Etienne Bonello triumphs in Cyprus as back luck foils Tour ta’ Malta

Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 21:29
Days before competing in the Tour ta’ Malta Etienne Bonello of Team Greens was on top form winning the overall classification of the Tour of Cyprus. Together with his Team Greens team mates he travelled to Cyprusafter concluding the 850km six stage Tour of Algeria. Bonello fired from the start with a second place in the first stage which took the riders from Nicosia to Larnaca. On the second day Bonello prevailed on the nine km hill top finish to Lefkara.
The stage win gained him the race leadership. Into the final leg from Limassol to Paphos Bonello was challenged by his close contenders from Israel, Dubai, Greece and Belgium however with the full Team Greens protecting their leader they fended off all opposition with Bonello managing another second place in the third and final stage winning the Tour of Cyprus in a total time of 3:41:45. Gil Kivetz of Team Bike FocusIsrael finished second in 3:42:36 whilst Steffen Streich of  Team Spesialistes Chios-Lesvos of Greece finished in third place in 3:42:49. Christian Formosa managed a fourth placing despite racing in support of Bonello.
Bonello’s team mates’ hard work was also rewarded as Team Greens won the teams classification. They were followed by Ledig Erf of Belgium and Team Frenkies of Dubai. Marie Claire Aquilina rode to a third place overall in the female Category. The winning team was composed of Etienne Bonello, Bernhard Azzopardi, James Mifsud, Marie Claire Aquilina and   guest rider Christian Formosa with the backup support of Team Greens Manager Charles Sammut. Bonello is an athlete supported by the  KMS 20/20 scheme .  The trip was made possible with the assistance of Emirates Airlines, Greens Supermarket and BBB Bike Parts.

Less fortunate at the Tour ta  Malta

The Tour ta’ Malta had not to be a lucky one for Bonello. Following the outstanding ride in Cyprus Bonello was set for a positive experience on home soil. He started with a third place in the opening time trial clocking a new personal best on the route and a national record. The second leg at San Martin saw him involved in an accident with another rider that cost him his placing in the  general classification.

Now out of contention Bonello tried to make amends for his misfortune riding closely near the front however once again he was foiled by a mechanical problem leaving him stranded on the road. Bonello had still one last fight to fight, the closing time trial at Zebbug By Pass. Having ridden his heart out trying to emulate the result of the first stage Bonello finished  a mere 10 seconds away from the podium despite again setting a personal best and a national course record. ‘It’s a pity I was foiled by so many mishaps. I was in good form but luck was not on my side. This is what makes sports exciting. We live to fight another day!’ were Bonello’s final comments.

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