Road Race National Championship Formosa prevail at Zurrieq, Bonello takes National title

Saturday, June 29, 2013, 11:15

It was a tight and exciting finish last Sunday at Zurrieq to determine the road race national championship title. Team Greens Christian Formosa edged his older brother Maurice (The Cyclist) on the line to take the final round.  Etienne Bonello of Team Greens who just missed the podium by a few centimeteres sealed his overall lead after scoring full points in the previous two rounds in San Martin and Nadur. After a period of two years the Zurrieq circuit was re-introduced in the local calendar following major road improvements at tal-Maqluba , the infamous stretch of road that provided all the action due to its uneven surface.

This time round the new surface changed dramatically the outcome of the race as riders could cope better on even surface and found less difficulty to keep the pace over this section leaving the race undecided till the very end.  Many a rider tried attacking moves in the initial laps however little space was given by the peloton and despite many attempts by Mosta, The Cyclist and Agones, Bonello’s Team Greens always kept the race knit till the very end. Into the final laps with a full field of riders still at the front the tal-Maqluba road was ridden at a frantic pace by the championship contenders however this caused little damage and the race was determined with a sprint finish into Zurrieq.

A surprise move in the final kilometer by Justin Gauci (Agones) set the finale on fire. Gauci was swallowed by the chasing group in the final metres as Jason Vella (Team Greens) opened the sprint from a distance. Five riders catapulted themselves from behind  Vella’s wheel to the line. Christian and Maurice Formosa battled each other till the very end with the younger Christian Formosa (Team Greens) edging Maurice (The Cyclist) on the line by a couple of centimeters. Pierre Borg finished third followed by Etienne Bonello and Mark Bonnici. Etienne Bonello claimed his seventh national road race title with out going champion Maurice Formosa in second and Jason Vella in Third.

The race was run smooth by the Malta Cycling Federation, the Malta Police Force who controlled the traffic, Club officials and volunteers. The next race will be the second round of the Time Trial national Championship at Mriehel bypass on 8th July

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