Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2012: Final round at Amathous
Emil Lindgren made it a “good day”. Third victory for Annika Langvad
Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2012 ended up with the victories of Annika Langvad (Den) and Emil Lindgren (Swe) at Amathous. Langvad repeated her last years win and celebrated her third win in three races of the series. Close behind Adelheid Morath (Ger) came into second, while Tereza Hurikova took third place. Emil Lindgren was victorious in front of Fabian Giger (Sui) and Jan Skarnitzl (Cze). The overall went to Giger and Langvad.
It was Adelheid Morath (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic), who put her stamp on the first half of the 24,7 kilometer race of the women. She took the lead and under her speed the bunch splitted. Surprisingly it was Dutch Anne Terpstra (MPL Specialized), who was the first to follow Morath. But it was only lead of around 10 seconds the duo gained from the following group, lead by Annika Langvad (Fujbikes Rockets) and followed by Blaza Klemencic (Slo, Felt Ötztal X-Bionic), Irina Kalentieva (Rus, Topeak-Ergon) and Tereza Hurikova (Cze, Sabine Spitz-Haibike).
In the second lap, Langvad closed the gap and the three were opening a difference of 20 seconds the three remaining chasers. Elisabeth Brandau (notebooksbilliger.de) and Olympic champion Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz-Haibike) was riding behind them on seventh and eight position.
It was in the third lap, when Terpstra couldn’t hold the speed, meanwhile Tereza Hurikova left the chasers back, coming closer to rank three. At the beginning of the fourth and last lap, Hurikova was able to pass Terpstra and was only 15 seconds behind the two leaders. There Langvad in the last lap took first position, created a gap of some seconds to Morath. The German fought back, but on the last technical uphill, Langvad was stronger and finally escaped for the win, with seven seconds by Morath, while Hurikova came into third with 18 seconds to the victorious Langvad (1:19:55 hours).
Annika Langvad, of course, won the Cyprus Sunshine Cup overall. She won all three races. Second place went to Tereza Hurikova ahead of Sabine Spitz.
Annika Langvad: I was pretty tired after the Afxentia stage race. So I waited to the signal of the legs and then I could go a very rhythm. In the last two laps I could go a good speed and I felt very good. I was very excited about, what would happen today. I’m now looking forward to the world cup opener in Pietermaritzburg.
Adelheid Morath: My legs were mega good today. I knew, these steep climbs are good for me. When I had a gap at the beginning, I was surprised. Last lap I was not sure, how much we had to go. Annika attacked, I came back, but at least she was too strong. I was relaxed today and I’m happy with my performance towards the world cup opener.
Tereza Hurikova: I did was I was able to do. After the start I didn’t get to my rhythm. On this course, you need a lot of power and I felt the legs tired. It was hard to get the speed. From the beginning to the end, I was suffering. I did my maximum and when I was close, I couldn’t do more.
Sabine Spitz: Away from my cold, which influenced my performance, I’m okay with my shape at this point. Now I have to get completely healthy. Then we will see, what happens in South Africa.
Team tactics for Lindgren
Men’s competition was a start finish victory for Emil Lindgren. But despite the fact that the Swede from Giant-Rabobank always was riding in front, the gap was never more than 25 seconds and his win was not secure until the last kilometer.
At the beginning Thomas Litscher (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic) and 2011 Amathous winner Henk-Jaap Moorlag (Rabobank-Giant) were following Lindgren but at the end of the first lap, Lindgren escaped.
Litscher later started to suffer, caused by his injuries from last weekends crash. In the second of five laps, the chaser group with Jan Skarnitzl (Rubena Birell Specialized), his team mate Jiri Friedl, Fabian Giger (Rabobank-Giant), Jochen Kaess (Multivan-Merida) and Maxime Marotte were closing the gap to Moorlag.
Kaess couldn’t follow, Friedl later had to stop due to a mechanical and Marotte missed the group, because Litscher blocked him for a certain moment. So Marotte got a decisive gap, he couldn’t close.
During the third lap Skarnitzl and Giger could leave the rest. It was Skarnitzl who had to do the work in the wind, because Giger for team tactical reasons of course didn’t want chase Lindgren.
For one time, Skarnitzl put down the gap to Lindgren to less than 15 seconds, but Lindgren could extend it again. In the last lap, Giger attacked and went into second position. Partially the Swiss was only ten seconds behind his team mate, but at least Lindgren was able to defend.
13 seconds behind the Swedish champion Giger made it to the double win for the dutch team. Skarnitz secured third place, while
Marotte came into fourth. Then with Moorlag the third Rabobank-Giant pilot could complete the podium in front of the ruins of Amathous.
In the overall classification the order was the opposite. Fabian Giger first time took the Cyprus Sunshine Cup overall in front of Emil Lindgren. Third place on the podium went to Jan Skarnitzl.
Emil Lindgren: At the warm up I was tired, but in the race I felt good. It was much better than I expected. I was suffering the whole time, because they were close. There was no room to make a mistake. Thanks to my team mates, the tried to control the chasing group. It was a pretty good day. It’s great to have that start into the season, for me and for the team. I hope to keep that shape until Pietermaritzburg.
Fabian Giger: I had a very bad start. So the front group was already away when I arrived. Later, of course, I didn’t try to follow Emil. In one hand that was good, because I was not forced to chase. But on the other hand, I think, today would have been more possible. The legs were pretty good, my shape is perfect. Finally it was a good conclusion of the Sunshine Cup and it’s a nice gift to win the overall.
Jan Skarnitzl: I don’t like this kind of start, because it’s flat and a lot of riders were coming from behind. So it is hard to keep the position. But it was only the first lap. I was chasing with Fabian. Of course I had to to the work, but Emil was too strong. If it would have been a longer race, then maybe I could do something more. But I’m happy with third position.
Maxime Marotte: I had a very bad start, it was impossible to be in front. It was a bit bad luck. So I had to chase the whole time. One moment, I was just behind the six rider group, but then Litscher was too slow. I couldn’t overtake him and since I could, it was ten seconds.I think, I’m on a good way. It was good to be here on Cyprus, because of the high level competitions. That’s what I wanted to have.