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Great start from Aiden Buttigieg and Marie Claire Aquilina in National Time Trial Championship opener

Aiden Buttigieg of D Sports Lab (left), and Marie Claire Aquilina of Team Greens. Photo: Alexandra Madeley

Aiden Buttigieg of the new Gozitan club, D Sports Lab, and Marie Claire Aquilina of Team Greens started with a bang in the first race of the National Time Trial Championship.

The two championships organised by the Maltese Cycling Federation, this year are being held again with three races per championship. In sunny weather, Aiden Buttigieg on his return from Australia finished first in the Elite Category, while Marie Claire Aquilina won the Category reserved for Women, which races were held on Sunday at the Coastroad, Salina over a distance of 20 km over four laps.

Aiden Buttigieg finished first in the Elite when he finished his race in a time of 27:04.23, an advantage of 02:73.30 over Etienne Cutajar of Team Greens (29:21.53). Clive Bugeja of Mosta AF Sign Studio CC finished in third place. (29:40.35).

The Women’s race resulted in one dominated by Team Greens cyclists, with reigning champion Marie Claire Aquilina finishing in front in a time of 33:46.30 with a lead of 1.40:30 over Juleanne Vassallo (35.26: 60). Their teammate Michelle Vella Wood finished third (35.28:22).

Jacob Schembri of Mosta AF Sign Studio CC won the Under 23 Category in a time of 29.12:00. Luke Borg of The Cyclist finished in second place with a time of 30.35:04. Isaac Spiteri of The Cyclist finished in third position in a time of (33.45:92). Kristina Spiteri of The Cyclist won the Under 23 Feminine Category in a time of 36.52:82. Her partner Veronique Pace Axiaq finished in second place in a time of 40.57:00.

The Masters 40+ Category resulted in one dominated by Team Greens cyclists, with Luis Joaquin Rojas Guzman winning in a time of 29.30:32. Two other Team Greens cyclists, Nicholas Schembri (31.09:46) and Gordon Howe (32.33:45) followed respectively.

Kevin Muscat of Mosta AF Sign Studio CC won the Masters 50+ Category in a time of 31.33:02. He was followed by Enrico Bradamante of Agones SFC (35.12:61).

Gozo CC’s Matthew Galea won the Junior Category (41.02:18), while Shamrock Stars’ Zia Fuji won the Girls’ Under 16 Category when she completed both laps in a time of 19.28:16. Liam Daly of Shamrock Stars won the Under 14 Category when he did his lap of 5km in a time of 08.58:16. After him came two cyclists from Mosta AF Sign Studio CC, Ethan Grech (09.31:11) and Samwel Attaed (09.58:63).

The Under 12 Boys Category saw three Shamrock Stars cyclists in the first places, with Neil Cassar winning in a time of 08.55:89. After him were his teammates Kai Debono (09.16:57) and Julian Bugeja (09.33:29), while Nina Debono of Shamrock Stars won the Under 12 Girls Category (09.14:29), followed by Katie Ann Vella Wood of Team Greens (09.47:55) and Amy St John of Mosta AF Sign Studio CC (10.28:12).

At the end of this race, the medals were awarded by John Zammit and Joe Bajada, President and Secretary General respectively of the Maltese Cycling Federation. The next race will be the first of the Road Championship in San Martin, San Paul il Baħar on Sunday May 7, 2023.

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