8th Oct 2019
The Malta Mountain Bike Association’s Trustmoore Cross Country National Point Series (NPS XC) made a welcome return after a short summer break when riders got together in Selmun for another hotly contested race.
The fifth and last race in the NPS XC race calendar saw the Elite riders contest a 6-lap course, whilst the Open, Ladies, Junior and E-Bikes Category had a total of 4 laps each.
In the Elite Category, Mark Bonnici and Jason Vella were on the front line from the start, but rider Maurice Formosa (The Cyclist), who spent most of the summer break recovering from a shoulder injury did not show any signs of slowing down and edged his way to a comfortable advantage on the first downhill with Etienne Bonello (Team Greens) following on his heels to keep the gap as narrow possible. As the race progressed, Formosa’s confidence saw him gain nearly five minutes over Bonello who took second place. In third place, less than a minute behind Bonello was Jason Vella (Agones SFC).
In the Open Category, Ramon Grech shot off to a very fast start. An unfortunate puncture on the second lap saw him lose precious time with Dennis Dolci making the most of the situation. Dolci kept up his pace taking the better of the pack and overtaking Mario Attard with a thirty second advantage to take the top spot. Despite his set back, Ramon Grech still produced a strong performance to claim third place.
Fiona Darmanin Tedesco was the sole female competitor whilst in the Junior’s Category Stefan Scerri (Gozo CC), gradually upped the ante to win with a five-minute advantage over second placed Nikol Micallef. Meanwhile in the E-Bike Category Robert Magro continued his winning streak in the Series to claim first place.
Elite Podium | Left to Right - 3rd Place - Jason Vella, 1st Place - Maurice Formosa, 2nd Place - Etienne Bonello
Open Category Podium | Left to Right - 3rd Place - Ramon Grech, 1st Place - Dennis Dolci, 2nd Place - Mario Attard
Ladies Podium | 1st Place - Fiona Darmanin Tedesco
Juniors Podium | Left to Right - 3rd Place - Daniel Vella, 1st Place - Stefan Scerri
E-Bikes Podium | Left to Right - 3rd Place - Jonathan Falzon, 1st Place - Robert Magro, 2nd Place - John Micallef
Barring the first race when Formosa had to retire due to mechanical issues, he has had an unbeaten run. With Brandon Sultana missing out on Sunday’s race, Formosa claimed top spot in the Elite Category rankings, thus securing the NPS XC title.
In the Open Category, Dennis Dolci’s win on Sunday saw him crowned winner of this category, whilst in the Juniors Category Clyve Chetcuti claimed top honours. In the Ladies’ Category, Fiona Darmanin Tedesco’s consistent participation saw her crowned winner of the Series, whilst in the E-Bikes category, which was introduced this year, saw Robert Magro lead the way with an unbeaten run.
Clean-up initiative by MMBA Committee members and volunteers
Following the presentation of medals to the podium winners, MMBA committee members and other volunteers participated in an organized clean-up near the start/finish area.
“Apart from the satisfaction gained from seeing such competitive racing, the Association aims to foster an appreciation for nature whilst providing healthy exercise. The Association has a strict policy to respect all trails and environment used for races organized around the Maltese islands. In view of this we have taken this a step further with an initiative by our committee member Fiona Darmanin Tedesco who organized a clean-up near the start/finish area for rubbish left by third party individuals over the summer months, with the help of other members whilst another team was clearing the track. All waste collected was separated carefully into recyclables, glass, and non-recyclable waste.“ stated Pierre Zammit Endrich, President, Malta Mountain Bike Association.
The Trustmoore Cross Country National Points Series is supported by AF Sign Studio, Go&Fun, Magri Cycles, Maypole, H20nly and Jimmy Vella Fruit and Vegetables.
The final race for 2019, will be the National Championshops which will take place on Sunday 3rd November, when the final race will start at 8am in Majjistral Nature & History Park.
For more information please visit http://www.maltamountainbike.org.mt/ or the Association’s Facebook page.