A Maltese mountain biker took home the Winners’ Jersey in the Meditteranea MTB Circuit after claiming the top spot in her category at the Etna Extreme race.
Malta was well represented at the annual mountain bike race held in Sicily with eleven riders making the trip up for the extreme race divided into two categories – the Marathon and the Gran Fondo.
The Marathon consists of a 60km route with an elevation of 2,000 metres with the Gran Fondo coming in at 45km and an elevation of 1,500 metres.
Maltese riders made their presence felt at the event with Marie Claire Aquilina claiming the top spot in the Women’s Amateur category, adding more accolades to her ever-growing list.
Moreover, with Etna Extreme forming part of the Meditteranea MTB Challenge Circuit, a ten race circuit of mountain bike races around Sicily, Aquilina also took the Race Winner Jersey and the almighty leaders’ White Jersey.
A newcomer to the sport, Felicienne Cini managed to take home second place in the females’ Master Sport Category in what was her first international event.
Another Maltese mountain biker who put on an impressive performance at the Etna Extreme was veteran cyclist Patrick Scicluna, who formed part of the pro starting lineup alongside some of the world’s best mountain bikers including Leo Paez.
Scicluna finished a commendable eighth in his category.
Local riders have been hindered in their ability to practice and participate in races as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with participants expressing their desire to resume with local racing to capitalise on better results for next year.
“Having completed the race in the target I had set myself, that of three hours nine minutes, I have now set myself a target of sub-three hours for next year. Hopefully, we will soon be able to race locally putting this difficult chapter behind us,” said rider Carl Saydon.
The Malta Mountain Bike Association also expressed their desire to see the resumption of races with the easing of Covid-19 measures.
Malta was represented by these eleven riders – Marie Claire Aquilina, Patrick Scicluna, Domenic Cutajar, Francesco Grima, Steve Grima, Brandon Sultana, Justin Gauci, Carl Saydon, Jamie Camilleri, Felicienne Cini and Shawn Schembri all representing Gozo Cycling Club.
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