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Buttigieg and Aquilina win top categories in National Time Trial Championship 2024 opener

Aidan Buttigieg and Marie Claire Aquilina.

Aidan Buttigieg of D Sports Lab and Marie Claire Aquilina of Team Greens took the spoils in the first race of the National Time Trial Championship.

This year’s two championships organised by the Maltese Cycling Federation are being held again on three races per championship.  In his return from Australia to defend the title he won last season, Buttigieg ended up dominating in the Elite Category. At the same time, Aquilina did the same when she won the Category reserved for Women, which races took place on Sunday at the Salini Coastroad.

Each lap was 5km where the Elite, Under 23’s, Masters, Women and Juniors did 4 Laps, while the other categories involved the Under 12’s (1 Lap), Under 14’s (2 Lap), and Under 16’s (3 laps).

Buttigieg finished first in the Elite when he clocked in a time of 30:22.98, more than two minutes ahead of John Camilleri of B’Kara SJ (32:35.02). Daniel Briffa also from B’Kara SJ finished in third place (33:48.87).

The women’s race was dominated by Team Greens cyclists, with Aquilina finishing first in a time of 38:39.69, an advantage of 2 minutes and 13 seconds over her teammate Michelle Vella Wood (40:52.26). Fiona Tedesco also of Team Greens finished third (41:33.87).

Jacob Schembri of Mosta CC won the Under 23 Category in a time of 32:59.58. Luke Borg of The Cyclist-Agones (33:48.26) and Clyve Chetcuti of Mosta CC (35:13.48) finished behind him.

The Masters 40+ Category was won by Luis Joaquin Rojas Guzman of Team Greens in a time of 33:01.51. He was followed by Mark Zammit of Mosta CC (33:39.93) and David Cushing of B’kara St Joseph (36:19.08). Stephen Grima of D Sports Lab won the Masters 50+ Category in a time of 38:41.92.

Matthew Galea of Gozo CC won the Junior Category in a time of 48:09.21, while Ryan Gatt of The Cyclist-Agones won the Under 16 Male Category in a time of 29:15.71. Zia Fuji of Shamrock Stars won the Girls’ Under 14 Category when she did her two laps in a time of 21:42.65. Liam Daly also from Shamrock Stars won the Under 14 Boys Category in a time of 20:16.70. Amy St John of Mosta CC won the Under 12 Girls Category in a time of 13:24.23 while Ethan Cumbo also of Mosta CC won the Under 12 Boys Category in a time of 10:53.41.

After the races, the winning cyclists were presented with medals by Joe Bajada, Secretary General of the Maltese Cycling Federation. The next race will be this Sunday, 2 June 2024, the second one of the Road Championship. It will be held in the Żebbuġ Bypass and will start with the first children’s race at 7:30 am. Each lap is 4.5km.

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