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The Team Cannondale Factory Racing ace chose Internazionali d'Italia Series to get the Olympic season started in Europe on Monday, April 5th. "Travelling out of Brazil seemed impossible, but now I want to defend the UCI #1.

The stars of mountain biking are always home at the Internazionali d'Italia Series. After the first stage in Andora, Capoliveri Legend XCO looks poised to offer another top-class challenge on Monday, April 5th.

Together with Nino Schurter, Maxime Marotte, Luca Braidot, and Kate Courtney in the women's lineup, another rider of international prestige is ready to embark on the ferry towards Elba Island. Henrique Avancini, the 32-year-old ace of the Cannondale Factory Racing Team, will debut his European season at Capoliveri Legend XCO.

The number one in the UCI international ranking was held in Brazil for many months due to the pandemic emergency, unable to travel, and unable to breathe the great international Cross country. "It was a tough time," he admits. - "I tried to go back to Europe several times, but I never made it. I've done a few races in America, but it's not the same. It's a handicap start because I couldn't plan anything, but I'm motivated to make up for the lost time."

Avancini's goals are both Tokyo Olympics and the World Championships in Val di Sole, but high-level competitions such as the Internazionali d'Italia Series represent the ideal test bench for approaching these titles. "The circuit has grown a lot. In Capoliveri there will be many champions, and I will do everything to find the best feeling. The route looks very enticing, even if watching a video is nothing compared to pedaling on it. The Internazionali d'Italia Series organizers do everything they can to have great athletes at the start despite the complex situation. A commitment rewarded by the awareness that the circuit achieved, now one of the most important in the world".

As Avancini was unable to race, the top of the UCI ranking is back in question. However, the Brazilian is not willing to give up. "Losing number one without having the chance to defend it would have been my biggest frustration. I lost a lot of ground, but I'm still at the top of the ranking. In Capoliveri, I want to start my journey to keep the top as long as possible - said the athlete from Petropolis. - Besides, Italy is my second homeland, given my origins. My professional career began in the Belpaese; I conquered my first World Cup podium and also my first world title".

The program of Capoliveri Legend XCO will start tomorrow, on Saturday April 3rd, with the youth competitions, and the 'GP di Inverno (Winter Gran Prix)' for Cadets and Rookies, whilst on Monday, April 5th, the Internazionali d'Italia Series races are scheduled: Junior Men at 10.30 CET, Open and Junior Women at 12.30 CET and Open Men at 14.30 CET.