The riders went on recce on the course in Aosta Valley ahead of Saturday’s Internazionali d’Italia Series stage 4. “The King” rock garden among the key sections of the Italian Hors Catégorie and UCI Junior Series event
It might be only its fourth edition, but the top international XC riders already know very well what to expect when the calendar turns to La Thuile MTB Race. The racecourse charted by Enrico Martello in the La Thuile Bike Park is indeed among the most technically and physically exacting of the whole XCO season.
At the foot of the Little Saint Bernard pass, Internazionali d’Italia Series stages its round 4 on Saturday, June 3rd, the Internazionali d’Italia Series rider will face stage 4, a UCI HC event also part of the UCI Junior Series calendar.
Today, Friday June 2nd, the athletes rode on the course to discover the latest changes on the tough La Thuile loop, and notably the new “The King” rock garden that could make a difference in tomorrow’s races.
Chilly air and mixed weather welcomed the 300 athletes of the UCI categories, whilst Rookies and Cadets will take the stage on Sunday, June 4th. Light showers characterized the afternoon in La Thuile, but the forecast indicate better and warmer conditions for tomorrow, to the sake of the athletes and fans.
OPEN MEN: AVONDETTO AND BOICHIS TO WATCH
The reigning U23 World Champion, Italian Simone Avondetto, and the 2021 Junior World Champion, Frenchman Adrien Boichis, will be among the riders to watch in the Open Men’s race in La Thuile. The Wilier-Pirelli rider has the opportunity to extend his lead in the overall standings, whilst the Trinity Racing’s rising star, who will be among the favorites for the U23 rainbow jersey in Glasgow, and has already had plenty of success in Italy, having won no less than three Internazionali d’Italia Series rounds among Juniors in 2021.
Other notable figures of Saturday’s race include home favorite Andreas Vittone (KTM-Protek), fellow Italians Daniele Braidot and Filippo Fontana (CS Carabinieri), Frenchman Paul Magnier (Trinity Racing), Brit Cameron Orr (Wilier-Pirelli), Brazilian Alex Malacarne (Trinity Racing) and Dane Simon Andreassen (Cannondale Factory).
OPEN WOMEN: BERTA-SPECIA-PEDERSEN READY FOR ANOTHER CLASH
The Open Women challenge approaches its final chapters with Italian Martina Berta (Santa Cruz-Rockshox) in the overall lead, followed by Wilier-Pirelli’s Giada Specia and Sofie Pedersen. The three athletes are divided by 55 points. The Italian Champion aims to repeat the success conquered in 2022, but Specia and Pedersen have what it takes to play for their chances. Behind the favorites, Italian Chiara Teocchi (KTM Protek), France’s Isaure Medde (Lapierre), Canadian’s Emilly Johnson (Trek Future), Brit Ella McLean Howell (Great Britain National Team), as well as Santa Cruz-Rockshox’ young talent Sara Cortinovis.
UCI JUNIOR SERIES: LA THUILE HOSTS WORLDS’ DRESS REHEARSAL
The show of the UCI Junior Series returns to La Thuile for the second straight year, which is also the second one of the season in Italy after Capoliveri in April.
La Thuile’s event is a promise of high-level technical races, Worlds’ dress rehearsal with 5 out of the 15 UCI top ranked athletes at the start. French Nael Rouffiac (France National Team) might be the top favorites, but the Italian patrol led by Internazionali d’Italia Series’ leader Diego Milan (ASD Rock Bike), the home rider Gabriel Borre (KTM-Protek) and Elian Paccagnella (Junior Team Südtirol) will try to make the most of their home field advantage.
The Junior Women’s race will feature top riders such as German Carla Hahn (German National Team), Chilean Amalia Medina Fernandez (Team Orbea Chile) and Spaniard Marta Cano Espinosa (Primaflor Mondraker), whilst Valentina Corvi (Trinx Factory) and Internazionali d’Italia Series’ leader Elisa Lanfranchi (KTM-Protek) playing their chances for Italy.
HIGHLIGHTS ON FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE
An extensive recap of the La Thuile MTB Race will be broadcast at 9 p.m. CEST on Saturday evening on the Internazionali d’Italia Series’ official Facebook and YouTube channels.
The program of La Thuile MTB Race starts on Saturday, June 3rd, with the UCI Junior Series race at 10:00 CEST, followed by the Women’s competitions at 12:00 and the Men’s Open Race at 14:00. On Sunday, June 4th, the youth competitions, featuring the Rookies and Cadets categories, will complete the schedule.