SÜDTIROL SELLARONDA HERO MTBMARATHON:
MORE THAN 1500 BIKERS FROM
27 COUNTRIES READY FOR THE CHALLENGE
Selva Val Gardena (BZ), – Only a few days to go to the Südtirol Sellaronda HERO Mtb-Marathon, and this is the time when the final details are made in preparation to host on Saturday 2nd July 2011 more than 1500 bikers coming from a grand total of 27 countries, Australia, USA, and Argentina included - a great global event is assured. With one or two new ideas being introduced and with a highly competitive international field the second event promises to be even more spectacular and successful than the first. Of course the race route, or better the case, the race routes, for as was the case last year the ‘heroes’ will choose between a 50 kilometre circuit (with an altitude difference of 2,600 metres) and an 82 kilometre circuit (with an altitude difference of 4,200 metres) with start and finish at Selva Val Gardena.
Given the toughness off the course the athletes will not only have to challenge each other but they will test themselves to the limit. Amongst the 1500 taking part are 40 from the Elite Category, 10 of whom have recently competed in the Montello Wold Championship. Mirko Celestino is one of these. Mirko is number 1 in the UCI world ranking and vice champion of the world in 2010 and bronze medal winner in last Sunday’s Montello Wold Championship. He is really up there on the top pedestal as the person to beat in all the international mountain bike racers. Also to mention as favourites to win are Mike Felderer (15th at the World Championships 2011), Massimo Debertolis (7th at the World Championships 2011, Johann Pallhuber, and Alexey Medvedev from Russia (number 9 in the UCI world ranking). Mention is to be made also of Klaus Fontana, winner of the first edition. And latest news is that two other Italian riders, Ramon Bianchi and Johnny Cattaneo, fresh from their participation in the MTB World Championship are now set to make the starting line!
No less interesting will be the contest between the ladies on the 82km course, the Italian Michela Benzoni and last year’s winner Anna Ferrari up against Birgit Soellner from Germany (number 3 in the UCI world ranking and 9th at the 2011 World Championships), Theresia Kellermayer from Austria (number 12 in the UCI world ranking), and also Barbara Kaltenhauser from Germany.
The unity of the Organising Committee, coordinated by Peter Runggaldier and Gerhard Vanzi, is evidenced by the registration of their Team Scott (made up of 6 members) and worthy of mention is the team put together by sponsor UniCredit, the banking institute, which will have 20 mountain bike fanatics at the starting line. And we are pleased to announce the participation of Thomas Widmann the Bolzano Provincial Minister for Transport and Commerce.
As for last year’s race the stars of the Italian Ski World Cup team, Peter Fill and Christof Innerhofer, will be raring to go go go! The Südtirol Sellaronda HERO for them is a race on their very doorstep and as such they consider it a local event not to miss. You can read more about the ski world’s attitude to mountain bike racing for Christoph Innerhofer is featured in the edition of SportWeek out on 2nd July as an insert to the Gazzetta dello Sport. As for preparations themselves Peter Runggaldier, speaking in his role as Course Technical Director, informs us that all is going according to plan, even if in the area of Arabba there still remains some snow, which, if the weather does not intervene favourably, will need to be cleared in the next days. He adds that the attention the HERO, or ‘our Hero’ as he proudly puts it, is attracting is surprising and at the same time stimulating, and he has no doubt that the HERO will enjoy a great future. In fact the success of the event and the plaudits which arrive are themselves a tribute to the precious team work of Selva Val Gardena Tourism Association, Val Gardena Marketing, and not to forget the Tourism Consortiums of Alta Badia, Arabba, Val di Fassa and Alpe di Siusi.
One of the news items for this year’s event is the partnership established between Südtirol Sellaronda HERO and Enervit, the well known company, considered leader in the field of nutrient supplements for sports persons. Specifically for the BTB Marathon Enervit has put together a programme of tips and advice for participants in the HERO. Going to www.sellarondahero.com you will be able to see the elaboration of Dott.ssa Elena Casiraghi on what will be the energy levels required and how best to prepare yourself and ensure a correct nutrition before, during, and after the race. And, what is more besides, is that Enervit will be official sponsor of the 5 ‘feeding stations’ available along the race route.
The Sellaronda HERO is most certainly a demanding sporting event but it also wants to play its part in reminding people of the role they have to play in protecting the wonderful environment in which they find themselves. In this respect Gerhard Vanzi comments «We have come up with a Eco-HERO initiative which categorically states that any rider throwing away paper or whatever type of rubbish will be unconditionally disqualified.». In other words, whether you be a champion or a novice, paper and rubbish are to be disposed of appropriately and if need be deposited at the end of the race.
Those wishing to have a close-up view of the competition and witness first-hand the endurance required by the bikers can do so by using the uphill lift systems which will be open at Selva Gardena, Corvara, Arabba, Canazei, Campitello and Siusi. Alternatively you can follow developments from the comfort of your home and thanks to a direct web connection (as well as being available on the pages of Facebook and twitter), covering the final 16 kilometres from Passo Duron (2,280 mts) to the arrival at Selva Val Gardena, between the times of 11.30 and 13.00.
And why not relive the emotions of the event and this very special day by tuning into the highlights on Rai Sport 1 at 21.30 on Tuesday 5th July.
Sellaronda Bike Day, an event which is open free of charge to all and runs from 08.30 to 15.30. The four Dolomite Passes will be closed to traffic. New for 2011 is that the cycling direction will change, organisers asking cyclist to proceed in an anti-clockwise direction.
For information: http://www.sellarondahero.com/