6th Oct 2017
The sixth and last race of the BDO Malta Cross Country Mountain Bike National Point Series wrapped up with some class action in MiÅ¼ieb from over 30 riders taking part.
The Elite Category once again saw some aggressive competition between title contenders Etienne Bonello, Patrick Scicluna and Maurice Formosa. Whilst all riders gave a good show and despite valiant attacks from Bonello, it was Formosa’s tactics which prevailed enabling him to close off what was a somewhat disappointing season with a strong win and a comfortable 2 minute 23 advantage over Bonello. Scicluna came in third place.
The Ladies category saw the largest participation in all the series with five riders taking part. The race saw the return of Marie Claire Aquilina and Danica Bonello Spiteri who missed out on the previous race. Amongst the ladies was also European and World Masters Downhill Champion Petra Wiltshire. Aquilina was no match for the rest of the riders finishing comfortably with an approximate 9-minute advantage over second placed Danica Bonello Spiteri. Nevertheless, Bonello Spiteri gave a good show despite having suffered a bad crash whilst competing abroad the previous week. Third placed Claudine Gatt, winner of the previous race also registered a good performance.
As expected the Open Category was going to be a fight to the finish between Ryan Darmanin and Mark Zammit in particular. Zammit took the lead however Darmanin kept closing in on Zammit from the second lap. However, a puncture in the last lap put paid to Darmanin’s efforts enabling Zammit to secure his final win of the Series. Second placed was Anton Muscat who paced himself well to slowly climb up the ladder beating Francesco Sultana who secured his first podium place for the 2017 Series.
Gejtu Catania and Enrico Brandamante set the pace for the Masters Category, however as the race progressed, Domenic Cutajar took the lead with Mark Portelli and Derek Pepe trailing behind him and securing the top three places on the podium respectively.
Once again, the Junior Category saw the young Nicholas Attard Montalto as the sole competitor. Attard Montalto has produced some consistent performances throughout the Series.
“The 2017 season has been a very successful one, whilst we see areas for improvement, we have seen growth in many areas so all in all we are quite satisfied. Naturally there are lessons to be learnt and we are confident that 2018 shall be an event better year “remarked Pierre Zammit Endrich, President, Malta Mountain Bike Association. “We would like to thank our Sponsors, riders and of course volunteers who put in a lot of effort and dedication to ensure that the Series takes place and grows”
With the BDO Malta Cross Country Mountain Bike National Point Series now complete, riders will focus their attention to the National Championships which will take place in Selmun on Sunday 15th October. The winners of the Series will be announced during a Prize Giving evening to be hosted by the Association on Saturday 11th November.
The 2017 Cross Country Series was sponsored by BDO Malta and supported by Magri Cycles, Carm & Co Ltd (SIS products), Island Beverages (H20nly) and MTB Malta.
Photo Credit: Angie Conti