The #4 of the UCI World Ranking will feature among the top riders of Internazionali d’Italia Series’ final showdown in Chies d’Alpago (Saturday, June 30th). “Rivals will be strong but I carry an excellent condition: I will aim for a big result”
Top-end international mountain bike has found a home in Alpago for long time. At the 2006 and 2015 MTB European Championships, its mountains were land of conquer for the top riders of cross country, starting from legend Julian Absalon, European Champion in both editions.
This time, on the occasion of Internazionali d’Italia Series’ final round, Alpago Bike Funtastic (June 29th – July 1st), the big names of the European Cross Country will have to watch out for a South American threat. In fact, Cannondale Factory Racing’s Brazilian Henrique Avancini, 29, will be one of the most expected riders in the Men’s Open race, on Saturday June 30th at 3.00 pm CET. The #4 of the UCI World Ranking will line up in the first row along with several standout rivals, including World’s #3 Stephane Tempier (Team Bianchi-Countervail), his teammate Marco Aurelio Fontana and the two main contenders for the Internazionali d’Italia Series’ overall crown, current leader Gioele Bertolini (Focus Selle Italia) and Estonian Martin Loo (Hawaii Express).
“I am feeling great in the build-up to the Alpago race – said Avancini – and I’m very motivated to achieve a significant result in view of the upcoming UCI World Cup stages. Alpago Bike Funtastic is an important event, with several international big names in Mountain Bike, and represents a truthful testing ground for my ambitions. My body usually reacts well after a tough race: that’s why adding this race to my calendar was so important.”
Avancini is training in Brazil before his Italian trip, as he tries to find the ideal pedal stroke to see off the rivals in Chies d’Alpago and in Val di Sole’s World Cup round. “My focus right now is on climbing and explosiveness, and I am happy with my training programme, but of course the race will have the final word on where I stand. Internazionali d’Italia Series is one of most important circuits in Europe, and it shows in the stature of my rivals in Alpago, such as Stephane (Tempier), one of the strongest bikers in the World, and Gioele (Bertolini), a young prospect representing the future of this discipline. It’s a golden opportunity and I want to get a good result”.
Compared to European athletes, the South American biker will be on his debut on the Alpago circuit, though the latter has undergone some changes compared to the 2015 European Championships. “This has happened quite often in my career – Avancini continues – but I’m not worried. I’m sure there is one element that will make the difference: the legs!”
Internazionali d’Italia Series’ final stage of Saturday June 30th is the main event of Alpago Bike Funtastic programme: the first race of the day, Junior Men, starts at 9:30 am CET, followed by Junior and Open Women (12:00 am) and Open Men (3:00 pm). The Men’s open race will be broadcasted in live streaming on the circuit’s official channels together with the highlights from the other categories.
Alpago Bike Funtastic’s programme – that will be officially presented in a press conference on Saturday June 23rd at 11.00 am CET in Ponte delle Alpi (Belluno, Northern Italy) – will be opened by the Italian XCE Championships, on Friday June 29th. Finally, on Sunday July 1st, Alpago Bike Funtastic will end in the name of the youth cycling with the Italian Youth Cross Country Championships (Rookies and Cadets).