Alice was at the forefront in this first part of the season and will be the Italian National team’s greatest hope next Sunday in Veneto: “Legs and mind are good, everything can happen”
Alice Maria Arzuffi will take the lead of the Italian National team on her shoulders in the UEC European Cyclo-cross Championships in Silvelle di Trebaseleghe (Padua, Italy). She will be competing on Sunday November 10th in the women’s elite race, representing the home team, aiming to impress the huge number of supporters joining the event in Veneto to make them proud.
Arzuffi come from brilliant early season, as she faced the best world CX riders on an equal footing so far. Indeed, she achieved great results in the first two rounds of the Superprestige, by winning in Boom and then runner-up in Gavere, with a third place in the first race of the DVV Trofee, where the riders tackled the legendary Koppenberg.
Italy can dream for a prestigious result: Arzuffi was stable at the very top level since many years, but the possibilities of winning have never been as big as this year. She can rely on previous good results in the European Championships, since in 2015 she won the silver medal in Huijbergen (Netherlands) as a U23 and a bronze in Tabor (Czech Republic) in the 2017 elite category race.
“I got many continental medals, but I still missing the most precious one – the 25-year-old from Seregno (Milan) explained – I can’t hide I’m dreaming high, but I know how hard to reach the podium is, the European champion jersey even more. Motivation and legs are good, with a little luck everything can happen. To be honest, I feel pressure on me, as many people remind that ‘We count on you to get a good result’.The European Championships are always been one of the main goals of the season and I will give my best. Every year I try to be in a good shape in this period, but this time in particular, the event in my own country gives me plenty of motivations”.
The biggest threats come from those are usually her teammates in 777, but on Sunday becoming bitter rivals: “In my opinion, the favourite and the most consistent since the season’s start was my teammate Annemarie Worst, who is also the defending European champion – Arzuffi continued -. Obviously we can’t underestimate Sanne Cant, even though she hasn’t looked as great as we used to see her so far, but on the dates that matter, she is usually in the right place. Last but not least, I would mention my other teammate, Yara Kastelijn, who has been really strong since the beginning of the year”.
Alice for most of the winter season is forced to challenge her rivals in their home, between the frost and the mud of Flanders, now is up to her to do the honors, in a course she already knows, unlike most of the opponents: “I have been in Silvelle for the Italian Championship in 2017. They told me that the course is almost unchanged, with the addition of two stretches of sand, longer bridges and stairways. It is a course that I like, because you need to push a lot, but I sincerely hope for raining, so that the race can become even harder. It looks like a courses of Northern Europe, although there are not climbs or straights, where I can express myself in the best way”.
Silvelle ‘19 European Championship could therefore represent a new starting point for Italian cyclocross, of which Arzuffi is one of the most important representatives: “I expect many fans to come to see us, it is an event that deserves to be experienced live, with many young people who can really understand what cyclo-cross is – Alice concluded -. This competition can be the driving force for the whole movement of the Italian cyclo-cross. Since the event’s official presentation in Venice I realized the great passion of the organizers have put into it, and for me is a privilege to dress the ‘azzurri’ jersey in the European Championship”.
The event under the aegis of UEC unfolds along two days. On Saturday November 9th, 2019 the Masters competition will open the event, whilst six European titles will be assigned on Sunday November 10th. Sunday’s programme will start at 9.00 am CET with the Women Junior, followed by Men Junior at 9.50 CET, Women U23 at 11.00 CET, Men U23 at 12.20 CET, Women Elite at 13.50 CET and Men Elite at 15.20 CET.
Eurosport will be broadcasting the event all over Europe, while Italy, Belgian and Dutch National TV also scheduled an extensive live coverage.