Eyes on Thomas Steger and Emma Pallant-Browne at this weekend’s Challenge Riccione

Thomas Steger just before the start of Challenge Riccione 2021. (Picture: Challenge Family)

After his thrilling victory last year, when he passed Spaniard Pablo Gonzalez Dapena in the last kilometres, Thomas Steger returns this Sunday to defend his title at Challenge Riccione. The Austrian athlete will face a strong pro field, promising an exciting battle. A competitive race is also expected in the women’s field, with Emma Pallant-Browne, India Lee and Marta Bernardi picked as the favourites for the win.

Challenge Riccione will take place this Sunday, 1 May and in the men’s race almost thirty pros will compete. Steger, as defending champion, is one to watch but home favorites Giulio Molinari, Mattia Ceccarelli and Alessandro Degasperi will certainly make a bid for victory. Supported by a home crowd, these men can often do just that little bit extra and be the best versions of themselves. Thomas Davis (GBR) is perhaps the biggest outsider; the young talent is developing quickly and shows himself more and more prominent in front during races.

There are also home favorites in the women’s race, with Marta Bernardi leading the way. She will be keen to win the race, after finishing third last year, behind Sarissa de Vries (NED) and India Lee (GBR). Lee is also returning to Challenge Riccione, and with the absence of De Vries, the road to the podium for these two women seems paved.

But, they still have to deal with none other than Emma Pallant-Browne and also Lena Berlinger (DEU), who should never be underestimated. A dangerous outsider is Valentina d’Angeli, while Line Bonde (DEN) could also provide surprises.