Italian cyclist Enzo Buccheri wins at San Martin

Saturday, March 20, 2010, 9:34

Italian cyclist Enzo Buccheri (Cicli Buccheri) won the second stage of the 16th edition of the Tour ta’ Malta ahead of fellow Italians Gregory Bianchi (Fausto Coppi Fermignano) and veteran Filippo Ballatore (Ballatore) in a very close and exciting finish. Beautiful weather and
the picturesque countryside at San Martin contributed in no small way to
a fantastic race where the men covered 100 kilometers spread over 10
laps and the ladies covered 70 kilometers.

Bianchi took an early lead as he sped away from the main peloton but
after three laps he was caught by Francesco Pizzo, winner of Thursday’s
time trial, and Enzo Buccheri, while a group of five riders piled on the
pressure not far behind. The final 200 meters proved to be very exciting
with all eight riders involved in the final sprint for victory.

However Buccheri was first past the finishing line in two hours 28
minutes 29 seconds, only one second ahead of second placed Bianchi and
two seconds ahead of third placed Ballatore. Francesco Pizzo (Mecca
Team) kept the overall leader’s red jersey with an aggregate time of 3
hours 14 minutes 4 seconds.

The female race was again dominated by the English Squadra Donne team.
Iona Sewell repeated Thursday’s feat by winning at San Martin as well in
a time of one hour 59 minutes and 7 seconds. Miriam Freemantle was
second in two hours and 36 seconds. Third place went to Dutch rider
Bernardette Jeremiasse (Noord Holland) in two hours one minute 58
seconds. Marie Claire Aquilina (Greens CC), who claimed third place on
Thursday, could only finish seventh in this second stage. Sewell
retained the red jersey as overall leader, having won both stages held
so far. Her aggregate time is two hours 52 minutes 59 seconds.

St Paul’s Bay Mayor Graziella Galea presented the medals and other
prizes to the winners.

The Tour ta’ Malta crosses over to Gozo on Saturday for the third stage
which will take place on the Xaghra circuit. A 67.5 km road race starts
at 10.00 a.m.

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