After one year interruption the cross country course within the ruins of Amathous is back in Cyprus Sunshine Cup. It’s Stephane Tempier and Kathrin Stirnemann leading the registration list of the final C1 race of the series at the border of Limassol on Sunday.
The view from the course is amazing, the coast line, the silhouette of Limassol, the mediteranean sea. The riders of course will turn their head better in front of their bike, to find the perfect line on the physical and technical demanding 5,5 kilometre lap. It will come up to an intense race, for sure.
The women’s registration list is lead by Eliminator world champion Kathrin Stirnemann. The Swiss rider from the Austrian squad Haibike-Ötztal showed rising performance at Afxentia stage race the weekend before, when she finished third in the final cross country race.
Annie Last (Great Britain National Team) is back in the game, after she had to quit Afxentia in the third stage, due to stomach problems. As third in the opening time trial, she showed already her capacity.
Former world cup overall winner Lisi Osl (Ghost Factory Racing) is supposed to also part of the podium contenders and also Yana Belomoina (Betch.nl Superior Brentjens) from Ukraine, Swiss Corina Gantenbein (Haibike-Ötztal) or Jovana Crnogorac (Salcano-Cappadocia)
Bresset hopes for good sensations
The London Olympic gold medallist Julie Bresset (BH-Sr Suntour-KMC) is also on the list to watch. But the French takes it easy. “I hope to have good sensations, better than last weekend and hope to improve a bit”, the two times world champion says Thursday, while enjoying the sun in her location at the Biker village Tochni.
Understandable, after she had a break in the middle of last season, caused by a mental exhaustion. “I do not want the same mistake as last year. I try to improve in small steps”.
Her result at the Afxentia was 12th. “A bit hard to accept”, Bresset confessed, “but I enjoyed the beautiful trails.”
Germany’s talent Helen Grobert, since this year riding for the Ghost Factory Racing Team, has arrived on the island. The bronze medallist at the German National Champs and two times u23 bronze medallist at the Europeans gives her debut at Agios Tychon. “I am a bit nervous”, Grobert confesses, “it’s the first real race this year on my new bike and after it, I will see, where I am.”
Men: Two Frechman against the rest
It’s Stephane Tempier, who is carrying the burden as a favourite in the men’s category. The French rider from BH-Sr Suntour-KMC as third was not far away from winning the Afxentia. So he showed himself capable to win the race in Amathous.
“It’s a beautiful track”, Tempier mentions after a first look on it. “It’s quite different to last Sunday. It’s less fast”. The fifth of the world cup overall 2014, explains that the current week is foreseen “for recovery”, but he is looking forward to Sunday. “I hope to do as same as last weekend and of course, it’s possible to win.”
By his third place at the SHC race Afxentia, in the world ranking he jumped on eight place.
Of course, his country and team mate Maxime Marotte, after being healthy again, is capable to follow Tempier. He had to take antibiotics because an inflammation in a finger.
“I will see during the race, if I have recovered enough. If the shape is okay, then I will push at the maximum, maybe for the victory or the podium. If I am exhausted, I will go slowly, to risk nothing. But I am confident”, Marotte tells us.
Further on, there is also Grant Ferguson (Betch.nl Superior Brentjens), who was one of the positive surprises at the Afxentia, winning the second stage in Lefkara.
Jan Skarnitzl (Sram Mitas Trek) did that on the third stage and in 2013 he was the last winner on the course at Amathous.
Swede Matthias Wengelin (SCS Racing Team) is back after overcoming a cold, which threw him out of the Afxentia. A rider, who is able to finish top ten in the world cup, is always to recognize and in 2013 he finished third at Amathous.
Sebastian Carabin (Merida Wallonie) from Belgium and Karl Markt (Haibike-Ötztal) are two other podium contenders.
Time table Amathous, local time (UTC+2h)
- 09:15 Cadets, Juniors, Masters and Cycling For All Categories
- 11:00 Women Elite
- 13:15 Men Elite
- 15:00 Award ceremonies for all categories