Eva Lechner was looking forward to her first time as Internazionali d’Italia Series contender among the Élite, having planned to run for the overall through the 2019 season of the circuit, and was hoping to win right away. She was the favorite, and the Torpado-Südtirol rider looked destined to live up to the expectations in Andora until one lap to go.
But Mountain Bike is unpredictable, and even more so when the routes are challenging and treacherous like the one in Andora, demanding for both the riders, their bikes and tires.
After an early acceleration by Chiara Teocchi (Bianchi-Countervail), Lechner took charge of forcing the pace, leaving only Martina Berta (Torpado-Ursus) and Greta Seiwald (Santa Cruz – FSA) in her wake until the third lap. After that, the Italian National Champion had left the company of her younger rivals, opening a safety margin over Berta and Seiwald.
In the penultimate lap, the decisive twist of fate: a puncture stopped Lechner, opening the way to Martina Berta, who eventually took her first Élite success at Internazionali d’Italia Series and wore the Northwave leader’s jerseys in both the Élite and Under 23 series. Finishing behind her were a disappointed Eva Lechner and Greta Seiwald.
“It was a really fun race, the organizers have set up a very beautiful course – said Berta. – “I found a good feeling in this first seasonal race. I’m happy I broke the ice, but I’m not deny that I was lucky”.
“I felt good, I had positive sensations throughout the whole race, before the puncture – Lechner explains. – “I’m satisfied of my performance. Now, I hope to redeem myself in my home race in Nals”.
Also Junior Women were in contention in Andora, with Letizia Marzani (Team Merida Italia) earning the first Northwave leader’s jersey in the category, after leaving behind Letizia Motalli (KTM-Protek-Dama) and Swiss Annika Liehner (JB Brunex Felt Factory Team).