Over 2000 cyclists gathered in Italy’s Valle di Fiemme for the 6th Marcialonga Cycling Craft, last Sunday. The youngest of the three Marcialonga events was due to take place along two courses of 135k and 80k each across the beautiful Dolomites, but due to an unexpected rockslide the long course was not feasible and everyone competed along the 80k route.
Italy’s Giuseppe Sorrenti Mazzocchi and Claudia Gentili managed to keep all the opponents at bay and set two new time records of 2h10’39’’ and 2h26’03 respectively. Carlo Muraro and Stefano Sala came in second and third in the male race, while Austrian Christiane Bitante and Italian Claudia Wegmann completed the women’s podium.
Among the hundreds of enthusiastic cyclists who joined the 2012 Marcialonga Cycling Craft there were some well-known cross country skiers who showed good skills on their bikes. Having won last January’s Marcialonga ski marathon, Norway’s Jørgen Aukland was surely one to be kept an eye on, to find out how he could behave with no snow whatsoever this time. Together with Italian XC specialist Bruno Debertolis they gave life to an exciting challenge on the Lavazé pass uphill, but once they crossed the pass the Italian got rid of the Scandinvian along the fast downhill. “Last winter Jørgen smashed everyone else on the closing uphill. Today it was my turn”, joked Debertolis at the end and Aukland replied with a smile: “You Italians are not that strong in XC skiing, but you simply fly on a bike”. Olympic gold and former World Champion Pietro Piller Cottrer took also part in last Sunday’s race and so did Italian skialper Mirco Mezzanotte (4th in male race), speed skater and 2006 Olympic gold Matteo Anesi, and Italian fencer and 1992 Olympic gold Dorina Vaccaroni.
The Marcialonga Cycling Craft event is the second of the Marcialonga family during the year. The third and last one will be the Marcialonga Running race next 2nd September.