The wins of Austrian Christoph Soukup and Swiss Petra Henzi offered no surprises at Limassol-Yermasogia for round five of the Sunshine Cup. For Henzi, her win, ahead of Adelheid Morath and Tereza Hurikovas meant she also claimed Sunshine Cup overall title. Henzi's Fischer-BMC team-mate Andreas Kugler finished second in the men's race and claimed the overall men's title while Sweden's Magnus Darvell placed third.
Soukoup used his climbing prowess to his advantage in the men's race and eventually rode away from Kugler after an attack that got him a gap. "Soukup for sure was stronger in the ascent. The locomotive took two gears higher and then he was away. But at least I'm happy with the overall title as well as with the complete four weeks racing and training in Cyprus. It couldn't have been better," Kugler said.
Soukup was afraid of Kugler catching him on the descent. The Swiss indeed did make up some ground, but Soukup's first season victory was safe, and he took the win by 1'14" over Kugler. "I'm happy with the victory. It was a successful end of a good training camp," Soukup said.
The first decisive action in the women's race happened in the first lap. After just three kilometers Adelheid Morath, Petra Henzi and Tereza Hurikova went into a downhill section. Hurikova tried to pass, took an alternative line and rolled over a stone which caused her a flat and more than six minutes.
The flat was demoralizing for the Czech racer, who had a long run to get to the tech zone for help with her repair. "That made my legs very hard, and I needed to recover from running. Mentally it was hard to motivate myself knowing that I have no chance to take the win," said eventual third-placed Hurikova.
Henzi made it her race on the downhill parts and the marathon world champion got away to complete most of four laps solo before finishing first ahead of the 23 year-old German Morath.
"My first goal today was to secure the overall. But I had a lot of fun, especially in the winding downhill," said Henzi. On the final day of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup the sun shined twice for her.
Considering her overall title, Henzi was happy with a good start for Fischer-BMC. "It's very positive for the team winning both [men's and women's] overall titles. Our goal was to have a good training camp on Cyprus. The races were a plus to get the race rhythm and it worked out.