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Etienne Bonello retains time-trial title, Aquilina lands women’s crown

The National Time Trial Championship was organised by the Malta Cycling Federation recently with Team Greens securing both the men’s and women’s titles.

Etienne Bonello retained the men’s crown for a third year in a row, while Marie Claire Aquilina secured the Women’s title.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s championship was decided on one race instead of the usual three. The race was held at the Mrieħel circuit where the participating cyclists completed eight laps for a distance of 23km.  

Before the start of the races, a minute of silence was observed in respect of Paul Attard known as ‘Chinelli’ who died last month.

Bonello (Team Greens CC) topped the men’s category when he completed the distance in a time of 29:05.41.

For Bonello, this was the 13th national  time-trial title. Bonello finished ahead of his team-mate Clive Ebejer (29:11.75), while in third place came Mark Bonnici, of Agones SFC, (29:20.49).

In the women’s category, the top three places was filled by Team Greens cyclists.

Aquilina made up for last year’s upset when she finished first in a time of 31:53.58. For her, this was the fifth national title. She finished ahead of team-mates, Danica Bonello Spiteri (33:09.16) and Michelle Vella Wood (33:38.85), respectively.

The Cyclist team topped the 40+ Masters category where Antoine Sultana emerged victorious in a time of 29:15.82. Nicholas Schembri (30:12.46) was second ahead of Justin Gauci, of Mosta AF Sign Studio CC, (30:45.08).

In the Masters 50+ Category, Mosta AF Sign Studio CC cyclists finished in the first three places with Kevin Muscat (31:40.94) taking the win ahead of Nicky Farrugia (32:51.52), and Emmanuel Camilleri (38:05.45).

The U-23 category was won by Luke Borg, of The Cyclist, who finished in a time of 29:18.36. He was followed by Kurt Muscat, of Mosta AF Sign Studio CC, who clocked 30:20.51, and Brandon Sultana of Gozo CC (30:30.34).

Daniel Schembri of Mosta AF Sign Studio was crowned Juniors champion when he finished first in a time of 31:10.02 ahead of Darren Sultana of Gozo CC (33:19.44).

Pia Zammit of Birkirkara St Joseph SC won the women’s Under-18 category when she finished her race in a time of 35:11.43. She was followed by two cyclists from The Cyclist, Kristina Spiteri (35:40.24) and Veronique Pace Asciak (39:26.99) respectively.

Another The Cyclist rider, Ryan Gatt was the only participant in the Under 14 men’s category where he finished his four laps in a time of 17:17.15.

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