Simone Avondetto is the Under-23 XCO World Champion. The French circuit of Les Gets has crowned him as the strongest young biker in the world, not even two months after winning the European title. It’s a big celebration for the Wilier – Pirelli Team.
At Les Gets what many hoped for, but did not have the courage to say in public, has happened. “Yes. "Simone Avondetto has all the credentials to become XCO Under-23 World Champion”.
The anticipation was spasmodic, especially in the Wilier – Pirelli team, despite the fact that the list of participants at this global event included athletes who were verging on unbeatable: partly because of the results obtained during the World Cup, and partly because they had trained extensively on the French circuit in order to know its most technical sections to perfection.
Nevertheless, at the start of the second-to-last lap, Simone sensed the clear slowdown of the outrider and great favourite of the race: the Chilean Vidaurre. He quickly closed the gap and immediately imposed a more severe rhythm, which exhausted the leaders and allowed him to cover the three kilometres and three hundred metres of the last lap in complete solitude, as all champions in their moment of grace.
Mirko Celestino, the coach of the Italian national team, was beaming.
“We had been missing a gold medal in cross-country for too many years and I wanted it with all my might. Giada Specia did very well in her race, but didn’t quite make the podium. From the opening scrambles it was clear that Simone had no fear and even when Vidaurre imposed his pace I didn't lose heart, because I know the tactical intelligence of our guy. Seeing him go all alone at the start of the last lap and then under the final finish line, well, it was an incredible build-up of emotions” he says.
Simone Avondetto, for his part, happily shows off the gold medal.
“I didn't think it would end like that. At the start it was very hard to get ahead and equally hard trying to keep up the pace of Vidaurre, who didn't seem to feel the fatigue. I lost a bit of ground in the first part of the race, but I tried to remain calm and rational. Then I saw him give up a little and I moved up again. When I forced the tempo he didn't respond to the change of pace and so I found myself alone. Truly blissful solitude”.
Now the name of the Wilier – Pirelli Team will stand out on the rainbow jersey and it can be safely acknowledged that URTA SLR is the bike that accompanied Simone Avondetto not only to the conquest of the Italian and European title but also to victory in the XCO Under 23 World Championship.
The year 2022 is and will truly be an unforgettable season.
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