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The Faget Forest of Cluj-Napoca, Romania hosted the third edition of the Maros Bike XCO Cup on Saturday, April 7. This year, the race was upgraded to a UCI category 1 event, which meant more points and bigger prizes for elite riders and points toward Olympic qualification.
Thirty-six elite men and six elite women were registered for this race, coming from seven different countries including six national champions and three Olympians and the winners of previous editions.
The weather was good during the week of the race, but during the night before the race, it rained for a few hours and the organizers had to decide if they would use the "rain option" shortcut to avoid some of the rooty sections. With less then one hour before the race, organizers and the UCI commissaire decided that was dry enough for the best riders to do the original course as planned. Each lap covered 4.65km and 185m in elevation gain.
The elite men started their six laps at noon, followed one minute later by the elite women for five laps. After the first lap, Polish champion Marek Galinski (JBG-2) and Hungarian champion and winner of last year's edition Andras Parti were off the front together. They would duel for the next two laps.
Due to some technical problems, Galinski lost contact with Parti, and the Hungarian rider accelerated and got away for good on lap four. Galinksi lost ground on Parti who took his second consecutive victory in the event. He was a few seconds faster than last year, when the course had been shortened due to mud.
Parti was motivated to win this race because it was one of three events Hungary is using to select its rider for the Olympic Games in London.
The podium was completed by Polish riders from JBG-2 Professional MTB Team: Marek Galinski in second place and Adrian Brzooka in third place. The winner of first edition of the Maros Bike XCO Cup and the Slovak champion Michal Lami finished in fourth place. The first Romanian rider was the Olympian and national champion Tudor Oprea from Pro Cycling Geiger Team who finished in 11th place.
In the elite women's category, the winner was Barbara Benko (Focus MIG Team), who rode solo from the first lap. The race for second place was an animated one between Ester Dosa (Hungary) and Marta Tereshuk (Ukraine). Tereshuk managed to get second with 30 seconds on Dosa.
The race was organised by Maros Sport Team under the aegis of Romanian Cycling and Triathlon Federation, with help from Red Cross, Clujul Pedaleaza and CMC29 Club.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Andras Parti (Hun)||1:33:06|
|2||Marek Galinski (Pol)||0:02:01|
|3||Adrian Brzozka (Pol)||0:03:06|
|4||Michal Lami (Svk)||0:04:02|
|5||Benjamin Sonntag (Ger)||0:04:09|
|6||Szilard Buruczki (Hun)||0:06:58|
|7||Zsolt Juhasz (Hun)||0:07:40|
|8||Bartlomiej Wawak (Pol)||0:08:39|
|9||Marton Blazso (Hun)||0:10:50|
|10||Mark Csielka (Hun)||0:11:19|
|11||Tudor Oprea Ovidiu (Rom)||0:11:47|
|12||Frantisek Lami (Svk)||0:12:06|
|13||Anton Liyubuy (Ukr)||0:12:23|
|14||Marko Popovic (Srb)||0:13:13|
|15||Gabor Bogar (Hun)||0:16:34|
|16||Lucian Logigan (Rom)||0:18:04|
|17||Ivan Jovanovic (Srb)||0:18:38|
|18||Gergo Meggyesi (Hun)|
|19||Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom)|
|20||George Vlad Sabau (Rom)|
|21||Fabian Gandila (Rom)|
|22||Robert Cristian Kovacs (Rom)|
|23||Dmyrto Gunda (Ukr)|
|24||Ionut-Adrian Sdraila (Rom)|
|25||Zoltan Deak (Rom)|
|26||Ioan Tudor Radu (Rom)|
|27||Georgian Popovici (Rom)|
|28||Michal Alexaj (Svk)|
|29||Sergiu Paraschiv (Rom)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Barbara Benko (Hun)||1:39:19|
|2||Marta Tereshchuk (Ukr)||0:05:50|
|3||Eszter Dosa (Hun)||0:06:22|
|4||Gabriella Modos (Hun)||0:17:13|
|5||Adrien Piringer Beata (Rom)|
|6||Linda Trif (Rom)|