Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2011: Final round at Amathous
Langvad wins again – Klemencic secures overall
Surprise by Moorlag – Markt defends overall jersey
Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2011 ended up in Amathous with the expected victory of Annika Langvad (Den) and the surprising win of Henk-Jaap Moorlag (Ned). Langvad got her second victory ahead of Lene Byberg (Nor) and Sabine Spitz (Ger). Moorlag was faster than Irjan Luttenberg (Ned) and Karl Markt (Aut). The overall leaders Blaza Klemencic (Slo) didn’t get into danger to loose their orange jerseys. After three events the organizing company Bikin’ Cyprus came to a positive résumé.
Actually women’s race showed the same image as it did the two weeks before. Annika Langvad (Easton-Rocket) immediately took the lead, starting a solo until the end of the race in between the ancient ruins of Amathous. On a warm and sunny day Langvad was riding fluently, never having any problems.
She extended the gap up to one minute. That was not that much as at the opener in Vorokini or the point-to-point race at Afxentia stage race.
That was depending on Lene Byberg (Specialized) who showed up stronger than the week before and also to Sabine Spitz (Central Haibike). In her first race the Olympic champion presented herself in good shape.
For the half of the race she was close to Byberg but then the vice world champion of 2009 created a gap, which Spitz couldn’t close anymore. For long time she fighted with Blaza Klemencic (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic) for the spot on the podium. During the pre-last lap she made the difference by securing rank three.
Klemencic was able to keep the fourth position against the upcoming Lisa Brandau (Ger/Central Haibike) and so secured her first Cyprus Sunshine Cup overall win. Second place went to Anne Terpstra (Ned/MPL Specialized).
Annika Langvad: I was a little bit tired this morning, like having a cold. So I was nervous about how it is going. But at least I was able to show again my current performance. I’m very pleased about that.
This course needs more technical skills and I would have liked to have a full suspension bike.
Lene Byberg: It was my best day for a long time. I was able to find a good rhythm and to push hard. When I saw that Sabine has to let me go, I was riding on my own. I’m really happy that I was feeling so good after last weekend. My shape is coming. It was a good decision to come to Cyprus again. I had two good weeks and this course is good for training.
Sabine Spitz: It was a nice race and I’m satisfied with the result. It was the second time I was on my mountainbike this year and I saw it needs some more training on my technical skills. But with my physical condition I’m okay. I think I’m on a better level than normally in this part of the year. I cannot compare to my competitors but only to the memories I have in my mind.
Blaza Klemencic: My bike was very good but I didn’t have the legs for the podium today. After three weeks on Cyprus I’m very happy to get the overall win. That’s a pretty good start into the season.
“Orange” day at Amathous: Double win for Holland
It was quite an “orange” day at Amathous. So far as one is looking on the men’s race. U23 rider Henk-Jaap Moorlag (Rabobank-Giant) showed his talent by taking his first victory outside of his home country. He started pretty fast, joining the Swiss Thomas Litscher (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic) in the lead. Litscher flatted in the first complete lap and so Moorlag was alone.
The gap to the chasing group with Karl Markt (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic), Emil Lindgren (Swe/Rabobank-Giant) and Irjan Luttenberg (Ned/National Team) was growing up to 45 seconds.
Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze/Specialized) was missed in front of the race. A broken pedal put him out of the race in the very first lap.
It was expected that Markt or Lindgren will be the one to get into second position but surprisingly it was “Oranje” Luttenberg. In the pre-last lap he went away from Markt and Lindgren, chasing his country mate. He couldn’t get really close but left his contenders behind, earning the second spot on the podium.
Markt in his orange leader jersey was able to decide the fight for third place against Lindgren and with Fabian Giger (Sui/Rabobank-Giant) another rider of the Netherland based team finished into fifth.
Henk-Jaap Moorlag: From the beginning I had good legs and I felt like I can do whatever I want to. I recognized that it goes better day by day but I never expected to win. It was so easy. It’s amazing to ride in front and it was a kind of flow. This victory is good for the team and also good for Dutch mountainbiking. We are now at the end of three weeks with good weather and it is a perfect start into the season.
Emil Lindgren: I couldn’t ride in front today but the win is in the team. I said to Henk-Jaap, if you can follow Litscher then do it.
The win is important for the team. We are three in the top five, so everything is fine.
Irjan Luttenberg: That’s a surprise for me. After a bad season last year (overtraining) I had a lot of good training winter and now it comes out as good shape. I was starting from the back but I could ride into the front easily. The third lap I thought, why don’t give it a try and it worked.
Karl Markt: Henk-Jaap was not to keep. I tried to catch him again but I was no chance to. I had some problems with the suspension but that didn’t make the difference. He was in his own league today.
I was trying to bring it to good end and third place is good. This two weeks were crazy for me. The weather was super, a lot of points and the shape is okay.
Positive summary of Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2011
Mike Hadjioannou, head of the the organizing Bikin’ Cyprus Eventmanagement, was happy to have pretty good final event. “To summarize the whole Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2011 I think it was a success and another step into the future. We were improving in some details. Especially we are proud of having 30 different nations on the start line and altogether more riders in the races. That speaks for the attractiveness of the cup and the island as a training destination”, Hadjioannou said.
He didn’t forget to mention the one big mistake was made at Afxentia stage 2. “Things like this shouldn’t happen but they do. We apologize again for the mistake and we are happy that we managed to present as fair results as possible. In the same time we say thanks for the support of everyone who helped us to do so.”
Sponsors of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, especially the Cyprus Tourism Organization CTO and to the Cyprus Cycling Federation for their support.
Hadjioannou and his team are already looking forward to the next edition of the early season series. The dates are not made yet.
Top 5 results Amathous
1. Annika Langvad (Den) 1:20:45
2. Lene Byberg (Nor) 1:21:50
3. Sabine Spitz (Ger) 1:22:53
4. Blaza Klemencic (Slo) 1:23:16
5. Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) 1:23:47
1. Henk-Jaap Moorlag (Ned) 1:25:16
2. Irjan Luttenberg (Ned) 1:25:56
3. Karl Markt (Aut) 1:26:15
4. Emil Lindgren (Swe) 1:26:17
5. Fabian Giger (Sui) 1:26:22
Top 5 overall Cyprus Sunshine-Cup 2011
1. Blaza Klemencic (Slo) 260
2. Anne Terpstra (Ned) 215
3. Rie Katayama (Jpn) 210
4. Annika Langvad (Den) 200
5. Lene Byberg (Nor) 190
1. Karl Markt (Aut) 285
2. Emil Lindgren (Swe) 245
3. Fabian Giger (Sui) 240
4. Henk-Jaap Moorlag (Ned) 222
5. Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) 208