a 370 m and 20 hm circuit
A bustling crowd attended and saw as around 100 athletes
The organisational committee of Sellaronda HERO organised the 1st XC Eliminator Italian Race in August 2013. Elia Silvestri and Anna Oberparleiter won gold medals. The amazing mountain bike knock-out race took place in Ortisei/Val Gardena under a clear, blue summer sky. A bustling crowd attended and saw as around 100 athletes took their places at the starting line. The Italian Cycling Federation has no doubt that this was one wellthought experiment. A complete success. The mountain bikers had to overcome a 370 m and 20 hm circuit in the centre of the main village of Val Gardena. Bikers had to complete the circuit twice, pedalling through the pedestrian zone and heading mountain bound, reach Hotel Post and from there turn a sharp left, rushing down towards the finishing line. Athletes had to be in tiptop shape and possess technical prowess. The circuit’s bedrock is peppered with eight natural and manmade wooden and rocky obstacles, and is made up of cobblestones and asphalt. The best-recorded time on the circuit was 40 seconds. The winner of the men’s category was 23-yearold Elia Silvestri, from Talamona in the province of Sondrio. In an adrenaline packed final, he beat his 28-year-old training partner Luca Damiani from Morbegno, province of Sondrio. Third came Mirko Tabacchi, 24-year-old crosscountry Italian champion, from Pieve di Cadore in the province of Belluno. "I am really pleased to be crowned the first Italian champion in this discipline. The XC Eliminator reflects my physical traits and my explosive nature!" declared Silvestri shortly after having won. The athletes first had to compete in heats of four bikers each. The two quickest passed to the next round. To win, a biker had to be not only fast and possess good techniques, but know how to ride a curve and have a lot of experience. Anna Oberparleiter, in her first year in the Elite section, triumphed over the other women participants. She beat the 12-times mountain bike Italian champion Eva Lechner in the final. Alessia Bulleri came third (Elba). "It’s such a great feeling to win, cheered on by such a spectacular crowd. Eva is one of the best bikers in the world: it had never crossed my mind I could have actually won" said the freshly crowned Italian champion. Alessia Bulleri, U23 section, placed third. Hubert Pallhuber, the head of the Italian Cycling Federation, was also extremely pleased "The 1st XC knock out Italian championship was a resounding success. The crowd was impressive, they were cheering along and the whole organisation was superb".