Kulhavy wins Sunshine Cup opener in Voroklini

Klemencic victorious ahead of Leumann in Cyprus

Jaroslav Kulhavy repeated his 2012 Cyprus Sunshine Cup opener victory on Saturday in Voroklini. The Olympic Champion won ahead of Manuel Fumic (Cannondale) and Fabian Giger (Giant Pro XC). In the women's competition, Slowenian Blaza Klemencic (Calcit Bike) was successful against Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing) and Eva Lechner (Colnago-Südtirol) .

Men: Kulhavy gets away on a downhill

In the second of five total laps, a five-man leading group was established, including Kulhavy, Giger, Fumic, Jan Skarnitzl (Sram Rubena Trek) and Emil Lindgren (Giant Pro XC). They set a fast pace around the 6km course.

Just before the end of the penultimate lap, on the last downhill, came the decisive move. Kulhavy descended at the front, flying downhill fast enough to create a five or six-second gap. He pushed on the pedals and quickly grew his gap to 20 seconds.

Rain started to fall, making the ground slippery. Nearly everyone was riding tyres for dry weather. German national champion Fumic decided not to try to follow Kulhavy, but concentrated instead on beating Giger for the second place.

Kulhavy won the race in 1:28:59, and the battle for second came down to a sprint finish with Fumic beating Giger and finishing 10 seconds after Kulhavy.

"It was a very important to test my shape for the Cape Epic," said Kulhavy. "I am very satisfied with it and looking forward to some more training on Cyprus. It was not my plan, but when I got some seconds on the downhill, I went full gas."

Fumic said, "Jaroslav got away suddenly and then it started raining. I decided to focus on second place and Fabian. I could outsprint him on the finishing straight. My shape is good, it's going in the right direction and this test was successful."

Giger said, "It was a nice race under difficult conditions. Jaroslav was a tick better than us, but for me, it was a good start of the season. It's always good to be on the podium."

Skarnitzl took fourth place, exactly one minute behind his Czech countrymate, while a surprising Nicola Rohrbach (Goldwurstpower/Stöckli) took the fifth and final spot on podium, 12 seconds back.

Lindgren suffered technical problems and fell back into eighth position.

Women: Close finish between Klemencic and Leumann

After the 3km start loop, during which a large group of women stayed together, five riders created a lead group. On a climb, Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing) took the lead because she wanted to be first into the upcoming singletrack.

Behind her, Blaza Klemencic (Calcit Bike) made a small mistake, blocking the rest of the leaders in the front group.

So Leumann suddenly was alone in the lead. Only Klemencic could make it back up to Leumann. The duo rode together for the following lap. In the penultimate lap, Klemencic rode away and Leumann couldn't follow, so she tried to secure her second place.

The Swiss rider was surprised when, in the last lap, she could see Klemencic again, and 200 meters before the finish line, she was more or less upon the back wheel of the Slovenian. But through the corners of the village of Voroklini, Leumann was not able to pass Klemencic.

"I am very happy with the race. I won my last race in 2012 in China, and I'm starting with a victory on Cyprus into 2013," said Klemencic. "That's great. I was racing with my Olympic bike, but at home, I already have a 29er."

Leumann said, "I actually was surprised how good the race worked for me. When Blaza sped up, I was not able to follow, but at the end of the last lap, I could see her again. Unfortunately it was not able to pass her in the streets of Voroklini."

Eva Lechner (Colnago-Südtirol) rode together with Yana Belomoyna (Superior Brentjens), but then left the U23 World Cup winner behind. Lechner finished third at 3:38 minutes behind Klemencic, while Belomoyna was caught by a strong, up and coming Corinna Gantenbein. The Swiss rider from Fischer-BMC surprised with a fourth place, five seconds behind Lechner.

Lechner said, "To be honest, I had my troubles, after the cyclo-cross season and not training on the bike for one week. But for the first race, at least it is okay."

Due to problems with her knee, pre-race favorite Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory Racing) was not able to race.

Promoter Mike Hadjioannou was happy that the rain was not to heavy. "From the organizational side, everything went okay. There were some crashes, of course, when the course got slippery. But nothing serious and fortunately no injuries," he said.

