This weekend, 5000 mountain bikers representing 30 nations are to start one of two marathon distances at the Dolomiti Superbike in Villabassa, Italy. With either the 60km/ 1,688 m route or the 119,9 km /3,822 m route to choose between. This year both tracks are raced in am anti-clockwise direction. Approximately 1,000 volunteers from Alta Pusteria will make their contribution to guarantee a successful event.
This year the mountain bike marathon with the highest number of participants is dominated by athletes in their 50s. With 250 registrations the riders born in 1966 account for almost 5% of all the participants. The oldest male athlete in this year’s edition is 77 years old, the most experienced female participant is 63 years old. 91% of all the athletes are coming from Italy, followed by Germany with 4.3%, Austria with 1.2%, Switzerland and Belgium with 0.7% each. Most of the participants are from South Tyrol (10.6%), followed by Rome (5.9%), Padua and Treviso (3.8 % each), as well as Bologna (3.3%). The longest journey to participate in the Dolomiti Superbike has been made by the athletes from Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Columbia.
It is the marathon’s legendary fame that brings athletes and mountain bike fans together in Alta Pusteria. The first Dolomiti Superbike took place in 1995 being one of the first mountain bike marathons in Europe, which is also one of the main reasons for its popularity and the increasing number of participants. Also this edition has been sold out completely. However, the registration process was stopped once the number of 5,000 participants had been reached in order to guarantee high quality individual assistance and safety standards. Last year the all time record of 5,500 registrations was hit.
Who could win the Dolomiti Superbike?
A quick look at the start list has newly crowned World Champion Tiago Ferreira as an outright favourite, but the likes of Urs Huber, Alban Lakata, Kristian Hynek, Samuele Porro or Tony Longo won’t let it go easily. Leonardo Paez has also tasted success in Italy recently, and could factor in the podium. I wouldn’t bet against Sally Bigham in the Elite women’s race – but Christina Kollman could give the race a good nudge
The overall prize money pool equals 25,000 Euro. The winners receive 2,500 Euro each, whereas the rest is distributed among the 15 top finishers in the male and 10 top finishers in the female category on the long distance, as well as the five top male and female finishers on the short distance. The top three in every category, 17 in total, will be rewarded with gifts.
We’ll know more about who won, and who couldn’t handle the pace, after the weekend.