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Kulhavy wins opening time trial

At the Cyprus Sunshine Cup Afxentia stage race opener in Macheras Forest, Czech Jaroslav Kulhavy and German Elisabeth Brandau won the 7.4km time trial. Kulhavy finished the men's race ahead of Swede Emil Lindgren and Czech Jan Skarnitzl while Brandau beat Russian Ekaterina Anoshina and Slovakian Janka Stevkova in the women's contest.

Despite the race being called the Sunshine Cup, racers battled cold and rainy conditions in the Macheras Mountains. Eight degree (Celsius) temperatures and muddy conditions slowed racers.

"I felt very good today, and I'm really happy to start like this," said Kulhavy. "The course was difficult with the mud."  Kulhavy added that he feels like he still has to correct his position on my new bike.  "It's not perfect yet," he said.

Runner-up Lindgren said, "I felt much better than last week. I had good legs and a good feeling, but not good enough for the win. I made a couple mistakes, but I think everyone did so."

Skarnitzl was undeterred by the weather and the mud. "I always do some cyclo-cross races, so I'm used to such conditions. I think it was good. I had good legs and also good tires."

Favorites such as Roel Paulissen (Cannondale), Thomas Litscher (MiG) and Fabian Giger (Rabobank-Giant) did not race as well as expected. Litscher broke his derailleur, and Paulissen didn't have the winning form.

"I was without power. I couldn't perform. I couldn't feel anything in the legs," said Paulissen. 

The winner Kulhavy, on the other hand, had no problems. The Czech was in his first race of the season and time trialed to his win with a 21.4-second margin ahead of Lindgren. Sunshine Cup leader Jan Skarnitzl (Dimp-Giant) was third at 32.4 seconds.

Russian Maxim Gogolev finished fourth ahead of Czech Jiri Friedl (Merida).

Brandau has fun on way to a win

Before the start, nobody would have bet on Elisabeth Brandau (Haibike) as the winner. The German had competed in the the cyclo-cross World Championships, then had a break of two weeks before resuming her training just one week ago.

However, having previously finished fifth at the marathon worlds, Brandau is no stranger to racing her mountain bike well. She won by 21.4 seconds over the Russian Anoshina (Primorsky District) and by 58.59 seconds over Janka Stevkova (CKEpic-Dohnany).

"Technically, it was no problem, except for a crash," said Brandau. "The legs were hurting but the lungs hurt more. I had a lot of fun being on a mountain bike again."

Title defender Alexandra Engen (Rothaus-Cube) was five seconds further back in fourth place, and Voroklini winner Annika Langvad (HMTBK) was fifth.

"At the beginning, I just wanted to go home, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and watch a movie. But after the first downhill I started to have fun," said Engen. "Then I gave full gas."

