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2022 Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike Paez and Peretti triumph at the 27th Dolomiti Superbike

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2022 Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike Paez and Peretti triumph at the 27th Dolomiti Superbike
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2022 Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike Paez and Peretti triumph at the 27th Dolomiti Superbike

The 27th edition of the Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike ended on Saturday with two victories of the favourites. In glorious weather, Colombian Leonardo Paez came out on top in the men's elite race, winning the MTB classic in Villabassa for the fourth time. In the women's event, Italian Claudia Peretti, who had won the bronze medal at the European Championships just under a month ago, retained the upper hand. 2500 bikers from 36 different nations took up the challenge of the MTB marathon in the Dolomite region 3 Peaks.

Leonardo Paez did it again! For the fourth time after 2006, 2016 and 2021, the Colombian won the Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike (123 km/3400 metres elevation gain) and gave himself a wonderful present just one day before his 40th birthday. The two-time marathon world champion from Team Soudal Lee Cougan International had to give everything in Villabassa and was challenged from the start by Andreas Seewald from Germany, Lubomir Petrus from the Czech Republic, Fabian Rabensteiner from Italy (Villandro), Urs Huber from Switzerland, Diego Arias Cuervo from Colombia and Samuele Porro from Italy.

The die was cast once again on the last climb to Prato Piazza, where Paez had the most reserves, charged his turbo, and reached the finish in Villabassa in first place after 4:43.30 hours. 28.3 seconds later, marathon world champion Andreas Seewald from Germany (Canyon northwave MTB Team) rolled across the finish line. Lubomir Petrus (D2mont Merida Cycling Team) from the Czech Republic completed the podium. The 31-year-old finished 1.07,2 minutes behind Paez. A strong fourth place and also his best result at the Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike was achieved by European champion Fabian Rabensteiner. The rider from Villandro, a member of the Wilier-Pirelli Factory team, was beaten in the final sprint by Urs Huber, a three-time Superbike winner from Switzerland.

In the women's race, Claudia Peretti, third in the European Championships, ensured an Italian success in the elite race. The 24-year-old from Basiglio near Milan triumphed on the new 85-kilometre course with 2360 metres of elevation gain in 3:50.17 hours. Peretti, who competes for the Olympia Factory Team, relegated German Adelheid Morath - an Olympic participant in 2008 and 2012 and recent winner of the Hero Südtirol Dolomites - to second place. The 37-year-old from Team Mount 7 finished 2:48.7 minutes after the day's winner. Third place also went to an Italian, namely to Debora Piana. The 35-year-old from Velo Club Cigli Cingolani clocked a time of 3:55.59 hours.

The best local biker was Sandra Mairhofer (RDR Italia Leynicese Racing Team) in fourth place. The cross-triathlon world champion from Monguelfo had to continue after a crash with a defect in the suspension fork and was thus powerless in the fight for the podium. Mairhofer ended up finishing 6:14.6 minutes behind Peretti.

The premiere of the new middle distance at the Dolomiti Superbike in the men's category could not have been more exciting. No less than five athletes delivered a gripping finish sprint in the centre of Villabassa, in which Francesco Failli had the best finish. The 39-year-old from ASD Cicli Taddei won in 3:17.31 minutes, beating his team-mate Francesco Casagrande, as well as last year's winner in the 60 km distance Nicola Taffarel (Wilier 7C Force) by a few tenths of a second.

The many fans in the centre of Villabassa were able to celebrate a South Tyrolean victory in the “classic race" (60 km/1785 hm). Philipp Plunger from Gudon (Martini Speed Team) came out on top in 2:26.46 minutes ahead of Alberto Magnani (RDR Italia Leynicese Racing Team) and Stefan Kerschbaumer from Chiusa. In the women's race, however, a biker from Poland took the victory. Anna Urban (BMC Poland) was the only participant to break the 3-hour mark, finishing in 2:56.25 hours. Second and third place went to two young South Tyroleans, Silvia Huber from Braies and Hannah Wiesthaler from San Candido.

Former regional minister Thomas Widmann and Emil Oberegger from Valdaora also took part in the Dolomiti Superbike, having competed in all editions of the long-distance race, and finished them all. Also participating was former skiing ace Manfred Mölgg and ex-biathlete Magdalena Wierer. Dorothea Wierer's younger sister managed a respectable seventh place in the “classic race".

Kurt Ploner, Chair of the Organising Committee, was happy with the results after the last participant crossed the finish line. "That was another top-class mountain bike festival. I would like to congratulate all winners on their achievement. In a very real sense, however, everyone who takes up the challenge of the Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike is a winner. A big thank you goes to our many sponsors and last but not least to our 1000 volunteers, without whose support an event like ours would not be possible. See you again at the 28th Dolomiti Superbike on 8 July 2023”, Ploner said.

