The Czech mountainbikers were dominating in first stage of Afxentia stage race. Jaroslav Kulhavy and Tereza Hurikova were taking the leaders jersey after 5,6 kilometer time trial. Kulhavy won in front of his surprising country mate Ondrej Cink and Emil Lindgren (Swe). Hurikova was faster than her German team mate Sabine Spitz and Annika Langvad (Den).
On a sunny day in the mountains the course was a bit more slippery than the riders expected after their training rounds on the lap. That’s what they told after the time trial, which opened Afxentia stage race.
The women’s competition found Tereza Hurikova (Sabine Spitz-Haibike Pro Team) on the top. When she reached the finish line, she was not satisfied with her run and so was surprised to be the winner of the day. And she won by a big gap of 33 seconds.
Tereza Hurikova afterwards told: I didn’t expect to win. If you have no contact to the other riders, you cannot get the feeling about how fast you are. And my heart rate was not that high. My stay on Cyprus this year is like Christmas time.
Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz-Haibike): I felt good. For sure there is something to improve, but it was really okay. I tried not to overpace in the first half of the lap and it worked out so far.
Annika Langvad (Fujibikes Rockets): Oh, that was hurting. But I think, now the legs are open for tomorrow. I had to push myself hard. I like the course, I can find a good rhythm on it.
Double win for Czech republik
In men’s result the Czech domination on one hand was expected but not on the other. World champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Factory Racing), who won the first round of Cyprus Sunshine Cup in Voroklini, was no surprise on the top spot of the podium. But nobody counted on his 21 years old country mate Ondrej Cink (Merida Biking Team).
From Emil Lindgren (Rabobank-Giant) it was known that he can do a very fast lap.
Jaroslav Kulhavy: I had a good run, legs felt very good and it’s good to have that win before the point to point race tomorrow. The setup of my bike was also better than in Voroklini.
Ondrej Cink: I knew, that I can do one fast lap, I felt very good, but I never expected to be on the podium. It’s a big surprise for me. Marathon racing is not my special preference. I try to stay in the front group tomorrow and then see, what happens in the single trail.
Emil Lindgren: It was very slippery today, more than I expected after the training. I suffered a lot after the winter training, it was very, very hard. For this weekend I want to get the much point as possible and a good feeling for the world cup opener.