So, after yesterday afternoon's finisher's party, the curtains close on one of the final ultra-cycling races of 2020, which happened to be one of the most exciting we have seen. The pace at the front end was relentless throughout, climbing and descending the flank of Vesuvius, forging a path along the coastal roads, and ascending the steep Mt. Faito climb. This was largely sustained in to the Apeninnes as riders rode in to the first night. A select group of riders formed containing Ulrich Bartholmos, Sofiane Sehili, Omar Di Felice and Joe Rass-Court with James Hayden not far behind.
India Landy, Ana Orenz and Nicky Shaw set the early pace in the solo women's category. However, after India had to scratch due to a crash, it was Ana that pushed through the first night to create a lead she held to the end of the race.
In the overall standings, after James and Joe both scratched due to crashes leading to mechanical issues, Ulrich, Sofiane and Omar battled it out, hardly stopping for rest until Mt Etna, and the finish in Nicolosi. It was ultimately Ulrich who held his lead until the finish, to be crowned winner of the Two Volcano Sprint 2020 (for the second year in a row). Sofiane finished in second, just over two hours later, and Omar finished third half an hour after that.
A chasing group had formed through the Apeninnes, which was also sustained until Sicily. The rest of the top ten finished over the next eleven hours: Cristian Auriemma in 4th, Kim Raeymaekers in 5th, Lukas Neubeck in 6th, Manuel Truccolo in 7th, Andrew Phillips in 8th, Adrien Liechti in 9th and Anabell Orenz in 10th.
During this time, the first pair, Mahe Clement and Jordan Gueguen also finished after nearly sixty-four hours racing.
Fanny Bensussan rallied after early issues to finish in 12th overall, and became the second woman to finish. Nicky Shaw was the third women to finish (in 22nd overall) fifteen hours later.
Our lantern-rouge(s) finished in just over five days. The Linton twins (Naomi and Ruth) had barely ridden bicycles before deciding to take on the 2VS challenge. One rode a B-twin bike because, as in her words, she’s the “B Twin”. Her clip broke halfway and she finished the race on flat pedals and 10€ plastic shoes. We think these two deserve the prize of “Legends”.
Also a massive thanks to the Two Volcano crew for making race commentary happen with live pictures and comments! See you all next year!
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