Local Sport > Cycling > FORMOSA WINS THIRD STAGE


Maurice Formosa won the third stage of the Malta Cross Country National Point Series unbeaten.

Meanwhile Marie Claire Aquilina undisputed queen of Maltese cycling, top billing despite setback at the start.

The windswept Majjistral Park played host to sixty two cyclists in the third race of the 2018 Malta Cross Country National Points Series. Exposed areas and tough technical zones were the order of the day, which was dotted with a number of technical issues and punctures, making it a frustrating race for some.

Maurice Formosa (The Cyclist) made his third win in a row to defend his overall lead in the Elite category of this year’s Series. Formosa took command of the leading pack after a short while into the race, setting the pace.

He was followed by Mark Bonnici (Pro Action Volata Team), Patrick Scicluna (Mosta AF Sign Studio CC) and David Anchu Kogl.

Scicluna took an assertive approach to overtake both Bonnici and Kogl in the second lap and maintained his pace to secure second place behind Formosa, with Anchu Kogl taking third place.

Marie Claire Aquilina is undoubtedly Malta’s top and most versatile female cyclist, able to dominate in both off and on road races.

Despite a minor setback which saw her starting the race late, she managed to slowly move up to the front position ahead of Katerina Javaspaviete and Danica Bonello Spiteri.

Podium favourites Lara Buttigieg and Claudine Gatt both had to contend with a number of issues which set them back to a disappointing day.

In the Open Category, Francesco Sultana led the way throughout, to register his second win of the Series. Sultana was followed by Martin Bonnici and Edward Rens with less than a minute and a half separating the trio.

Sultana’s win sees him climbing up to the top of the Overall Classification. Ack Hili led the Open category prior to suffering a flat tyre during the last lap, despite this he soldiered on to finish the race and keep his second place on the overall leaderboard.

The Males’ Masters 40+ Podium was made up of Paul Zarb, Enrico Brandamante and Domenic Cutajar whilst the 50+ Podium was made up of Brian Magri and Gaetano Catania.

Clive Chetcuti, Clayton Xuereb and Daniel Vella completed the Juniors’ Under 18 Podium.

The Race also welcomed eight enthusiastic Under 12 and Under 15 cyclists who were not put off by the high wind which had increased by the time they started their race. Once the course was completed, U12 and U15 cyclists were presented with a participation medal.

“Majjistral Route is always considered to be one of the toughest courses in the Series, where we register the most technical faults and cyclists having to stop. Despite this, Majjistral is a popular route and always well competed. Today we also welcomed back a group of Latvian cyclists who returned to Malta and our races after having taken part last year” as Pierre Zammit Endrich, President, Malta Mountain Bike Association explained.

The next race of the Malta Cross Country National Point Series is scheduled to take place on Sunday 29th April.

Photo by: Nigel Fleri Soler
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Sunday, January 20, 2019
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