Hermida, Absalon, Schurter to kick off season at Maremma Cup

Second edition set for Italian mountain bike event

Some of the world's top cross country racers will be attending the 2011 XX Maremma Cup, an important early-season European event. World Champion Jose Antonio Hermida, World Cup champion Nino Schurter, two-time Olympic Gold medallist Julien Absalon and Italian star Marco Fontana are some of the confirmed racers for the events in Massa Marittima, Italy, from February 26 to March 6.

"We are proud to present the second edition of the XX Maremma Cup powered by SRAM as an hors category cross country event, the highest level for a race below a World Cup event,"said organizer and mountain bike legend Thomas Frischknecht.

Teams like Scott-Swisspower, Multivan Merida, Cannondale Factory Racing and Orbea have chosen the XX Maremma Cup as their debut for the new racing season. They'll test their new bikes and equipment on a world class course with top level racing.

"We are lucky to have the best ingredients to organize the kick off of the 2011 mountain bike season. With ... the best riders from over 15 nations we have a true get together of the mountain bike racing scene," said Frischknecht. "Combined with the good food, great region and sun of Tuscany, it makes for a real nice happening. And the riding in Maremma is just spectacular!"

SRAM renewed its title sponsorship of the event. XX, the world's first 2x10 mountain bike groupset, was introduced globally in the spring of 2009 in Massa Marittima, after the first prototypes had been tested there a few months earlier at the Maremma Cup.

2011 Maremma Cup
February 26: Elite "short race", Massa Marittima
February 27: Cross Country (UCI category 2) Massa Marittima
March 1: Elite "short race", Porto Santo Stefano
March 2: Elite "short race", Grosseto
March 3: Elite "short race", Arci dosso Monte Amiata
March 4: Elite "short race" Massa Marittima
March 5: Cross Country (UCI category HC), Massa Marittima

For more information on the Maremma Cup, visit www.maremmacup.com.

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