Zampese a class of his own in drama-filled MTB race

2013-08-26 00:00

THE final day of competition at the UCI MTB Masters World Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg saw the Italians claim two of the three gold medals on offer, as Fabio Zampese produced the ride of the competition to oust Jan Withaar in the ultimate race of the event.

In the first race of the day, South Africa’s adopted German Nico Pfitzenmaier put the nightmare of the 2012 World Championships behind him to claim the rainbow jersey in the men’s 40-44 category, after he fought off his Absa Cape Epic partner, Brazilian Abraao Azevedo, to take the title.

After every lap, Pfitzenmaier looked to be pushing even harder and he never looked like he was going to relinquish the championship, no matter how hard the competition tried to catch him.

The second race of the day (35-39) was just as impressive, as Italian rider Mirco Balducci produced a great ride to beat off South African national champion Paul Cordes, to take the gold medal. The Italian dug deep to gain the lead at the end of the second lap and never looked back as he dropped Cordes to claim the title.

The final race of the championships (30-34) was filled with drama in a race that saw defending champion Italian Fabio Zampese obliterate a huge first-lap deficit to haul in local star Jan Withaar on the final lap and wint.

The drama occurred on the opening lap, where the Italian picked up a puncture and only managed to leave the first technical zone in 12th position. But he put his head down and pushed through to take a memorable victory.

Having ridden in a league of his own to claim the 2012 title, Zampese far out- performed his previous best to make it two from two.

In the build-up to the event, Withaar was determined to take the top position on the podium. But it was not to be, after he was beaten by a rider who was just in a class of his own on the day.

The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships takes place at Cascades MTB Park, Pietermaritzburg, from today until September 1.


Men: 30-34

1. Fabio Zampese (ITA) 1:47,30

2. Jan Withaar (RSA) 1:49,25

3. Oscar Gracia (ARG) 1:52,52

4. Dion Froneman (RSA) 1:53,08

5. Gaston Larralde (ARG) 1:54,13


1. Micro Balducci (ITA) 1:43,50

2. Paul Cordes (RSA) 1:45.39

3. Brand du Plessis (RSA) 1:46,02

4. Lamarque Olivier (FRA) 1:46,28

5. Sondre Norland (NOR) 1:50,26


1.Nico Pfitzenmaier (RSA) 1:17,31

2.Abraao Azevedo (BRA) 1:18,58

3.Jose Baron Yuste (ESP) 1:19,25

4.Neil Bradford (RSA) 1:20,54

5.Gunnar Tojren (SWE) 1:22,15

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