Kate Courtney has won the second round of the Internazionali d’Italia Series, a UCI Class 1 race held on the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany on Monday.
Heading into the final lap of the race, Courtney had a six-second gap on Team Infinity's Chiara Teocchi. The American was able to hold off the chasing Italian and take the win by about 25 seconds. Caroline Bohe of Denmark rounded out the podium.
“I couldn’t ask for a better way to start the season or a more beautiful place to do it," Courtney said in a team press release. "The course here on Elba was technical and very demanding mentally, so I focused on riding my own race and getting into a smooth rhythm on track. I am proud to come away with the win and take the first step forward on my comeback tour after a lot of time away from racing and a few disappointing world cups last year!"
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In the men's race, Courtney's Scott-SRAM teammate Nino Schurter took second place behind Henrique Avancini.
"The first race of the season hurts always a bit more than the ones to come," Schurter said. "I felt good and was the dominant rider in the lead group. But this was not enough to make the difference during the race. In the finale, the explosives it takes to beat a strong riding Henrique Avancini in the sprint was not quite there yet. But all in all, I'm satisfied with this season start."
The Italian race served as a chance for Courtney to get back between the tape ahead of the World Cup season and the Olympic Games mountain bike race, both of which the American is a favorite for. The race was Courtney's first victory since 2019, as the 2020 international race calendar was severely shortened because of COVID-19.
The team will remain in Italy, spending time in Massa Vecchia and then racing in Nalles. The first World Cup round is coming up on 8-9 May in Albstadt, Germany.