European Champion Sabine Spitz (central GHOST) of Germany had a good start to a season that will be highlighted by the Olympic Games in Beijing in August. The first two races of her season ended with two wins. Both were at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, which consists of five total rounds.
Last Friday, she won her race against Czech rider Teresa Hurikova in a very tight affair. After 34 kilometres or one hour and 52'48" in the saddle, she beat her rival by only four seconds. On Sunday, the gap between Spitz and the ex-junior World Champion Hurikova was a bit more, but not much 15 seconds this time around. The second race was slightly longer, 37 kilometres, and Spitz's winning time was 1h57'43. In both rounds, marathon ace Petra Henzi placed third.
"This was a superb start to the season for me," the Olympic bronze medallist from the Athens Games said with delight. "Especially on Friday, I really didn't think that it would be so good in the first race without intensive training leading up to the event. Today [Sunday - ed.] I had higher expectations, of course. But I actually had a rather hard time."
"At the moment I am lacking substance. Especially from the perspective of the riding technique, I am realizing on this extremely difficult course that after all the road training I am lacking a bit. But that was expected," said Spitz. "Overall, I am very happy and I have the feeling that the preparation over the winter months was good."
As she does every March, Spitz is opening her season in Cyprus. Her first "real" race will be the World Cup in Houffalize, Belgium, on April 19 and 20. At her last important training camp before the season, the German is hoping to acquire the necessary race fitness and fine tuning, after her focus had been on less intensive training in the weeks before. She expects that Cyprus will be good for that, especially with the chances to participate in a few competitions.
Next up for Spitz is round four of the Sunshine Cup coming this Sunday, March 9.