Internazionali d’Italia Series’ overall leader in the Open Women category is ready for the last round in La Thuile, on Saturday June 22nd, with the goal to defending the lead from Eva Lechner’s assault
“Let’s see if I’ll find luck on home soil in La Thuile,” Martina Berta had said after crossing the finish line of the Aprutium Race in Pineto. On Saturday June 22nd, the athlete from the Aosta Valley will get to compete on home ground for Internazionali d’Italia Series finale in La Thuile MTB, where the Torpado Ursus rider will try to defend the overall lead among Open Women.
Berta’s main rival, Italian Eva Lechner, is a strong and experienced, but the home rider reaches the final act with two stage wins in the bag – the opening round in Andora and stage 4 in Pineto. In this season, Berta rose back to the positions where she belongs, after an up-and-down 2018.
On the other hand, Italian National Champion Lechner has experience on her side: after the second place claimed in Andora, likely to be a victory without an untimely puncture, the Torpado Südtirol athlete preceded her main rival in Nals, before winning in San Marino. The South Tyrolean took part in the Aprutium Race with the overall leader jersey, surrendered on the occasion to Martina Berta. The last time of Internazionali d’Italia Series in Aosta Valley, in 2017 in Courmayeur, Lechner had won ahead of Berta. The same result would elevate Lechner to a double triumph: stage and series win.
Berta leads the overall standings with 115 points, ahead of Lechner (110): there is no room for mistakes in La Thuile, even more so when factoring in the likes of former World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Italian Serena Calvetti (KTM-Protek-Dama) and Chiara Teocchi (Bianchi Countervail).
La Thuile MTB will offer three days of action: on Friday June 21st the warm-up and preliminary operations will take place, followed Saturday by the Internazionali d’Italia Series races. The Men’s UCI Junior Series round will open the programme at 10.30 am CET, followed by the Women’s competitions (Open and UCI Junior Series) at 12.30 and the Men’s Open race at 3.00 pm. On Sunday June 23rd, the youth races will close the programme: the Men’s Cadets race starts at 10.00, followed by Cadet and Rookie Women at 11.00 and Rookie Men at 1.30 pm.