The Malta Independent 18 April 2019, Thursday

Satisfaction in Cyprus for Mountain Biker Jason Vella

Maria Vella--Galea Friday, 22 March 2019, 09:58 Last update: about 27 days ago

Three years after having hung up his boots and quit competitive cycling, Jason Vella (Agones SFC) has made a return to the international fold, when he took part in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, considered to be one of the most prestigious mountain bike race events in the world and is included in the Mountain Bike Series in the UCI Calendar.

The Three Stage event, saw Vella compete in the Masters' 2 Men Category and cover 126km over three days with the highest ascent of 1916m covered on the last day.

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 Vella did not have a good start in the first race when he suffered several mechanical issues and a crash. Luckily, despite it being a high speed accident Vella only suffered some bruises.  With two more days of competition ahead, Vella had to give his all on the flat and uphill routes to make up for the time lost in the technical part of the race.  Vella's determination pulled off as he obtained a second place in his category in both Stages 2 and 3.

Vella had to contend with Cypriot, Romanian, Dutch and Lithuanian riders who provided some tough competition.

"Having been out of competition for a number of years, I must admit that I lost quite a lot of precious time in the long single and downhill tracks. As I was lacking the experience I opted for the Masters' Category rather than the Elite as I did not feel ready to compete against some of the world's top athletes.  Having said that this was a great experience overall and am sure it will help me be more competitive in the local races. I must take this opportunity to thank all the veteran mountain bikers in Malta for supporting my return to racing even though I am competing against them.  A big thank you goes to by coach Bruno Mahsoudi for helping in my preparation," enthused Vella.

Vella has been competing regularly on the Mountain Bike Cross Country circuit organised by the Malta Mountain Bike Association. Although so far a local podium has eluded Vella, he has been registering improved performances throughout. 


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