Sun, sea and the spirit of competition characterized the third day of the Maremma Cup in Porto Santo Stefano on Tuesday. Multivan Merida's Rudi Van Houts took home victory in the Kermesse event.
The community of Monte Argentario, an unusual setting for a mountain bike race, hosted the action as the race took place on the waterfront in Porto Santo Stefano on a short but grueling route, with some sharp curves. The crowd watched riders jostle for position, elbows wide.
The sea proved to be the perfect backdrop for the Kermesse. The Italian Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Team) won the first round, but in the finale, two Merida Team riders worked together to net a win for Van Houts.
Fontana, always very aggressive and motivated, managed, after a chase from Van Houts and Massa Marittima Kermesse winner Andreas Kugler, to overtake the latter, but Van Houts held on for the win. Fourth place went to Swiss Patrik Gallati (Scott Swisspower).
In the small final for fifth place, Michele Casagrande faced off against Marcel Wildhaber (Scott Swisspower), Tim Wynants (Trek Brentjens) and 1996 Olympic champion Bart Brentjens (Trek Brentjens).
Another Kermesse will be run Thursday in the city of Grosseto. Saturday sees a final Kermesse at Massa Marittima, and on Sunday, the Maremma Cup will wrap up with a cross country race that also serves as the first race of the racing Internazionali d'Italia series. That's when two additional Olympic Champions, Miguel Martinez and Julien Absalon, are expected to race, too.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Rudi Van Houts (Multivan Merida)|
|2||Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Team)|
|3||Andreas Kugler (Multivan Merida)|
|4||Patrick Gallati (Scott Swisspower)|
|5||Michele Casagrande (Elettroveneta Corratec)|
|6||Marcel Wildhaber(Scott Swisspower)|
|7||Tim Wynants (Trek Brentjens)|
|8||Bart Brentjens (Trek Brentjens)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|2||Marco Aurelio Fontana||9|
|4||Rudi Van Houts||5|
|5||Ralph Naef 4||4|
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