French train works well: Tempier triumphs
Schneitter chases to the victory
As expected the Frenchmen on a nice and sunny day were dominating the final round of Cyprus Sunshine Cup at ancient Amathous. Between the ruins Stephane Tempier grabbed todays victory as well as the overall in the Cup. He won the men’s race in front of team mate Maxime Marotte and Sebastian Carabin from Belgium. Nathalie Schneitter took a surprising win in women’s competition, letting Austrian Lisi Osl and Anne Terpstra from Netherlands behind her. The overall went also to Schneitter.
Already in the 2,8 kilometer start loop of the men’s race, Sebastian Carabin (Merida Wallonie) and Stephane Tempier (BH-Sr Suntour-KMC) opened up a gap to the chasers Grant Ferguson (British National Team) and Maxime Marotte (BH-Sr Suntour-KMC).
But in the first complete 5,6 kilometer lap Tempier punctured. That left Carabin alone in the front.
“That was not the plan to be solo in front. But since I had already a gap, I decided to go full gas”, Carabin explained. But of course, it was a handicap for the Belgian rider on the open and windy terrain around the ruins of Amathous.
Behind him, Marotte was waiting on shortly for his team mate, when he had changed his rear wheel at the beginning of the second lap. Then they get back to Grant Ferguson, but the Brit was fading then and the French duo was working together to catch Carabin.
It was two laps to go, when they reached Carabin and took an advantage on him.
They extended their lead immediately and fast and in the final lap, it came up to the show down.
“I attacked in the first climb of final lap and then went full speed”, Tempier explained how he made first to the finish line. “My legs were good and it’s a pretty good start into the season, I am happy. The days on Cyprus were perfect for me.”
Country mate Maxime Marotte passed the time keeping 16 seconds behind. “I had problems in the beginning and stuck in the bunch. But then I was getting better and when I was together with Stephane, I felt pretty good. At the end, he was stronger, but due to taking antibiotics this week (caused by an inflammation in a finger), I am quite happy with my day”, Marotte said.
Also Carabin was smiling. “I did not expect that. I felt strong, but I lost a lot of energy fighting alone against the wind. Anyway, I leave Cyprus with a very good feeling. I like these ‘old school’ courses with longer climbs”, says Carabin after finishing the 30,8 kilometer.
He got second in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup overall behind Tempier and in front of Jan Skarnitzl (Sram Mitas Trek), who lost the train by a flat tire in the beginning of the first lap. But he made it back to fourth, leaving Karl Markt (Haibike-Ötztal) behind him on fifth and secured third place in the cup.
Women: Terpstra crashes and loses the overall
When Lisi Osl (Ghost Factory Racing) in the first lap went in front, letting Olympic champion Julie Bresset (BH-Sr Suntour-KMC) and Anne Terpstra (Habitat MTB Team) behind, gaining 25 seconds lead after the half of the distance, everything seems to be set for the world cup overall winner in 2009.
Nobody counted on Nathalie Schneitter (Rose-Vaujany). She was riding in the second chasing group, already 45 seconds behind the lead. But when the riders entered third lap, things were changing. Schneitter closed up to Janka Keseg-Stevkova (Outsiterz Cycling Team) and the fading Bresset. In the last climb of lap three, she reached Terpstra and passed her.
Entering the last lap, Osl was only eight seconds in front of Schneitter and the motivation was on the side of the Swiss. Just before a climb, the Swiss passed the Austrian, they touched and Osl felt into the grass. So Schneitter was in front and rode to her first victory in Amathous.“It was racing, she had her hands at the handlebars. Perhaps I would have done the same, because we were entering a single track and she wanted to pass me”, Osl was not worrying about the situation.
Anyway, Schneitter said “sorry” to Osl after they had finished the 25,2 kilometres. “I expected, that it will be very difficult in the start loop and the first lap, because I was training hard and I was not so fresh. I needed patience and then it was getting better and better. In the finish I had a lot of steam”, stated Nathalie Schneitter.
“Unexpected, but really great to have a victory already in the second race in the new team.”
Anne Terpstra also passed Osl in the last climb, but lost the second position again in the last downhill. “Unfortunately I crashed and Lisi could pass me again. I did not expect such a result, because for the whole week I could not ride offroad because I have cut in my hand. So I am very happy with my third place”, the Dutch explained.
This crash had another incident. By losing the second place, Terpstra lost also the overall win in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup to Nathalie Schneitter, who got the orange jersey delivered between the columns of ancient Amathous.
Third overall position went to Lisi Osl. “I think, I still miss the intensity. It was two weeks ago, when I first time got back on my bike, after training a lot on snow”, Lisi Osl commented on her performance. “Today my plan was to try to go a high speed and look how long I come through with that”, the Austrian champion said.
30 different countries and a lot of positive feedback
The bottom line shows athletes from 30 different nations participating in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2015, that was very close the record of 31. “That confirms the attraction of the island as a training and racing destination”, Mike Hadjioannou said in his final statement. The chief of the organizing Bikin’ Cyprus agency got a pretty good feedback throughout the two weekends.
“The riders were also amazed, that we again could host the race in archeological site of Amathous. I am happy to finish the Cup in this positive way and have to say thanks to my team”, says Hadjioannou.
He mentioned also, that there were a lot of encouraging comments of the athletes concerning their stay on Cyprus. Says Hadjioannou: “For us and our partner, the Cyprus Tourism Organization, it’s very important to hear that. I hope, the athletes are going to be good ambassadors for our country.”
- Results Cyprus Sunshine Cup #2 - Amathous 2015
- Cyprus SunshineCup General Classification coming soon