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The Internazionali d'Italia Series begins with a view to Paris 2024

Four stages under the eye of CT Celestino: who will be the protagonists?

Luke Braidot
Luca Braidot - Credits: Michele Mondini

The countdown towards Internazionali d'Italia Series MTB 2024 in the season enriched by the Olympic Games in July has officially started. The most important season of every four-year period is at the starting line, some riders have changed uniforms and bikes, and coach Mirko Celestino has already called the representatives of theXCO national team for the first training camp of the season.

Source: Internazionali d'Italia press release

Waiting to define the exact names of the teams in the 2024 version, the path towards Paris 2024 takes shape in the calendars of the top riders with indispensable reference to the Internazionali d'Italia Series events. At stake are up to a maximum of two Olympic passes for men and two for women for each National Olympic Committee. The IOC has in fact reduced the contingent foreseen for Paris 2024 by one. In total, 72 athletes will be able to compete, of which two passes are entitled to France and another two to the so-called "universality places" assigned by the specific Commission. The quotas will be drawn up by adding the points of the three best-ranked cyclists from each National Olympic Committee during the qualification period which began on May 7, 2022 and will end on May 26, 2024.

Internazionali d'Italia Series 2023 passage.
Credits: Michele Mondini

The Internazionali d'Italia Series calendar represents an ideal opportunity to test the fitness of the contenders to wear the blue jersey, taking into account the events valid for Olympic qualification. The four events on the calendar are strategic: the debut in San Zeno di Montagna (Verona) on 16 March then stops in Esanatoglia (Macerata) on 30 March and in Nervesa della Battaglia – Rive degli Angeli (Treviso) on 4 May to close in Chies d'Alpago (Belluno) on 29 June.

The winner of the 2023 general classification, Daniel Braidot of the CS Carabinieri Olympia Vittoria (3rd Pineta Sperane, 3rd Esanatoglia, 1st in La Thuile, 3rd Alpago) has a clear vision of the season, to return to racing for the leader's jersey: "I have put IIS among my objectives, two tests will already be before the races in Brazil and we will already have to go strong there", evidence that could already be useful for selection by the CT Mirko Celestine. “The goal is to aim for the ranking again this year".

Luca Braidot Pineta Sperane XCO 2023
Archive photo San Zeno Internazionali d'italia series 2023

Another of the most anticipated men is the twin Luke Braidot (Santa Cruz RockShox Pro Team), winner of two tests of the Internazionali d'Italia Series in 2023, leading athlete of the national team who began his 2024 with the Italian team's retreat. His tricolor jersey will be seen competing for the first time in the Middle East in a direct challenge against Peter Sagan.

The young guns, less and less young and more reference athletes. Simone Avondetto (Wilier Vittoria Factory Team) after the forced stop in 2023 he wants redemption, he demonstrated his talent in Esanatoglia and he will want to play for a place in Paris. Andreas Vittone (KTM Protek Electrosystem) e Filippo Fontana (CS Carabinieri Olympia Vittoria): high caliber outsiders ready for the big leap.
In the women's field there will be exciting and unpredictable challenges.

Wilier Vittoria Factory Team will be the female team to beat, Giada Specia e Sofie Pedersen they are young athletes but with powerful displacements that they have already put in check Martina Bertha (Santa Cruz RockShox Pro Team) reigning Italian champion. 

“For me, international competitions have always been useful for understanding my state of form given the participation of important foreign athletes and it is a way to compete with high-level athletes. For me it is the Italian circuit of reference. We are still finalizing the race program but I plan to participate in some of the competitions in the series"He comments Giada Specia. 

Giada Specia
Giada Specia

Clare Teocchi (joined the Orbea Factory Team) has already included in her calendar some international events that are congenial to her, including Lamosano. 

Elian Paccagnella, silver at the 2023 Junior World Championship, will make the big leap and will be a reference among the U23s, leaving the field open in the junior category to Diego Milan (Rock Bike Team).

Similarly, Valentina Crows, reigning European Junior champion, will seek confirmation among the U23s, handing over the baton to Elisa Lanfranchi (KTM Protek Elettrosystem), already leader of the Internazionali d'Italia Series among the Juniors in 2023.

THE INTERNATIONALI D'ITALIA SERIES 2024 CALENDAR

  • 16 MARCH: San Zeno di Montagna (Verona);
  • 30 MARCH: Esanatoglia (Macerata);
  • 4 MAY: Nervesa della Battaglia – Rive degli Angeli (Treviso);
  • JUNE 29: Chies d'Alpago (Belluno). 


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