Huge turnover among Women at La Thuile MTB: overall success for Lechner and Marzani

International wins for Evie Richards (Open) and Mona Mitterwallner (Junior), the two chasers manage to flip positions and conquer the Internazionali d’Italia Series crowns

The 2019 edition of Internazionali d’Italia Series was among the most beautiful and contested in recent years. It’s shown by the quality of the riders, by the intensity of the duels we have seen through three months of competitions. In the Women’s categories, Martina Berta (Torpado-Ursus) and Eva Lechner (Torpado-Südtirol) have gone head-to-head among Open Women, and so did Letizia Motalli (KTM-Protek-Dama) and Letizia Marzani (Merida Italia Team), and only the spectacular series finale in La Thuile could finally determine the outcome.

The Open Women race was dominated by Evie Richards (Great Britain),  who left Chiara Teocchi (Bianchi Countervail) and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Canyon-SRAM) – who led until halfway – pace the race early on, and then came back to take over the lead in the third lap and go on from there to the top step of this first edition. “I was panicking a bit at the beginning, as I was losing positions while I am used to be a fast starter, but I recomposed and started moving up from the back, and maybe this was the key for the win. I am so happy and pleased to have written my name on this first edition.

The French National Champion closed second, 1.16 behind the Brit, giving signs of an improving condition: “Today I moved in the lead a bit too early, and I was left with little gas in the finale. But I feel I am on the right track.

Ending third at 1.57, Eva Lechner was able to see off Martina Berta (7th) and win the Internazionali d’Italia Series GC for the first time in her career. “After many years, I had the opportunity to race in Italy more, and aim for this important title. It was a long and hard battle, but I am really happy.” For Valle d’Aosta-born Martina Berta, the disappointment is mitigated by the success in the Under 23 Women’s category.

Among Junior Women, in the UCI Junior Series race, it was a race in the race: Austrian Mona Mitterwallner (Austria) did one on her own, moving clear by a huge margin, but behind her Letizia Marzani managed a great comeback to second place ahead of Cornelia Holland (Austria), stripping the crown from Letizia Motalli (eight) by only one point. “I could not race in Pineto, so I was not sure to still be able to compete for the overall success – told Letizia Marzani, – so I just focused on giving my very best, without thinking too much about the score. This joy is the pinnacle of a very good early part of the season for me. “