Marathon World Champion Alban Lakata began his season with a ninth place finish in Cyprus at the opening round of the Sunshine Cup in Voroklini on Sunday. The Austrian took a measured approach to the beginning of racing efforts for 2011.
"I intentionally didn't go hard," he said. "It's the first chance in competition I have to measure my progress, and it gives me a chance to see where I stand against the competition."
Lakata raced a technically demanding course on the Mediterranean Island and looked strong despite not going all out. He started slowly and then made up place after place until the finish.
"Today was a great way to measure my condition, I used the race as feedback for my training," he said. "I was testing everything - myself and equipment - and I have to say that I'm very impressed. Additionally world ranking points were available at the event, so I'm very pleased with the result."