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Finale Ligure Crowns Gaia Ravaioli and Cory Wallace New WEMBO 24 Hour Mountain Bike Champions

release by 24h Of Finale

June 05, 2017 (Finale Ligure, Italy) – Finale Ligure wraps up another great international success, the WEMBO World Solo 24 Hour Mountain Bike Championships; another endorsement for Finale and another strong evidence of the importance that this destination has achieved in the international mountain bike scene.

Cory Wallace and Gaia Ravaioli are the winners  ©  Francesco Bartoli Avveduti / 24hfinale.com
Hundreds of athletes take part in the WEMBO Championships once a year to race solo or in pairs for 24 consecutive hours, day and night, without breaks.

Cory Wallace  ©  Francesco Bartoli Avveduti / 24hfinale.com
Cory Wallace (Kona Factory Team) from Canada rounds off a dream he has been pursuing during eight long years; he hits the target during his first ever participation to a race in Italy, on a technical and varied race course.

Cory Wallace en route to victory  ©  Francesco Bartoli Avveduti / 24hfinale.com
“I come from the sport of hockey, where the roar of spectators and crowd is a big thing. Racing here in Finale has been  really thrilling; the enthusiasm of the people along the race course added strong motivation. I had a relaxed start and until the air temperature fell, I paced myself. Legs were good; as soon as some clouds closed in and it got dark I launched my attach and started imposing my speed”.

Cory Wallace, in the middle is first  ©  Francesco Bartoli Avveduti / 24hfinale.com
With 38 laps completed, a total of 380 km and 23.48 hours in the saddle, Cory gains a one-lap gap to the five-time world champion from Australia, Jason English (Pivot Jetblack Fizo Team) and holds a two-lap lead over the American Josh Tostado, third.

Gaia Ravaioli  ©  Francesco Bartoli Avveduti / 24hfinale.com
Our loudest applauses and most sincere congratulation go to Gaia Ravaioli (Bike Garage Team) from Genoa: she becomes the author of a remarkable chapter in the history of the Italian mountain-biking by taking the first ever Italian win in the ELITE category.

Showing up at the start line almost as an outsider, Gaia surprised everyone with a very fast start, up to the point that many were wondering if she could keep the same pace for long. Gaia was listening to her feelings: she didn’t give up and she kept the lead of the race from start to finish, securing herself a margin of more than one hour at some point. She only had to manage her lead over the chaser and defending champion Liz Smith, from Australia, who finished second.

 ©  Francesco Bartoli Avveduti / 24hfinale.com
Even if this sounds like the strategy of an expert 24 hour racer, this was only the third time she had participated in this type of event.

“I certainly went through some tough moments, especially during the night. I had a flat and I crashed, too. But I stayed calm, trying to overcome these problems with sheer determination. Taking part in a race of such importance here, in Liguria, my region, has been one of the things that motivated me most. But I owe a lot to my team too: they gave me massive support. I had set my mind on doing a good job, but I had never thought up to this point. It will take me a while to realize what happened in the last 24 hours”.

Gaia, with 32 laps, 320km and more than 24:16 hours in the saddle, pushes the defending champion Liz Smith into second by 16 minutes and Iwona Szmyd, from Poland, into third by one lap.

 ©  Francesco Bartoli Avveduti / 24hfinale.com
Happy days, too, for another Italian lady: Ausilia Vistarini who wins the Single Speed category (one gear only, during the whole race), while Steve Day (Travers-E3C Team) from Great Britain wins in the men’s.

In the men’s Team2, the pair Ultrabike Top Team, from Lithuania, take the win with 41 laps. In the women’s it has been a tight battle between the German Oppenau Mtb Team, winner at the end, and the Italian Buff Team.

The 24H of Finale proves to be one of the most exciting 24 Hours out there. An event where event village and expo area perfectly integrate with the competition to create a magic vibe, something really loved by participants and public both.

 ©  Francesco Bartoli Avveduti / 24hfinale.com
Russel Baker, founder of WEMBO, the organizing company: “Only here in Finale participation is so enthusiastic, with a warm, supportive public that loves and understands the essence of what is a very special discipline within mountain-biking. At the same time, the race course remains extremely hard and selective: this is the mix that makes the race of Finale something unique”.

Wrapped up the WEMBO World Championship with awards and rainbow jerseys, the spotlights are again on Altopiano delle Manie where at 15:00 the show kicked off with the 24H of Finale TEAM 4/8/12. With more than 2500 participants, and an edition that celebrates ‘Bike in Wonderland’, this second part of the event will give us again a lot of fun and an excitement just as intense.

For more info visit here.

Full results here.

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