The Italian National Champion and Internazionali d’Italia Series’ defender occupies the first overall place in the Open Women category after the first two stages in Nals and San Marino. “The win at Titano XCO relaunched my ambitions. Ny goal is to defend the lead in Pineto and Chies d’Alpago.

One thing is for sure: Serena Calvetti doesn’t give up easily. If the Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race in Nals (Bozen, Northern Italy) seemed to have affected her chances to defend the Internazionali d’Italia Series title, the queen of the 2017 edition is now back in line to keep the crown after winning the first edition of Titano XCO, in San Marino, and with two more stages left to race. In fact, on Sunday June 10th, the athletes will face the Aprutium Race in Pineto (Teramo, Central Italy), followed by Internazionali d’Italia Series’ final showdown at Alpago Bike Funtastic, to be held on Saturday June 30th in Lamosano di Chies d’Alpago (Belluno, Northern Italy).

“The start was difficult this year - said the KTM-Protek-Dama rider - I wasn’t in great shape in Nals and the opponents were very strong. After the opening stage, I thought I had lost every chance to conquer the overall win, but the success at Titano XCO relaunched my ambitions. In addition to the good feelings, in San Marino I found back the win and the overall leadership. I’m happy, and I want to defend this jersey”.

Calvetti 43, Tovo 40, Marchet 39: it’s a wide open run for the Open Women crown at the halfway point. The defending champion moved back to the front, but the main opponents will try to disrupt the plans of the 28-year-old athlete born in Piedmont. “The gap is very small in the overall standings. Pineto and Chies d’Alpago promise a great show with the battle between Marika Tovo, Giorgia Marchet and myself - continued Serena Calvetti - also Chiara Teocchi should not be overlooked, even though she did not race in San Marino. Chiara is a strong athlete, and always has a shot for a comeback”.

“Compared to last year, the road to the overall success is proving tougher, but I was ready for that - Calvetti commented - In the 2017 edition, winning the first stage in Verona immediately gave me a lead to defend: this year, the gap is small but I will try to exploit every opportunity to extend my reign.”

The second overall win in a row at Internazionali d’Italia Series is the main seasonal goal of the Italian biker, along with the National Championships. With one month to the Aprutium Race in Pineto, Calvetti is focused on the grand finale of the most important Cross Country circuit in Italy. “Chies d’Alpago’s organizers made some adjustments to the route but we all know the circuit’s characteristics. Pineto represents a novelty, so adapting to the new course will prove crucial. I will travel to Aprutium some days in advance to discover the circuit in person. The organizers are doing a great job and a good show should be expected.”

“On Sunday May 6th, I will face an international race (C1) in Graz (Austria), followed by a training period in view of the upcoming UCI World Cup rounds and Internazionali d’Italia Series’ last two stages. The athletic condition is good, but I need to keep it going towards the next appointments”, concluded Calvetti.

2018 Internazionali d’Italia Series' calendar:

April 15th: Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race – Nalles (BZ) – Cat. HC
April 22nd: Titano XCO – San Marino (SMR) – Cat. C2
June 10th: Aprutium Race – Pineto (TE) – Cat. C2
June 30th: Alpago MTB Trophy – Lamosano di Chies d’Alpago (BL) – Cat. C1