The Italians top the competition at Aprutium Race. Italian National Champion Gerhard Kerschbaumer claimed a photofinish win against Stephane Tempier. Martina Berta dominated the women’s race, taking over the overall lead. Vittone and Motalli solo among Juniors
The severe weather in Italy hasn’t reached Pineto (Abruzzo, Central Italy), on the occasion of the Aprutium Race, Internazionali d’Italia Series stage 4. On Sunday May 5th, the Adriatic Riviera and a warm atmosphere welcomed the event organized by the ASD Cerrano Outdoor.
In Pineto, the Torpado-Ursus athletes monopolized the top spot of the Open podiums. In the men’s race, Italian National Champion Gerhard Kerschbaumer outsprinted Frenchman Stephane Tempier, with the latter holding on his overall leadership, whilst Martina Berta repeated the success claimed in Andora, regaining the overall lead among Open Women.
KERSCHBAUMER REMAINS APRUTIUM RACE KING
Like in 2018, Gerhard Kerschbaumer’s first seasonal win at Internazionali d’Italia Series coincided with the Aprutium Race. This time, the #2 of the UCI ranking had to wait for the sprint to see off Tempier, with Luca Braidot (CS Carabinieri) in third place.
In the first lap, Kerschbaumer, Tempier and Braidot imposed their pace, dropping the rest of the field. With three laps to go, Braidot lost ground due a small mistake, whilst Kerschbaumer and Tempier earned the chance to contest the win in an exciting sprint won by the World vice-champion.
“I’m happy, the condition is good and I like the course here in Pineto – Kerschbaumer explains. – “It’s snowing in South Tyrol, whilst on the Adriatic coast we always find ideal weather to race. I was able to see off a champion like Stephane Tempier, one of my mentors in the MTB world. I am looking to perform well in World Cup, before making a final run for Internazionali d’Italia Series’ overall lead in La Thuile. I dedicate this win to the memory of my late grandmother, she was my first supporter”.
While seeing the victory fade in the final meters, Tempier maintained the overall lead with 116 points. Behind the leader, Kerschbaumer (105) and CS Carabinieri’s Nicholas Pettinà (86) occupy the second and third place respectively in the GC. “In Haiming I had come on top of a sprint, this time Gery was faster and deserved the win. I have got used to the overall leader’s jersey and I want to defend it in La Thuile”, said the French rider.
Juri Zanotti (Torpado-Ursus), tenth on the finish line, maintained the U23 overall lead.
BERTA QUEEN OF THE SEA: AFTER ANDORA, PINETO
Martina Berta was born in Aosta Valley, on the Alps, but apparently makes her fortunes near the sea. In the Women’s Open race, the Torpado-Ursus rider preceded Marika Tovo (Ghost Factory Racing) and Italian National Champion Lechner (Torpado Südtirol), soloing to the finish line.
Berta outdistanced Tovo and Lechner in the launch lap, increasing the gap in the following laps over the Internazionali d’Italia Series’ defending champion and the South Tyrolean veteran, winner in San Marino one week ago, who couldn’t find her pace on the Pineto loop.
Fourth place for a solid Vera Medvedeva (Metallurgica Veneta), after a long battle against Lechner. Fifth Serena Calvetti (KTM-Protek-Dama).“It went well – said Berta. – I conquered a solid advantage and managed to control the situation from halfway through the race. After Andora, I claimed another victory by the sea: apparently I perform well in these conditions. Now, I’m ready to defend the leadership in my home race in La Thuile: it won’t be easy but I’ll give everything to win the GC”.
Marika Tovo is satisfied with her second place. “In San Marino I crashed, but still managed to end the race. In Pineto I’ve found good feelings, and I hope to reconfirm it in the following fixtures”.
Eva Lechner sounded disappointed: “I couldn’t find my pace. Compared to San Marino, the conditions were very different. I need to recollect myself before the final battle in La Thuile.”
Martina Berta leads the overall standings with 115 points, preceding Lechner (110) and Vera Medvedeva (83). Also in this case, La Thuile’s final showdown will provide the Internazionali d’Italia Series’ verdicts.
Among the Women JR, Letizia Motalli (KTM-Protek-Dama) dominated the race, conquering the overall lead. Behind the stage winner, Julian Maria Graf (ASC Kardaun) and Greta Pallhuber (ASV Lorenzen Rad) completed the day’s top-3.
VITTONE REPEATS SAN MARINO’S WIN IN MEN’S JUNIOR RACE
One step over his rivals once again: Emanuele Andreas Vittone grabbed a solid win in the 2nd Aprutium Race, one week after the beautiful success conquered at Titano XCO. The Velo Club Monte Tamaro rider preceded on the finish line Emanuele Huez (KTM-Protek-Dama) and his teammate Andrea Colombo, consolidating the overall lead.
YOUTH CYCLING ON THE SHOW IN PINETO’S MORNING
Hundreds of talented youngsters inflamed Aprutium Race’s morning programme, with Cadets and Rookies showing off in front of Italian National Team Manager Mirko Celestino.
Matteo Siffredi (Rusty Bike Team) and Tommaso Ferri (Olimpia Valdarnese) clinched victories in the Rookies races, respectively 2nd and 1st year, as Beatrice Margherita Oggero (Elba Bike) conquered a beautiful success in the women’s competition.
In the Cadets categories, Federico Bartolini (Team Siena Bike) and Sofia Capagni (Race Mountain Folcarelli) grabbed the win among the 2nd years races, whilst Marco Guercilena (Team Alba Orobia Bike) and Giulia Rinaldoni (Polisportiva Morrovallese) are Aprutium Race’s champions in the 1st year races.
NEXT STAGE: LA THUILE, INTERNAZIONALI D’ITALIA SERIES’ FINAL SHOWDOWN
The GC leaders wearing the Northwave Custom Project jerseys will look to defend them for the last time on Saturday June 22nd in La Thuile (Aosta, Northern Italy). Two years after the finale of 2017 Internazionali d’Italia Series in Courmayeur, the Aosta Valley will again host the final act of the series. The Italian stage of the UCI Junior Series will also be raced in La Thuile on the occasion