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Skarnitzl skittles field with Giant Czech mate

Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

Langvad overcomes in the ladies' event

Annika Langvad picks her lines coming downhill.

Annika Langvad picks her lines coming downhill.

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The Cyprus Sunshine Cup opened at Voroklini with some surprising results. The young Czech Jan Skarnitzl and Danish racer Annika Langvad won the elite men's and women's races.

On a warm and sunny day, marathon World Champion Roel Paulissen (Cannondale) and Jan Skarnitzl (Giant) emerged off the front from a group of seven leaders in the men's race.

Unfortunately for Paulissen, on the penultimate lap, number six of seven, he punctured his front tire on a steep downhill section. After a stop in the tech zone, he resumed racing about 20 seconds back, in fourth position, as Skarnitzl lead the race ahead of Jiri Friedl (Merida) and Christoph Soukup (Merida).

Paulissen regained second position and tried to catch the 25-year-old Skarnitzl, but on the final lap, the Belgian suffered another flat. This time, he fell to third spot, with Friedl taking over the top chaser's role.

Emil Lindgren (Rabobank-Giant), who dominated last year, was in the lead group, but with two laps to go, he lost contact when Skarnitzl and Paulissen attacked.

"I'm very happy with the victory because it is my first one in an international race," said Skarnitzl. "Together with Roel, I was speeding up, but then he crashed."

"It was a very long and hard race. In the first half of the race, I had a lot of problems because we are not used to this high intensity. Now I'm looking forward to the Afxentia stage race upcoming weekend."

Friedl, who finished second behind his Czech teammate, said he felt much better than last week. "I was very tired because at home it's so cold, and here it is very warm. I needed a lot of energy today, and so I'm surprised about my race and the result. I think next week it will be better. No rain, that's perfect."

Paulissen said he was ok with his performance if not the result, despite the flats. "The whole race I was relaxed and never overdid it," he said. "Skarnitzl rode at a pretty good speed, but then on the downhill, the air went out of my front tire, and I crashed. The same thing happened on the last lap."

Langvad wins women's race

The women's race was decided on the first of five laps. Annika Langvad (HMTBK) took the lead, riding away from everyone else. Janka Stevkova (CKEpic-Dohnany) didn't try to follow the Danish student, and Langvad extended her lead up to more than three minutes ahead of Stevkova and the 18-year-old Ekaterina Anoshina of Russia.

In the final lap, Langvad's likely victory seemed in danger. After the tech zone, the Danish woman noticed she was losing a lot of air in her front tire.

"I knew I had a good advantage, but in spite of that, I was nervous," she said after winning.

"I knew that I am in a good shape. The winter training was quite good," said Langvad. "I felt good, but in second lap, I crashed and then realized that I should set the speed down. It's my first time on Cyprus and it's wonderful to be here."

Her nervousness was not unfounded. She finished only two minutes ahead of Janka Stevkova, who was able to drop Anoshina in the last lap.

"I felt very good, but I only wanted to test myself," said Stevkova. "It was a hard course and I'm not used to the heat. I'm really satisfied with my second place. When Annika left us alone I didn't try to follow because I think it's not good to go full gas in the very first race."

The Russian Anoshina was the biggest surprise of the race. She was 17th at the Junior World Championships in Canberra, and today, she beat German Melanie Spath (Cycleways) and last year's winner Alexandra Engen (Rothaus-Cube), who finished fifth.

"I'm surprised by this race," said Anoshina. "I never thought I'd be able to compete with these women in my first elite competition."

Last year's winner, Alexandra Engen, commented on her race.  "I gave it all it and emptied all my reserves. It was a tough day at the office and I must say I'm not totally unhappy," said the 22-year-old Swede. "I am not yet at the same level as I was in 2009. And I have had some minor problems with my back."

