Italian fans are warming up for the opening round of the Italian MTB circuit on Saturday March 2nd, with Kerschbaumer and Tempier leading the field among Elite men
Once again, the weather on the Ligurian Riviera did not disappoint: the sun shines in Andora, with less than 24 hours to the 2019 Internazionali d’Italia Series’ opener, Andora Race Cup on Saturday March 2nd. By the shores of the Ligurian Sea, athletes and fans breathe are looking forward to the early-season showdown, with the curiosity of the athletes eager to confront with the opponents after the winter, and the technical difficulties designed by the organizers of Andora Race and the Municipality of Andora, with the advice of Italian National Team Coach Mirko Celestino, waiting for over 700 riders over two days.
4 kilometers and 180 meters of elevation gain for each lap: Andora Race Cup calls for complete and skilled riders, who will look to seize their first shot to the leaders’ jerseys realized by Northwave, main sponsor of the challenge along with Shimano. “It’s a good early-season test. It will be a beautiful race. The Ligurian hills will help making differences among the riders, and I believe the organizers did a very good job”, said Celestino. The Italian Team Coach awaits important indications in view of the first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup rounds.
Defending champion Gioele Bertolini (Santa Cruz-FSA) and Italian National Champion Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Torpado-Ursus) are the first two riders in Celestino’s list, among the athletes at the start of the Men’s Open race at 12.30 am CET. “After the cyclo-cross season, I’m ready to defend this title”, said Bertolini. – Among the rivals, Kerschbaumer and Tempier are the riders to be beaten, but Braidot twins and my teammate Tiberi should not be overlooked”. Frenchman Stephane Tempier (Team Bianchi Countervail) will be the top rival for the Italian contenders. The Italian team under the guidance of Massimo Ghirotto will rely on two solid options: in addition to Tempier, Italian Nadir Colledani will take part in the Andora Race Cup.
In the Women’s race (start at 10:45 am CET), the spotlights will be on the generational duel between experienced Eva Lechner (Torpado Südtirol MTB) and Serena Calvetti (KTM-Protek-Dama) and the Italian NextGen, including Chiara Teocchi (Team Bianchi Countervail), Martina Berta (Torpado-Ursus), Giorgia Marchet and Giada Specia (Team Rudy Project).
Andora Race Cup’s programme starts with the Men’s Junior race (9:00AM), followed by Junior and Open Women at 10:45AM and Open Men at 12:30AM.