CEBUANO ace cyclist Niño Surban will be off to Italy for the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships on June 27 at the Selva Val Gardena, Medal Plaza.

Surban of Talamban, who will be gearing up for Team Specialized PH received his Italian visa last Wednesday and will leave for Italy this Saturday.

Surban finished 11th place in the UCI MTB Marathon Series in Langkawi, Malaysia, which qualified him for the MTB World Championships.

“Since I started the mountain bike sport, it has been my dream to race in the World Cup and World Championships,” the 27-year-old and veteran rider Surban told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

This will be the first time for Surban to race in the World Championships and as a lone Filipino in the MTB elite grind, he vows to give his best against the top and finest MTB riders in the world.

“My training and preparation for this race was OK and I was able to ride more often, but I was not able to follow my program kay luya akong lawas karon na week,” said Surban. “My target is to be able to give my best on this race.”

Surban said that at least 80 riders from different countries are joining the race, including the defending champion Jaroslav Kulhavy of Czech Republic.

The riders will be racing in the 87-kilometer route; the participants will have the feel of the course during practice ride on June 25 to 26.

Surban said the riders to watch out for in the competition are those from Switzerland, Germany and Czech Republic. However, the start list for the race will be released on June 22.

Also expected to grace the event are riders from France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Portugal, United States, Canada, France, Netherlands, Japan, South Africa, Hungary, Great Britain, Belgium, Mexico, among others.

The men's overall winner will win 2,333 euro, 1,333 euro for the second placer and 667 euro for the third rank.