A tight battle is expected in the Junior series on Saturday June 30th at Alpago Bike Funtastic, with three riders in the space of 17 points all gunning for the overall goal. “It will be a tough one: may the best man win!”
Avondetto 78, Toccoli 67, Fontana 61. Fontana dominated in Nals, whilst Avondetto and Toccoli celebrated in San Marino and Pineto, respectively. If the Open races of Alpago Bike Funtastic represent the main event of Internazionali d’Italia Series’ final round – to be held on Saturday, June 30th in Chies d’Alpago (Belluno, Veneto, Northern Italy) – the “battle” for the Men’s Junior title is characterized by uncertain predictions thanks to the presence of three contenders for the overall win, separated by 17 points.
In view of the final showdown of the most important Cross Country circuit in Italy, Simone Avondetto occupies the overall first position thanks to his consistency in the first three stages: sixth in the UCI Junior Series event Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race, winner at Titano XCO and fourth at Aprutium Race. “The first three rounds were very challenging – said Avondetto – but I’ve given everything to be in this situation. UCI Junior Series’ race represented a turning point: the sixth place is not worth a success, but in Nals there were the best athletes in the world and I understood I could compete at high levels. Instead, in Pineto I suffered from the heat but I’m satisfied, compared to the last year I’m better”.
2017 Internazionali d’Italia Series’ final round had given Avondetto a great satisfaction as winner on Courmayeur’s finish line. “An important success for my career – continued Avondetto – The rivals are very strong this time too, but I hope to end in style”.
Behind Avondetto, Zaccaria Toccoli has caught up in the GC after a difficult start: now, the Italian youngster ranks second in the overall standings, after the stage’s second place claimed in San Marino and the success grabbed in Pineto. “I found an ‘old school’ circuit in Nals, little suited to my skills, but things went more smoothly in San Marino and Pineto. I hope to adapt myself in the best way at Chies d’Alpago’s circuit. This time, I hope in a controlled race: I’ll need the help of other riders to beat Simone (Avondetto) because the final result doesn’t depend only on my performance. Certainly, I hope that it’s going to be a hot day: the weather conditions boosted me in Pineto”.
The contenders agreed on this aspect: Alpago Bike Funtastic’s circuit will be a great location for Internazionali d’Italia Series’ final showdown. “It’s a tough route with many climbs, that will reward the best”, said Filippo Fontana, third in the GC. Team Gottardo Giochi Caneva’s athlete has all the chances to claim the double achievement: stage win and overall title. “It’s very difficult – Fontana admits – right now I am not thinking about it because the final result is not only up to me. The eve’s predictions are very challenging: it’ll be a tough race but its development will be crucial for the final result, yet in the Mountain Bike races this aspect is not easy to control. I’ve got little experience in the Cross Country competitions: nevertheless, I managed to win at the Junior Series, an important success in terms of awareness in view of the international events like European and World Championships”.
The programme of Internazionali d’Italia Series’ final stage will start on Saturday June 30th at 9:30 am CET with the Men’s Junior race, followed by Junior and Open Women (12:00 am) and Open Men (3:00 pm) categories. 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 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).