All You Need To Know For The UCI Marathon World Cup In Italy

by | Jun 2, 2023 | Bike Racing News, Bike, Bike Events & Racing, Events, Sports, UCI MTB World Series 2023

The 3rd and 4th of June brings another weekend of UCI Mountain Bike World Series racing with round 3 of the Enduro World Cup and round 2 of the Cross-country Marathon World Cup taking place in Finale Ligure, Italy!

As we mentioned in our previous article, Enduro (EDR) and Marathon (XCM) racing have been awarded “World Cup” status alongside the usual Downhill and Cross Country events.

Over the course of the season we can expect 8 rounds of World Cup Downhill, 8 Enduro World Cups, 9 XCO/XCC World Cup events, and 4 Marathon World Cups across 3 continents, 10 countries, and 15 venues.

Enduro and Marathon World Cups will not be live streamed but will have highlights videos published to the UCI MTB World Series YouTube Channel after the events.

Uci Mtb Marathon World Cup In Finale Ligure Italy
The Enduro World Cup will be based around Pietra Ligure and there XCM racing from Finalborgo (c) UCI MTB World Series

Who are the African riders racing in Finale Ligure?

XCM World Cup:

Marco Joubert – Imbuko {type}DEV

Tristan Nortje – Toyota Specialized

Amy Wakefield – e-FORT / Freewheel Psychology

Kim Le Court  – Efficient Infiniti Insure

Vera Looser – Elysator Lapierre

We asked each rider what their ambitions are for the Italian XCM World Cup and what their expectations are for the race on Sunday:

Marco Joubert – Imbuko {type}DEV

“It’s a big step forward for marathon MTB racing with the UCI world series adding a World Cup roster for XCM. I have no real expectations. I just want to give my best effort on the day of the race and to mostly learn from this trip for future ventures. A top 20 result will be satisfying. Maybe a top 10 is possible if the race goes perfectly, but yeah, mostly here to soak up the experience and make notes to be more prepared for next time.”

Uci Mtb Marathon World Cup In Finale Ligure Italy
Marco Joubert ready to rock and roll in Italia!

Tristan Nortje – Toyota Specialized

“This race is a big race, well it’s a World Cup. As everyone knows the XCO world cup, this is just Marathon so the best marathon riders in the world are there. I don’t know what to expect but I know the competitors and know what to expect from them I suppose. It’s a course that I think suits me really well; long climbs and long efforts with some awesome trails. All the work is done and the form looks good. Just going to give it my all and see what I can do!”

Uci Mtb Marathon World Cup In Finale Ligure Italy
Nortje frothing for some insanely long climbs!

Amy Wakefield – e-FORT / Freewheel Psychology

“The men and women’s field is very strong and competitive, completely justifying the initiative of creating a World Cup XCM series and that’s super exciting!

Finale Ligure is going to be a HARD day out for sure. 100 km with 4000 m of ascent will be the ultimate test. There is however 38 km of crazy cool Singletrack that will not only test the rider’s technical skills, but add a whole bunch of fun to a day otherwise guaranteed to be filled with pain 🤪.

The women’s event will be hotly contested, of course I will go for the win but so will everyone which will make for a very exciting day out.

If I’m feeling good, it’s a course that will suit me, so I am really looking forward to it.”

P.S. The Europeans will be firing on all cylinders because the European Champs are on the 11th, the following weekend.

Uci Mtb Marathon World Cup In Finale Ligure Italy
Amy Wakefield aboard the Specialized Epic Evo after her Epic World Cup was sadly stolen in Belgium. The added travel of the Evo might be appreciated on the Finale trails!

Kim Le Court – Efficient Infiniti Insure

“To be fair, I have no clue of what to expect. I heard about the Marathon World Cups literally 2 weeks ago. So I jumped on the occasion and entered as there are no races here in SA.

I’m looking forward to it. I’m really looking forward to racing in Europe. I’ve never raced MTB in Europe, so it should be a new experience for me! 

I’m hoping things go smoothly, and come back home with a good result for the team.”

All You Need To Know For The Uci Marathon World Cup In Italy

Vera Looser – Elysator Lapierre

“Entering a race before looking at the course is not always ideal. Especially if the route is 100km with 3700m of climbing. 🤪 Probably not my favourite profile for a mtb marathon race, but I guess what goes up, must come down.

I am using this World Cup to build my form for some big goals later this year. On the other hand I am really excited to compete at my first World Cup in this discipline and measure myself against the world’s best riders.”

All You Need To Know For The Uci Marathon World Cup In Italy
From Cape Epic podiums to Sea Otter Classic in USA, stage racing in Morocco, and now Finale Ligure; Vera has been racking up the frequent flyer miles this year!

Who was on top at round 1 in Nove Mesto?

Lejla Njemcevic (Bosnia) was the fastest woman on the 120km course in Nove Mesto Na Morave. She took the win ahead of Katazina Sosna and Irina Leutzelschwab (Amy Wakefield’s original Cape Epic partner for 2023). Amy Wakefield was the only South African competing at the first XCM World Cup and she placed 6th by just under 10 minutes.

The men’s results list was reflective of a competitive Cape Epic field! Wout Alleman (Wilier-Pirelli) held the lead for the majority of the race but had to retire from the race due to a crash 10km from the finish.

Fabian Rabensteiner (Wilier-Pirelli) snatched the win in a bunch sprint of 12 riders. Nicolas Samparisi (KTM Alchemist) and Simon Stiebjahn Singer Racing) took 2nd and 3rd. See the highlights below. With a more physically demanding course in store this weekend, I don’t think we will be seeing such a large group still together at the finish line.

About Finale Ligure

Situated about 2 hours drive east from Nice on the Italian coast, Finale is highly regarded for its mountain biking with 1500m of elevation reaching up from the sea into the mountains behind the town, one can pedal right from the streets onto the trails or catch a shuttle for pure gravity enjoyment!

Uci Mtb Marathon World Cup In Finale Ligure Italy
European geography reminder and a pin for Finale Ligure.

The scenes here are postcard perfect and the riding as flowy or technical as you could want, just pick the right trail! Having visited Finale Ligure to race enduro in 2019, I can firmly recommend a visit if you have any European riding plans! Gelato, warm ocean water, a huge range of trails

“The Finale Outdoor Region needs no introduction. This venue is one of the most famous and loved mountain bike destinations in the world. The area has hosted high profile enduro and cross-country events for over 20 years, and it’s little wonder, as the region has hundreds of trails with a wide variety of environments and terrains, from the mountains to the sea. The region boasts an incredible 180 trails, 590 kms and 365 days of trail work each year” – UCI MTB World Series

The Courses


Say a prayer for these riders. It is a rough one! 1 lap, 100 km, 3760 m of elevation gain and descent. 1000m metres are gained in the first 17km. Legs will be burning! Full detail below.

Uci Mtb Marathon World Cup In Finale Ligure Italy
XCM World Cup Course


6 Stages in Finale for the 3rd round of the EDR World Cup! 2 of which drop close to or over 700 m vertical. Get the full details below.

Uci Mtb Marathon World Cup In Finale Ligure Italy
EDR World Cup Course
Some practice action from the Enduro crowd!

Event schedule

3 June

08:00 – UCI Enduro World Cup

4 June

08:00 – UCI Cross-country Marathon World Cup – Elite Men

08:05 – UCI Cross-country Marathon World Cup – Elite Women

Find the live timing here for EDR

Find live timing here for XCM

Find more info here on the event and series

Event Coverage