Successful start of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2014. At Lefkara Adelheid Morath (Ger) and Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) won the opener of the Afxentia stage. Morath won the 5,7 kilometer time trial in front of Jolanda Neff (Sui) and Annika Langvad (Den). Jan Skarnitzl was able to beat Florian Vogel (Sui) and Ondrej Cink (Cze).
Nearly everybody had the same statement after a demanding lap on a course with two uphill parts. “First race this year”, “it hurted so much” and “it was hard”, were to find in all the comments. Normal at this part of the season, but also a lot of riders were talking about “fun”, calling it “cool”.
So did José Hermida, the Spaniard from Multivan-Merida Biking Team after his first racing experience on Cyprus. He finished on 15.
At least Jan Skarnitz, who scored the best time. And this under special circumstances, because he had to ride on a rental bike, since his own bike missed the plane. The Czech from Sram Rubena Trek therefore was a bit surprised.
“I don’t know what to say. I had good training camps and the Cyprus Sunshine Cup is my first goal in the season. I want to show a good to shape for me and my sponsors. But it is special not to ride on my own bike”, Skarnitzl said. “Tomorrow with my own Trek Bike, it could be better.”
Florian Vogel missed the time of Skarnitzl by only four seconds. “First race is always special, but I was looking forward to the start of the season here on Cyprus. Here I can get the intensity, I need to get into top shape”, the former European Champion from Scott-Odlo Team said.
Ondrej Cink hoped for another podium, when he arrived in the finish. 2012 he was already second in the Afxentia time trial. “I went full gas all the time and I hope it paid off”, Cink said. It did. The Multivan-Merida biker finished third, six seconds off.
Behind the trio title defender Fabian Giger (Sui, Giant XC Pro, +0:07,8) and u23 vice world champion Julian Schelb (Ger, Multivan-Merida, +0:08,2) were finishing fourth and fifth.
Women: Morath’s body ready for racing
The victory of Adelheid Morath in the womens competition was a kind of surprise for the public, but not for the one who had experienced the 29 years old German. Adelheid Morath was happy after the 5,7 kilometers, without knowing that she was the women of the day. “I felt good and was riding comfortable. After different training camps, I know that I am in a good shape, but you never know, if the body is really ready for racing. I hope for the upcoming days”, she commented.
U23 world champion Jolanda Neff is well known for being able to put one really fast lap. “I felt very good. I would like to have more of this kind of racing”, the 21 years old said while smiling. She lost eleven seconds to Morath.
Third placed Annika Langvad sounds exhausted but happy after her lap. “Hey, it was cool. I am happy to be here on Cyprus again. I like the atmosphere, it’s inspiring.”, the two times marathon world champion said.
Place four and five went to Blaza Klemencic (Slo, Feenstra-Felt, +0:24) and Sabine Spitz (Ger, Haibike, +0:41)
Tomorrow the riders awaits a 52 kilometer point to point course with start and finish at Lefkara, which first time ever is part of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup.