alpago: “I am determined to make it”
Young, talented, strong minded, with a passion for fashion and design: Marika Tovo is one of the best Italian prospects in Mountain Bike and in Internazionali d’Italia Series’ events. After conquering the Junior crown, the 19-year-old Italian leads the U23 ranking in her first year in the category, sitting just behind Serena Calvetti in the Open standings. Coming up is stage 3 of the circuit, the Aprutium Race in Pineto (Central Italy), on Sunday June 10th.
Her results in Italy had been confirmed abroad: Tovo finished third in MTB World Cup’s round 3 in Nové Mesto na Morave (Czech Republic), and 5th in the stage 2 in Albstadt (Germany), one week earlier.
“In the last two seasons, I took some big steps forward, and Internazionali d’Italia Series has been an important part of the process. For us, as youngsters, it means to have the opportunity to regularly compete against the top international riders while racing in Italy, even outside the World Cup calendar, and that’s so important – Marika Tovo said. Last year, I won the Junior category, and I have one month forward to try and do the same among Under 23. It is very difficult to match school and cycling but I am fully committed to succeed”. School and sports pose a significant challenge, but one Marika can certainly deal with: she is about to take the graduation exam at the “Fashion and Design” school.
Marika Tovo is not the only prospect in the spotlight at Team Rudy Project: her teammate Giorgia Marchet ranks third in Internazionali d’Italia Series’ Open Women overall. “Giorgia is a great teammate, we are very close and we always travel together during the international events. But hey, when the race is on, we won’t give up anything to each other.”
Internazionali d’Italia Series’ defending champion Serena Calvetti leads the GC – but differently from last year, she has a mere 3-point advantage on Marika Tovo and 4 points on Giorgia Marchet. “Serena is a friend, and an important model for us. She lives quite close to me, and we often go training together. She gives me so many tips from a technical point of view. I still have to improve a lot to equal her level.”
Nevertheless, it is well documented: Marika is a quick learner. She could battle for the next big goal sooner than she thinks…