Maremma Cup doubles for 2010

Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannodale Factory Racing) on his way to a win at the Maremma Cup in 2009.

Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannodale Factory Racing) on his way to a win at the Maremma Cup in 2009. (Image credit: Maremma Cup)

The Maremma Cup will return for a second year in Tuscany this spring. Last year, with the support of three-time World Champion Thomas Frischknecht, two Maremma Cup events drew international mountain bike racers to the Maremma Natural Park. For 2010, the racing will happen over two weekends in February and March.

The organizing committee, presided by Ernst Hutmacher, together with the Swiss champion Frischknecht and supported by the Chamber of Commerce of Grosseto, Provincia di Grosseto and Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation, decided to launch a multi-year project, so the second edition of the cross country event is scheduled for February 27-28 and March 6-7. The races have moved up to UCI C1 and C2 status, and organizers are dreaming even bigger for 2011.

Beside the two cross country competitions, which will once again take place in the town of Massa Marittima - on the same circuit that hosted the races in 2009 - four more promotional races are to be held on the streets of other historical towns.

In 2009, two promotional kermesses were won by Swiss superstar Ralph Näf. This year, two kermesses will feature - one on Tuesday, March 2 in Grosseto and one on Thursday, March 4 in Porto Santo Stefano.

Former World Champions Christoph Sauser and Julien Absalon are committed to next year's event as are current World Champion Nino Schurter, Florian Vogel, Miguel Martinez and the Italians Martino Fruet, Eva Lechner and Marco Aurelio Fontana.

Fontana and Lechner triumphed in 2009 on a rainy day that made for spectacular conditions.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.