Formosa makes complete sweep; Schembri wraps up sports category title
The fourth and last MTB XC NPS race was held last Sunday at Selmun.
The highly technical 3.0km track immediately indicated to all contestants that they were in for a tough race demanding hard and concentration – the variable rocky stages also had a number of riders withdrawing due to flat or ripped tyres.
The ELITE riders immediately went through their business powering through the variable terrain along the track prior to tackling the ‘mother of all climbs’ at the latter stage of the lap. This climb ultimately proved to be the deciding factor in terms of placing and timing for each participant.
Both Formosa (The Cyclist) and Mark Bonnici (Agones SFC) from the ELITE category set up the pace with Patrick Scicluna (Mosta CC) close on their heels. Ramon Grech (Agones SFC) initially also put up a challenge but had to withdraw at lap 1 due to damage sustained in his front wheel.
Formosa kept his impressive pace throughout each lap constantly improving his gap from the chasing duo to finish all 6 laps in an impressive 1:06:31 thereby making a clean sweep of the NPS winning all 4 races and the ELITE overall category – Scicluna managed to overtake Bonnici in lap 5 to finish 2nd in 1:09:12 with Bonnici concluding in 3rd place in 1:12:52.
The SPORTS category offered all present a very exciting and interesting contest with the first three riders placing in less than one minute from each other.
Mark Micallef (The Cyclist) made an impressive and welcome return to the MTB circuit by finishing first in 37’.07.40” after edging 2nd placed Dennis Dolci at the last stage of lap 3, the latter being constrained to carry his bike all through the uphill section with a flat tyre and still managing to finish 2nd in an impressive 37’.26.24”. Wayne Schembri (MTB Malta) showed all his grit in finishing third in 38’.04.55” and also managing to wrap up the SPORTS category overall placing.
The LADIES category was not contested due to the unavailability of all participants either due to injury and/or personal commitments abroad.
The final overall classification for the National Points Series is as follows:
1st - Maurice Formosa, 2nd Mark Bonnici, 3rd - Ramon Grech.
1st - Wayne Schembri, 2nd Alex Gatt, 3rd - Anton Muscat.
1st - Danica Bonello Spiteri, 2nd - Marie Claire Aquilina, 3rd Claudine Gatt.
Next on the calendar
Today: DH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP/NPS 2 at SELMUN 2pm Tomorrow: MTB XC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP at MGARR 8am