Elba MTB World Championships, enthusiasm for the challenge

A few hours after the start of the MTB Marathon World Championships, here are the impressions of the organizers and athletes on the island of Elba and its routes

PORTO AZZURRO – It took place this afternoon in Piazza Matteotti a Porto Azzurro a press conference dedicated to Marathon MTB World Championships, which will take place tomorrow, Saturday 2 October on the island of Elba in the Bike Park of Capoliveri.

The press conference in Porto Azzurro was attended by prominent athletes and personalities from the sports world such as Thomas Frischknecht, Leonardo Paez, Nino Schurter, Ramona Forchini, Paola Pezzo, Mirko Celestino, Marika Tovo and Fabian Rabensteiner.

To open the meeting with the international press Maurizio Papi, mayor of Porto Azzurro, who praised the sporting event, the whole organization and thanked the mayor of Capoliveri for having involved Porto Azzurro and the whole island of Elba in the initiatives of the Cup of world (here the video).

On stage too Niccolò Censi, coordinator of the Associated Tourism Management of Elba Municipalities, who, after thanking all the volunteers of the organization, underlined the importance of networking for the Elbe in order to enhance the territory with high level events level (here the video).

Angelo Zini, Mayor of Portoferraio, stressed the importance of collaboration between the municipalities of Elban to improve an ideal area for world-class events (here the video).

Also Walter Montagna, Mayor of Capoliveri, thanked the mayors of Elba for the support received, stressing how the island of Elba represents not only itself but also Italy in these world championships. Montagna explained that 300 volunteers work behind the scenes (here the video).

Nino Schurter, Swiss cross-country specialist and 9 times world champion, recounted his experience in April on the island of Elba. He said it will be very hard but that he will do anything to meet the challenge on a very demanding course in which he will test himself because he is very different from what he is used to. Schurter is indeed in his first marathon.

Leonard Paez, two-time marathon world champion, has instead confirmed that he will have to give up running for the world championships because he fell in training and broke his wrist.

Ramona forchini, the outgoing world marathon champion said she was on Elba for the first time and was going to push hard uphill, which gave her a hard time during the race.

The pluricampionesse Paola Piece, who knows the island of Elba very well, said that all cycling enthusiasts fall in love with it when they come to Elba, both for the routes, for the nature and for the views of the sea.

Maurizio melis, president of the Capoliveri Bike Park, from where the mountain bike World Cup challenge started, thanked the whole working group, the current and previous municipal administration for always supporting the initiatives related to cycling, but also all the mayors of the municipalities of Elban who supported these world championships on the island (here the video).

Cordiano Dagnoni, president of the Italian Cycling Federation, thanked and congratulated for the high level of the organization of the event and finally Mirko Celestino, coach of the national team, underlined how Elba Island is an outdoor gymnasium for cycling, so much so that often national team retreats are held on the island. For Italy, 6 girls and 12 men compete.

At the end of the initiative, the history of cycling on Elba was briefly traced, starting with the miners and fishermen who used it to get around for work, to the first local races. after the second post-war period with the tour of the Elbe then arriving at the very champion Fausto Coppi who in the fifties of the twentieth century was on the island to train. Then the big event organized in 1994, the Italian Grundig World Cup event organized in ’94 by Marco migli (current editor-in-chief and editor-in-chief of QUInews) e Francesco paladini from the Hotel Le Picchiaie (read here). Then in 2010 the birth of the Capoliveri Bike Park which, over the years, has grown to become the seat first of the Legend Cup, then of the Internazionali d’Italia and finally of the Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships in 2021.

The meeting is therefore for the challenge which promises to be very demanding for the 180 or so athletes in the running. The men’s race will start at 8.30am while the women’s race will start at 8.40am with a start from Viale Italia in Capoliveri tomorrow morning.

Mtb Elba World Championships, speech by Maurizio Melis, President of Capoliveri Bike Park
Mtb Elba World Championships, speech by Niccolò Censi, Gat Elba coordinator

Winston Ferguson

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