Report – Bonito squadra’s trip to Tour ta Malta


Bonito Squadra have a very succesful trip to the Tour ta Malta 2014 with two first places

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Report – Bonito squadra’s trip to Tour ta Malta

Tour Ta’ Malta April 3rd to 6th 2014 – 20th edition
The Tour Ta’ Malta hosted its 20th edition on the island of Malta and including a stage on the beautiful island of Gozo. Notable winners in the past have included Nicole Cooke and Corley Cycles rider Roy Chamberlain.

4 Day Stage Race
Day 1 Mellieha: Individual TT – 18.5km
Day 2 San Martin Circuit: Road Race
Day 3 Gozo: Circuit Road Race
Day 4 Zebbug By-pass: Individual TT – 12km

In the women’s event, 42 ladies started the first stage with teams from the Malta, Italy, Sicily, Holland and a strong British contingent including Bonito Squadra Corse, GB cycles, Squadra Donna, Team Jadan and Fusion RT.

Bonito Malta 1

Bonito’s Mathilde Mathijsse was defending champion and started strongly finishing 2nd in the opening TT, losing only 7 seconds to the stage winner. Mathilde Pauls (Fusion RT) was 3rd and she proved to be Mathijsse’s main rival. Overall Bonito Squadra Corse had five riders in the top 20 after stage 1, an excellent start to the tour.

Stage 2 was a road race on the demanding San Martin circuit which featured a tough 1.5k climb with an average gradient of 6%. From the start, Bonito Squadra Corse took control of the race with Mathilde Mathijsse well supported by her team mates Lauryn Therin, Kiera McVitty and Ellie Cadzow. In the end, a small select group contested the climb to the finish, Mathilde taking 3rd place and securing the leader’s jersey.

Stage 3 began with a short ferry trip to the island of Gozo. On a circuit that included a climb, flat section, cross and head winds, Bonito Squadra Corse again worked well together to protect the leader’s jersey starting with a 32 seconds advantage. Lauryn Therin was particularly vigilant, policing breaks and was able to get into the decisive break with Mathilde Pauls and Maxine Filby (Trek Bicycle Coventry).

As the gap between the leaders and the peleton increased, Mathilde Mathijsse launched a solo attack off the front of the chasing group reducing the time gap to the leaders to 14s. This secured her 4th place and so she retained the leader’s jersey. Lauryn Therin employed excellent tactics, sitting on the wheels of her breakaway companions. In the sprint to line, she won convincingly to secure her first win in Bonito colours.

Bonito Malta 2

The final stage, a TT, was 3 laps of the Zebbug by-pass. On the outward leg, a strong tail wind assisted the riders to achieve speeds of over 60km/h. The return leg into the wind was much tougher, however this is where Mathilde Mathijsse’s strength and power came into their own enabling her to beat Mathilde Pauls for the jersey by 75 seconds.

Overall Mathilde Mathijsse won the GC by 93 seconds and retained the leader’s jersey for the second year running.

In the Master’s race James Stewart of Bonito Squadra Corse dominated from start to finish, winning 3 out of the 4 stages. His overall margin of victory was a staggering 6 minutes and 1s.

The race for 2nd place was much tougher with Stewart Wilson (Bonito Squadra Corse) and Giuliano Montedori (SS Grosseto) fighting to the end. On the final stage Stewart Wilson put in an excellent performance to finish 2nd and this was good enough for him to finish overall 2nd on GC.

Steve Lovell unfortunately missed a podium spot by 3 seconds to finish 4th and 7th in GC. In the Elite race competition, the standard was demanding with a large field of riders. The eventual winner dominating all stages was Giuseppe De Salvo of Team Maggi. Bonito Squadra Corse’s highest placed rider on GC was Phil Giles, this was well deserved result having battled and ridden consistently on all stages.

Full the full results



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