During the press conference for the presentation of the World Championship event, Alban Lakata, defending Mtb Marathon World Champion, did not beat around the bush to describe the competition starting tomorrow morning from Auronzo di Cadore
Auronzo-Misurina (Belluno, Veneto), 14th September 2018 – 235 athletes, 36 represented nations, 3 social profiles updated real-time, 1 national live coverage. These are just a few figures characterising the 16th edition of the Mountain Bike UCI Marathon World Championships. The figures were provided by the protagonists of today’s press conference which marked the start of the world championship event.
The ice-breaker was the host Tatiana Pais Becher, Mayor of Auronzo di Cadore, who had believed in the outcome of this event since the beginning. “These World Championships are the recognition of the passion our area has always shown for the two wheels. Numerous are the investments made by the whole province of Belluno to promote the development of cycle tracks. We hope that the cycle track connecting Venice to the Dolomites will soon become a reality”.
Massimo Panighel, Chairman of the Organising Committee, expressed his satisfaction for his organisation of two Marathon World Championships. “Our association had the luck to organise a World Championship already in 2011 in Montebelluna. This second experience has happened after three years spent at the feet of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, a magical and unique place. We are proud to have organised an event which is gathering the flags of all the world in the same places where 100 years ago the First World War ended”.
On behalf of the MTB Marathon Italian National Team, Mirko Celestino, Team Manager, took part in the press conference. “The team is fine and relaxed. Our 16 members are serious guys who have come here to win. In consideration of its length, tomorrow competition will be the typical race to tackle in a rational way, because it will be crucial to balance energies, and not to risk sudden attacks”.
Sat close to their team manager, the defending Italian champions Mara Fumagalli and Samuele Porro were next to take the floor. They are aware that the Italian title conquered this year could take a back seat compared to the chance of obtaining a great result tomorrow.
The most exciting press conference moment was the interview with the two defending champions, the 39 year-old Austrian Alban Lakata and the 35 year-old Danish Annika Langvad. They will both aim at confirming their rainbow jersey, but this year competition is high-level. “I think this Marathon World Championship will be the toughest ever – Lakata said – I have not missed a race since 2000, so I think I can tell it with a certain degree of certainty”. On the other side, Annika Langvad remarked the toughness of the track and its beauty. “It is a breathtaking track in every respect. It is not possible to rationally plan a strategy because even the first climb could make a selection”.
At the end, also Kate Courtney, MTB Cross Country defending world champion, and the 2019 Marathon World Championship Swiss organising committee took the stage. The latter will be handed in the world event baton at the end of the competition. This is the first experience in a Marathon World Championship for the young American athlete. “A few days ago I had a chance to test the track. It is wonderful but also long and challenging. Since I have no particular expectations, I will aim at enjoying the race until the end, without any stress”.
RaiSport will make a live coverage of the race starting from 1.00pm, whereas a live twitting will be available from 9.00am both in Italian and in English on the official twitter account of the event @3epicmtb.