Mountain Bike season kicks off in Pembroke

Thursday, January 20, 2011, 9:44

The Mountain Bike Season kicked off last Sunday with the traditional season opener race in Pembroke.

Under a near perfect sunny wintery day the riders raced from the start, a few metres away from the BMX track down to the Pembroke ranges, a circuit which is characterised by rocky terrain with technical downhills and leg breaking uphill single tracks. Different categories were held to cater for various biking abilities with the Elite category fielding Malta’s top bikers.

From the start Maurice Formosa took the lead into the first technical downhill, He was followed closely by Jason Vella, Etienne Bonello, Mark Bonnici & Clive Ebejjer. It was Bonnici that forced the pace in the first uphill as riders struggle to keep their positions. Formosa made things more serious as he attacked by the top and steepest part of the hill, However Bonello answered promptly to Formosa’s challenge and the two opened a slight gap at the top. The pace settled down in the second lap with Vella and Jeffrey Borg joining the front runners.

Up into the second lap Bonello charged the hill and attacked the group to break away. Vella and Borg suffered mechnical misfortunes and lost their positions, meanwhile Formosa also had his rhythm when hitting a rock hidden in the vegetation. Bonello powered his way through the remaining four laps to finish the race in 52:00, Formosa had to settle for second 2:12 down on Bonello followed by Ebejjer a few metres behind. In the Sports Category it was the day for Owen Ciantar who produced an excellent race; he was followed by Kenneth Schembri. Marie Claire Aquilina showed improved mountain bike ability as she powered her way to the finish in 49:36.

The next mountain bike race will be held in Sunday 30th January at Mizieb, further details may be obtained by visiting www.maltamountainbike.com





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