Team Cannondale Factory Racing’s Austrian youngster has issued a challenge for the Internazionali d’Italia Series’ opening round, Pineta Sperane XCO, on Saturday, March 18
Endurance and explosiveness combined with technical mastery are the main characteristics of the cross-country champion. Mona Mitterwallner is a talent with few equals among the up-and-coming athletes in international mountain biking, thanks to her extraordinary endurance, which led her to win the marathon world champion title, in addition to her bike handling skills.
In her first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season in the elite women’s category, Mitterwallner was hampered by bad starts, which she made an effort to improve during her winter training camp, thanks to a program focused on explosiveness. On the strength of this sharpened skill and the second place she claimed in the HC race in Banyoles (Spain), the Austrian youngster will take part in the Pineta Sperane XCO, Internazionali d’Italia Series’ opening round, with a goal to claim her first win of the season.
On Saturday, March 18th, the Team Cannondale Factory Racing athlete will be at the start of the Open race in San Zeno di Montagna (starting at 11:45 CET).
“I feel very good, the team training camps have been very productive, and we managed to work on my biggest weakness: the start. I’m happy that my work has already paid off already at the season’s first races,” said Mitterwallner.
“Last year I got sick just before San Zeno so I couldn’t race there. That’s why I’m really looking forward to going this year – to the area around Monte Baldo because I’ve been here several times for training.”
Mona Mitterwallner will find formidable rivals in San Zeno di Montagna, like Italian racer Martina Berta, winner of the second HC race in Spain, the Internacionales Chelva XCO.
“When I’m on the start line, I have only one goal in mind: to win. I think Martina Berta is very strong and has had a great comeback after her injury. I’m sure she will be in the fight for world cup podiums. Same for Sara (Cortinovis) in the U23 category. I also expect Giada (Specia) to battle for the front; in my opinion, she has stepped up her game as well.”
Mona fell in love with Italy, and she proved that with her results in last year’s Internazionali d’Italia Series, when the Austrian rider won the event in Nals.
“It feels like the racing atmosphere in Italy is different. It’s a special feeling and I love going there for training, racing, and holidays. My first ever race was in Italy; I have a lot of positive emotions associated with this area.”
“In addition, for me the Internazionali d’Italia Series always were and still are the big races in Italy. Looking back to when I was younger, I always dreamed about winning these races and getting one of those leaders’ jerseys. The racecourses have world cup standards; they are technical with challenging climbs, and are a lot of fun.”
The Internazionali d’Italia Series kicks off with round 1, Pineta Sperane XCO, on Saturday, March 18th, with the junior men’s race at 10:00 CET, followed by the women’s races at 11:45 CET and the men’s open race at 14:00. The masters and youth competitions (rookies and cadets) are scheduled for Sunday, March 19th.