Five stages, six titles for grabs: the 2019 edition of the most prestigious Italian MTB circuit, starting in Andora on Saturday March 2nd, has been presented in Milan. San Marino awaits the reigning World and Olympic Champion, who will lead his Scott-SRAM team at Titano XCO
The countdown to 2019 Internazionali d’Italia Series, the most prestigious Italian MTB circuit, is now officially on. Just days before the opening stage, Andora Race Cup of Saturday March 2nd, organizing company CM Outdoor Events has presented the program of the 18th edition on Tuesday February 26th at the Upcycle Bike Cafè in Milan. Attending the event were, among others, Italian Cycling Federation Counsellor Gian Paolo Fantoni and Italian National MTB Team coach Mirko Celestino.
The circuit run under the aegis of the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) counts on five stages, one more than in 2018, that will proclaim the successors of Gioele Bertolini (Santa Cruz-FSA) and Marika Tovo (Ghost Factory Racing) in the Golden book of the Élite categories.
After the opening in Andora (Savona), the Internazionali d’Italia Series’ riders will take in the Hors Categorie Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race (April 13-14 in Nals, Bozen), Titano XCO (April 27-28, San Marino) and Aprutium Race (May 4-5 in Pineto, Teramo), setting up the grand finale at La Thuile MTB Race (June 22-23 in La Thuile, Aosta), where the only 2019 Italian event of UCI Junior Series will also be staged.
In addition to the Élite titles, Internazionali d’Italia will also assign titles for the Under 23 and Junior categories, both Men and Women: the six leaders’ jerseys have been crafted by Northwave, that confirmed its commitment as main partner of the circuit, as well as Shimano.
Again this year, Internazionali d’Italia Series awaits the top guns in International Mountain Biking: Team Bianchi Countervail and its leader Stephane Tempier are set to take in all the five events, starting with Andora where he will square off with Italian National Champion Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Torpado-Ursus), one of the big rivals of World Champion Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) for the UCI World Cup.
The undisputed king of World Mountain Biking himself is on his way back to Internazionali d’Italia Series: it will happen on April 27th and 28th in San Marino, rewarding the remarkable progression of the Titano XCO event. A top-notch field is expected in Nals, at the Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race, with Maxime Marotte and Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing), Jordan Sarrou (Absolut Absalon), Florian Vogel (KMC-Ekoi-Orbea) and Ghost Factory Racing Team among the early confirmations. Lineups are still shaping up for the final two races, Aprutium Race and La Thuile MTB Race, that will award decisive points for the 2019 Internazionali d’Italia Series crowns.
“We are very happy to be back to five races, keeping the Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race – the most important race in Italy behind the Val di Sole World Cup – and confirming two events that we had launched last year in San Marino and Pineto. On the other hand, we have welcomed two more ambitious event in Andora, that could become an important early-season fixture in the years, and La Thuile, whose organizational capacity has been well documented in the recent Enduro World Series events”, CM Outdoor Events Michele Mondini and Luca Carton explained.
In 2019 a new important synergy begins between Internazionali d’Italia Series and the Mercedes Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup stage in Val di Sole, an event whose excellence has been recognized all over the World, whose spotlights will turn on from August 2nd to 4th, 2019. In addition to the yearly World Cup event, Daolasa di Commezzadura (TN) will welcome in 2021 its third UCI Mountain Bike World Championship in the space of only 13 years. “We are proud to have found this level of understanding with Grandi Eventi Val di Sole, and to have them with us on the racing field in several Internazionali d’Italia Series events” Mondini and Carton have continued. “Val di Sole has become an international benchmark for its technical and organizational quality, and we are sure that synergies like this can only result in important opportunities of growth and communication. Teaming up has always been a stronghold for our project, and we think we are taking a step in the right direction.”
March 2-3: Andora Race Cup (Andora, SV). Cat. C2
A new event, Andora Race Cup, will have the honor of opening the new calendar. It’s a new early-season race, perfect to search for the best race rhythm after training over the winter months. The Ligurian mild climate and the technicity of the course (4 Km, 160 mt elevation gain per lap) will do the rest. Hailing from Andora, Italian National MTB Team Coach Mirko Celestino will act as a special technical consultant for the event.
April 13-14: Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race (Nalles, BZ). Cat. HC
The great classic of Italian MTB, the HC fixtures of Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race in Nals (Bozen) turns 19 in 2019. The Sudtyrolean event will be raced on the classic course, characterized by the Nachtigall climb that launched the likes of Mathias Flückiger and Sina Frei last year. As usual for the Hors Categories races, the best of International Mountain Biking is expected in Nals.
April 27-28: Titano XCO (San Marino, RSM). Cat. C1
An important confirmation for the Repubblica di San Marino’s race, whose technical quality has been rewarded by the UCI with the promotion to the C.1 category, and whose field of participants is sure to be enriched by some major stars, starting with Nino Schurter. As in 2018, the San Marino Cycling Federation will setup a modern cross-country course at the foot of the Monte Titano.
May 4-5: Aprutium Race (Pineto, TE). Cat. C2
Mountain biking returns by the sea with the Aprutium Race, in its second year in the Internazionali d’Italia Series calendar. The event set up by ASD Cerrano Outdoor, will be mostly run in a wood area, in the nearbies of Pineto’s promenade.
June 22-23: La Thuile MTB Race (La Thuile, AO) Cat. C1
Two years after the conclusion in Courmayeur in 2017, Internazionali d’Italia Series will once again live its grand finale in Aosta Valley. Coming off three successful Enduro World Series stages, La Thuile will host an ambitious C.1 international race. Animating the weekend will be also the top Junior rider in the World, who will square off in the only Italian stage of the UCI Junior Series, the World Cup for the Junior category