The 27th Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike will conclude on Sunday, 10 July with the children's and youth races of the Junior Trophy.

Comments on the race:

Men's Winner Leonardo Paez from Columbia: "Of course I am overjoyed that I could triumph again here at the Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike. I’ve now had four wins, and many years have passed since the first one in 2006. The race today was very fast and there were plenty of attacks. I saved my attack to the end, got a lead and defended it to the finish."

Runner-up Andreas Seewald from Germany: "I feel torn. Immediately after finishing, I was a little disappointed that it didn't work out with the victory. Everything went perfectly according to plan until the last climb. I hoped that my legs would still be good in the final stretch. But they were not good enough for Leonardo Paez. In the last descent I hoped to catch him. But I didn't manage some technical sections in the best way."

3rd place Lubomir Petrus from the Czech Republic: "This third place in this classic race and top-organised event makes me very happy. Congratulations also to Leonardo Paez and Andreas Seewald for their strong performances. Of course, you look at the wonderful panorama for a while and it does release additional strength. I will certainly come back next year."

4th place Fabian Rabensteiner from Italy (Villandro): "I am very happy today because tactically I rode a very good race and achieved my best result here at the Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike. The top three were impossible for me to crack today."

Women's Winner Claudia Peretti from Italy: “I can barely believe it. I honestly didn't expect to win one of the most prestigious races in Italy, which every biker wants to win at least once; my goal today was a place on the podium. I was also here last year and finished fifth in the long distance. This year the victory - the 85 kilometres seem to be made for me."

2nd place Adelheid Morath from Germany: "The race is very difficult to ride, you have to be careful on the descents on gravel. You have to wait and remain calm when overtaking. But I definitely won second place and didn't lose the victory."

3rd place Debora Piana from Italy: "Right at my first appearance here I made the podium - it's almost unbelievable. On the ascent to Prato Piazza Adelheid Morath took off, while I passed Sandra Mairhofer on the downhill. Anyway, I am very satisfied."

4th place Sandra Mairhofer from Italy (Monguelfo): "I am a little disappointed. After a crash my suspension fork was blocked and on the downhills I lost a lot of time. But I think the new route is amazing, a big compliment to the organisers for this."

27. Dolomiti Superbike – Results:

123 km Elite Men
1. Paez Leon Hector Leonardo (COL) - Soudal Lee Cougan International Team - 4:43,30.1 hours
2. Andreas Seewald (GER) - Canyon Northwave MTB Team - +28.3 seconds
3. Lubomir Petrus (CZE) - D2mont Merida Cycling Team - +1,07.2 minutes
4. Fabian Rabensteiner (ITA) - Wilier-Pirelli Factory Team - +4,06.9
5. Urs Huber (SUI) - Team BULLS - +4,07.4

85 km Elite Women
1. Claudia Peretti (ITA) - Olympia Factory Team - 3:50,17.4 hours
2. Adelheid Morath (GER) - Mount 7 Team - +2,48.7 minutes
3. Debora Piana (ITA) - VELO CLUB CICLI CINGOLANI A.S.D. - +5,22.1
4. Sandra Mairhofer (ITA) - Rdr Italia Leynicese Racing Team - +6,14.6
5. Silvia Scipioni (ITA) - ASD Cicli Taddei - +10,27.6

85 km Men
1. Francesco Failli (ITA) - ASD Cicli Taddei - 3:17,31.8 hours
2. Francesco Casalgrande (ITA) - ASD Cicli Taddei - +0.3
3. Nicola Taffarel (ITA) - Wilier 7C Force - +0.4
4. Massimo Rosa (ITA) - Soudal Lee Cougan International Team - +0.5
5. Riccardo Chiarini (ITA) - Torpado-Südtirol MTB Pro Team - +0.7

60 km Men
1. Philipp Plunger (ITA) - Martini Speed Team - 2:26,.46.3 hours
2. Alberto Magnani (ITA) - Rdr Italia Leynicese Racing Team - +37.5 seconds
3. Stefan Kerschbaumer (ITA) - Race - +56.6
4. Andreas Laner (ITA) - Bike Team Gais ASV - +1,21.8 minutes
5. Maurizio Galli (ITA) - ASD Rocca di Papa Bike - +3,23.1

60 km Women
1. Anna Urban (POL) - BMC Poland - 2:56,25.3 hours
2. Silvia Huber (ITA) - Braies - +5,44.1 minutes
3. Hannah Wiesthaler (ITA) - San Candido - +12,00.9
4. Elisabeth Gietl (ITA) - Dobbiaco - +13,14.0
5. Luisa De Lorenzo Poz (ITA) ASD TEAM ESTEBIKE ZORDAN - +19,42.3

For all the results, click here.

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