Double win for Haibike
Skarnitzl takes it, Lindgren with bad luck on two
Jan Skarnitzl and Adelheid Morath grabbed the victories at Cyprus Sunshine Cup finals at Amathous. The Czech won in front of the two Swedes Emil Lindgren and Matthias Wengelin, while Morath was beating Olympic champion Sabine Spitz and Swede Alexandra Engen. Men’s stage winner and Katrin Leumann took the CSC overall.
Emil Lindgren started fast. The rider from Giant Pro XC Team took the lead and obviously he wanted the win between the ruins of Amathous. He took some seconds, but after the 2,9 kilometer start loop and most of the first lap was done, the Scandinavian pro rider suffered from a flat tire.
He lost around one minute, falling back on seventh position. Meanwhile Jan Skarnitzl (Sram Rubena Specialized) and Nicola Rohrbach (Goldwurst Power/Stockli) could escape from the leading group.
The duo extended their lead against Henk-Jaap Moorlag (Giant Pro XC) and Matthias Wengelin (Specialized), while Emil Lindgren was chasing together with Anton Sintsov.
In the pre last lap, Skarnitzl attacked against Rohrbach and left him behind for around 15 seconds. But the Swiss lost much more, because he had to refill air in his front tire. That worked out and he was able to keep 40 seconds against Emil Lindgren, who was going to became stronger and stronger. Moorlag already was distanced.
In the very last lap, Rohrbach had another flat tire in the rear wheel. So he had no chance, when Lindgren came along with Wengelin.
The two Swede were grown up in the same street and it came up to sprint decision for rank two between the friends. Wengelin thought he can make it out of the shadow, but the finish straight was too short for his attack and Lindgren took second spot on the podium, 43 seconds behind Skarnitzl.
This brought Lindgren also second place in the overall classification in front of Matthias Wengelin. The orange jersey went to Jan Skarnitzl.
Jan Skarnitzl: The first two laps were too fast for me. After I was in the lead I could ride the singletrails with safety. I am really happy with this three weeks of training and racing. I think, I never was so strong at this time, my shape is good.
Emil Lindgren: In two years I had one flat tire and now two in two weeks. That’s not cool. We were riding for one tire brand for five years and now we have a change. Probably I am not used to it. But it’s not only about the material, it’s also about me. I was riding too hard. But second place is still good.
It was nice to ride with Matthias, as his father was my first coach and forced me to do mountainbike, when I was young.
Matthias Wengelin: It was a good day for me. When I realized that Emil came closer, I safed my energy and slowed down. I thought I could beat him at the finish straight, but it was to short to take over. This is the best start I ever had. I am really happy about my performance.
Nicola Rohrbach: It was a pity with the flat tires, because I didn’t lost a lot after Jan’s attack. I still miss a bit of the high intensity, but at least I am satisfied with all. Would have been good to be on the podium, but that’s how it goes.
Morath’s solos to the victory - interesting fight for podium spots
In women’s race Adelheid Morath (Sabine Spitz-Haibike) celebrated a solid win. In the 2,9 kilometer start loop, she took the lead and was able to leave the rest of the bunch for a long solo, that ended up with 1:58 minutes gap to her team mate Sabine Spitz.
At the beginning Alexandra Engen (Swe) tried to play team tactic for Katrin Leumann (both Ghost Factory Racing), but Adelheid Morath was too strong for both.
The most interesting fight was going on behind the German vice champion. The lead of the chasers changed for different times. When Engen felt back, it was Leumann. Then Sabine Spitz and young team mate Kathrin Stirnemann closed the gap together with Engen and the game started again.
Leumann played again the team tactic, blocked a bit in a single trail, so that Engen escaped in the pre last of four laps (plus start loop).
Sabine Spitz tried to pass Leumann, the Swiss fighted back and prevented the overtaking for the first. But Spitz uses next chance and could pass, close the gap to Engen and let her behind for a Haibike double win.
Engen, who decided Friday evening to race at Amathous, because her knee was free of pain in training, 18 seconds behind Spitz, took third spot on the podium in front of Leumann, who could keep the Cyprus Sunshine Cup leader jersey on her shoulders.
Kathrin Stirnemann had bad luck with a chain suck, which threw her out of the competition for top three.
Corina Gantenbein (Sui, Fischer-BMC) was not able to be with the top girls at this day. “After three weeks of training, I felt tired. But all in all I am very satisfied about my racing”, she said after finishing eight.
Adelheid Morath: I am super happy. Today my goal was the victory and finally I made it. Finally it worked much easier than last week, because now I am here for more than one week. It was a perfect race for me. After the start, I could control. Only when Alex and Katrin made team tactics at the beginning, it was difficult for a short moment. I am happy to have the first season win for the team.
Sabine Spitz: In opposite to the cross country race at Macheras, I found a good rhythm and the intense efforts went better. When we were four in the chase, Katrin and Alex played team tactics. But at the second tech zone, I could pass Katrin.
Alexandra Engen: It was fun and it was hurting. I wanted to help Katrin as much as possible for the overall. But I am happy, because after two weeks without racing, it was a confirmation for my shape. I like this course at Amathous, because you have to suffer a lot and I am able to do that.
Katrin Leumann: I felt very tired today. The race of the last weekend took a lot of energy and in the rhythm of a training camp, I was not able to recover. I did my best today. Alex was riding a wonderful tactical race, she was helping me, wherever she could. Now I am happy to secure my first Cyprus Sunshine Cup overall.
Mike Hadjioannou from organizing Bikin’ Cyprus Events Management finally summed up the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2013: “I am happy with the outcome of the three race weekends and also about the pretty good feedback of the riders, team managers and commisaires. Thanks to the riders and teams for joining us again and thanks to the organizing team, supported by Cyprus Cycling Federation and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation. For the future, our intention is to keep CSC going and improve it. There are some ideas to improve the concept and we are looking forward to continue in 2014.”