Full results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Factory Team1:28:59 
2Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:00:11 
3Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team0:00:11 
4Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Sram Rubena Trek0:01:01 
5Rohrbach Nicola (Swi) Goldwurst-Power/Stockli0:01:13 
6Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team0:01:18 
7Anton Cooper (NZl) Cannondale Factory Racing0:01:20 
8Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team0:01:43 
9Matthias Wengelin (Swe) CK Naten Sater/Specialized Conceptstore0:02:19 
10Anton Sintsov (Rus) Titici LGL Pro Team0:05:39 
11Sergeii Rysenko (Ukr) Ukraine National Team0:06:39 
12Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Giant Pro XC Team0:07:03 
13Daniel Federspiel (Aut) Otztal Scott Racing Team0:07:10 
14Pascal Meyer (Swi) JB Felt Team0:07:42 
15Gregor Raggl (Aut) Otztal Scott Racing Team0:08:14 
16David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:08:15 
17Gogolev Maxim (Rus) CC Roma Team / Samara-Shvsm0:08:48 
18Gogolev Anton (Rus) Impuls0:10:20 
19Brice Scholtes (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team0:10:34 
20Christopher Maletz (Ger) Team Fujibikes Rockets0:10:46 
21Axel Lindh (Swe) Harnosands CK0:10:54 
22Pieter Geluykens (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team0:11:36 
23Boredskii Ruslan (Rus) Team Primorskiy District (Saint Petersburg)0:11:46 
24Simon Schili (Ger) JB Felt Team0:11:47 
25Ryo Saito (Jpn) Miyata-Merida Bikin Team0:11:50 
26Ken Onodera (Jpn) Team Specialized0:12:52 
27Giorgos Fattas (Cyp) Char. Pettemerides0:13:35 
28Bengareth Roff (GBr) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:13:36 
29Mark Kuyan (Rus) Team Primorskiy District0:15:19 
30Andrey Myshakov (Rus) Team Primorskiy District0:15:59 
31Marios Athanasiades (Cyp) Omonoia0:16:35 
32Artem Shevtsov (Ukr) Ukraine National Team0:18:40 
33Ulisse Fieschi (Swi) JB Felt Team0:19:59 
34Swenson Keegan (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing0:20:41 
35Nicolas Daniels (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team0:24:36 
-1lapPantelis Christoforou (Cyp) Ayios Mnason  
-3lapsEirinaios Koutsiou (Cyp) Hrakleitos  
-3lapsLoucas Theodorou (Cyp) Hrakleitos  
-3lapsGeorge Ladakis (Gre) Hrakleitos  
-3lapsAndersson Jesper (Swe)  
DNFSimon Scheiber (Aut) Otztal Scott Racing Team  
DNFBatsutsa Mykhaylo (Ukr) Ukraine National Team  
DNFUrban Ferencak (Slo) Calcit Bike  
DNFKarl Markt (Aut) Otztal Scott Racing Team  
DNSChristos Loizou (Cyp) Char. Pettemerides  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Calcit Bike1:28:07 
2Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing0:00:01 
3Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Farbe Sudtirol0:03:38 
4Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer Bmc0:03:44 
5Yana Belomoina (Ukr) Superior-Brentjens MTB Racing Team0:05:16 
6Andrea Waldis (Swi) Colnago Sudtirol0:06:39 
7Ekaterina Anoshina (Rus) Team Protek0:08:22 
8Iryna Popova (Ukr) Ukraine National Team0:13:08 
9Sarah Koba (Swi) JB Felt Team0:13:11 
10Jovana Crnogorac (Srb) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:14:51 
11Elena Gogoleva (Rus) CC Roma Team / Samara Shvsm0:16:06 
12Nicoletta De Jager (Ned)0:16:46 
13Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) EBE-Racing Team/RSC-Schoanich0:17:22 
14Jennifer Kupferschmied (Swi) Wheeler_IXS_Team0:21:55 
-2lapsJelena Petrova (Lat) Omonoia  
-3lapsAndri Christoforou (Cyp) Omonoia  
-3lapsAsuman Burcu Balci (Tur) Riva Macera A.D.S.K.  
DNFDemetra A. Michaelides (Cyp) Bikin'cyprus  
DNFMarta Tereshchuk (Ukr) Ukraine National Team  
DNSAlexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing  

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