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Giant Team - Czech 2:14:06  
2 Jiri Friedl (Cze) Giant Team - Czech 0:00:21  
3 Roel Paulissen (Bel) Belgium National Team 0:00:38  
4 Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Racing 0:01:08  
5 Frank Schotman (Ned) 0:01:49  
6 Henrique Avancini (Bra) ISD Team 0:02:37  
7 Lindgren Emil (Swe) Giant Rabobank 0:03:23  
8 Maxim Gogolev (Rus) Corratec Team 0:03:55  
9 Alexey Medvedev (Rus) 0:04:12  
10 Thomas Litscher (Swi) 0:04:49  
11 Stefan Sahm (Ger) Bulls Team 0:05:23  
12 Bjorn Brems (Bel) Belgium National Team 0:05:55  
13 Nicolas Vermeulen (Bel) Belgium National Team 0:08:09  
14 Ilias Periklis (Gre) Greek National Team 0:08:10  
15 Klaus Nielsen (Den) HMTBK 0:09:03  
16 Jiri Hude?Ek (Cze) 0:09:32  
17 Anton Gogolev (Rus) Corratec Team 0:09:49  
18 Platt Karl (Ger) Bulls Team 0:09:50  
19 Konny Looser (Swi) 0:10:01  
20 Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Look Team 0:10:38  
21 Ivan Seledkov (Rus) 0:10:57  
22 Shlomi Haimy (Isr) 0:11:31  
23 Anders Ljungberg (Swe) 0:11:48  
24 Timofey Ivanov (Rus) 0:12:37  
25 Giger Fabian (Swi) 0:12:59  
26 Artem Orlov (Rus) 0:13:34  
27 Thomas Dietsch (Fra) 0:13:58  
28 Evgeniy Nikolaev (Rus) 0:15:05  
29 Alexander Blomqvist (Swe) 0:15:23  
30 Fredrik Edin (Swe) 0:16:55  
31 Nicolas Jeanten (Ita) 0:18:54  
One lap down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
32 Ondrej Cink (Cze)    
33 Ivan Smirnov (Rus)    
34 Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)    
35 Magnus Darvell (Swe)    
36 Pierre-Yves Facomprez (Fra)    
37 Marios Athanasiadis (Cyp)    
38 Georgios Fattas (Cyp)    
39 Mattias Nilsson (Swe)    
40 Stepan Stephanov (Rus)    
41 Lars Bleckur (Swe)    
42 Evgeniy Vitmanovsky (Rus)    
43 Sherlock Ryan (Irl)    
Two laps down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
44 Christopher Andrews (GBr)    
45 Pascal Hossay (Bel)    
46 Michael Hutter (Swi)    
47 Claus Crone (Den)    
48 Henrik Andersen (Den)    
49 Lee Williams (GBr)    
50 Simon Tarp Jensen (Den)    
51 Ivan Rybarik (Cze)    
52 Alexey Leontyev (Rus)    
53 Jens Gorm Hansen (Den)    
54 Vlad Neroznaks (Lat)    
Three laps down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
55 Bohme Tim (Ger)    
56 Georgios Pattes-Toumanis (Gre)    
57 Anatoly Gavrilov (Rus)    
58 Michalis Kittis (Cyp)    
59 Kiriakos Skettos (Cyp)    
60 Kasper Busk (Den)    
61 Paul Beales (GBr)    
62 Daum Philipp Maximilian (Ger)    
Four laps down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
63 Nicolas Tachopoulos (Gre)    
64 Timotheos Skettos (Cyp)    
65 Dries Govaerts (Bel)    
66 Dror Pekatch (Isr)    
67 Lasse Brun Pedersen (Den)    
Five laps down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
68 Bjarke Refslund (Den)    
69 Alexander Theupir (Cyp)    
70 Loukas Theodorou (Cyp)    
71 Matthias Wengelin (Swe)    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Annika Langvad (Den) HMTBK 1:58:24  
2 Janka Stevkova (Svk) CK Epic Dohnany 0:02:00  
3 Ekaterina Anoshina (Rus) Primorskiy District 0:03:02  
4 Melanie Spath (Ger) Cycleways 0:06:15  
5 Alexandra Engen (Swe) Rothaus-Cube MTB Team 0:08:45  
6 Githa Michiels (Bel) Belian National Team 0:09:09  
7 Suzanne Clarke (GBr) Great Britian 0:09:46  
8 Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Look 0:12:03  
9 Yana Klishina (Rus) Dinamo Moscow 0:16:06  
10 Elena Gogoleva (Rus) 0:16:39  
11 Nicoletta De Jager (Ned) Rijwielpaleis Mountainbike Team    
12 Vanessa Mosch (Ger) 0:17:30  
13 Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Belian National Team 0:25:58  
14 Anne Terpstra (Ned) 0:26:43  
15 Idit Shub Isr) City Cycling Club 0:27:42  
One lap down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
16 Irina Malysheva (Rus)    
17 Nadine Rieder (Ger)    
Two laps down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
18 Ekaterina Petrova (Rus)    
19 Darya Zaytseva (Rus) Karofilm    
20 Elena Petrova (Lat) Omomoia    
Junior men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Anton Stephanov (Rus) 1:26:54  
2 Artem Alexandrov (Rus) Primorskiy District 0:02:22  
3 Egor Kropachev (Rus) Primorskiy District 0:03:12  
4 Jonas Pedersen (Den) HMTBK 0:05:10  
5 Yury Lebedev (Rus) Primorskiy District 0:05:25  
6 Ilia Bykov (Rus) 0:06:17  
7 Mark Kuyan (Rus) Primorskiy District 0:07:26  
8 Zakhar Bulatov (Rus) Primorskiy District 0:08:16  
9 Nikita Chubukov (Rus) KAROFILM 0:09:13  
10 Ben Roff (GBr) 0:09:34  
11 Ilya Dushakov (Rus) 0:12:01  
One lap down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
12 Abdrey Shirobokov (Rus) Dinamo Moscow    
13 Alexey Solovyev (Rus) Dinamo Moscow    
14 Eirinaios Koutsiou (Cyp) Irakleitos    
15 Leontios Katsouris (Cyp)    
16 Mamas Kyriacou (Cyp) DOPI    
Two laps down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
17 Angelos Kyriacou (Cyp) DOPI    
Three laps down
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
18 Sergey Lahanov (Rus) Dinamo Moscow    
DNF Alexey Krylov (Rus) Primorskiy District    
DNF Egor Komin (Rus) Primorskiy District    
DNF Alexey Mikhalin (Rus) Primorskiy District