On Saturday, racers will compete in a point to point event through the Macheras Mountains.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Rubena Birell Specialized0:21:02.90
2Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:00:21.42
3Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) DIMP Giant0:00:32.48
4Maxim Gogolev (Rus) Corratec Team0:01:07.24
5Jiri Friedl (Cze) 2010 Merida Biking Team0:01:19.81
6Christoph Soukup (Aut) 2010 Merida Biking Team0:01:19.89
7Moorlag Henk Jaap (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:01:24.58
8Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) V.C.Lapomme Marseille0:01:32.74
9Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) SRM Stevens0:01:33.65
10Williams Lee (GBr) Team Wiggle0:01:39.59
11Klaus Nielsen (Den)0:01:41.65
12Tim Bohme (Ger) Team Bulls0:01:42.98
13Periklis Ilias (Gre) Greek National0:01:43.52
14Timofey Ivanov (Rus) Primorskiy District0:01:44.55
15Alexey Medvedev (Rus) Dinamo Moscow0:01:48.10
16Fredrik Edin (Swe)0:01:48.86
17Jiri Hudeuek (Cze) DIMP Giant0:01:52.08
18Henrique Avancini (Bra) ISD Cycling Team0:01:53.77
19Ondrej Cink (Cze) 2010 Merida Biking Team0:01:53.86
20Platt Karl (Ger) Team Bulls0:01:56.32
21Anton Gogolev (Rus) Corratec Team0:02:00.32
22Dmitry Medvedev (Rus) Dinamo Moscow0:02:01.26
23Roel Paulissen (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:02:02.13
24Nicolas Vermeulen (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:02:05.06
25Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Infotre-Leecougan0:02:05.53
26Sahm Stefan (Ger) Bulls Team0:02:06.43
27Giger Fabian (Swi) Rabobank-Giant Offroad0:02:08.19
28Thomas Dietch (Fra) Team Bulls0:02:13.50
29BlomqvistALEXANDER (Swe) Alingsas Ck0:02:14.19
30Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Kalas0:02:20.54
31Nicolas Jeantet (Ita) ISD Cycling Team0:02:22.90
32Frank Schotman (Ned) Stappenbelt-Specialized Mtb Team0:02:30.60
33Thomas Litcher (Swi) Mig0:02:31.48
34Ivan Rybarik (Cze) Merida Biking Team0:02:32.61
35Anders Ljungberg (Swe) Team Firebike-Droessiger0:02:40.50
36Bjorn Brems (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:02:54.83
37Ivan Smirnov (Rus) Primorskiy District0:03:00.13
38Pavel Pryadein (Rus) Dinamo Moscow0:03:00.79
39Engeniy Nikolaev (Rus) Primorskiy District0:03:03.00
40Pascal Hossay (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:03:05.95
41Ivan Seledkov (Rus) Dinamo Moscow0:03:06.20
42Looser Konny (Swi) Team Stöckli-Craft0:03:08.32
43Mattias Nilsson (Swe) Team Kalas0:03:08.84
44Matthias Wengelin (Swe) Team Firebike-Droessiger0:03:10.02
45Marios Athanasiades (Cyp) Omonoia0:03:17.44
46Benjamin Wittrup Justesen (Den) Team T-Bikes0:03:28.60
47Lars Bleckur (Swe)0:03:36.81
48Jonsson Olof (Swe) O2 Orbea0:03:37.36
49Ryan Sherlock (Irl) Cycleways0:03:37.70
50Alexey Leontyev (Rus) Dinamo Moscow0:03:40.88
51Artem Orlov (Rus)0:03:41.51
52Hutter Michael (Swi) Pink Gili Swiss Biking Team0:03:44.99
53Pierre Yves Facomprez (Fra) Team Look0:03:46.76
54Evgeniy Vitmanovsky (Rus)0:03:51.45
55Daum Philipp Maximilian (Ger) Haibike0:03:57.56
56Jensen Simon Tarp (Den) HMTBK0:04:07.21
57Dries Govaerts (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:04:12.67
58Skettos Kyriakos (Cyp) Omonoia0:04:19.53
59Henrik Andersen (Den) HMTBK0:04:20.24
60Georgios Pattes-Toumanis (Cyp) Greek National0:04:22.29
61Giorgos Fattas (Cyp) Limassol Club0:04:36.10
62Kasper Busk (Den) HMTBK0:04:37.25
63Michalis Kittis (Cyp) Pol0:04:38.60
64Vladislavs Neroznaks (Lat) Omonoia0:04:41.85
65Lasse Brun Pedersen (Den) HMTBK0:04:55.84
66Nicolas Tachopoulos (Gre) Greek National0:05:03.60
67Paul Beales (GBr) Orange Monkey Cycling Team0:05:06.42
68Anatoly Gavrilov (Rus) Dinamo Moscow0:05:06.98
69Skettos Timotheos (Cyp) Limassol Club0:05:10.25
70Casper Saltoft Kristiansen (Den) Team T-Bikes0:05:10.39
71Johnni Nielsen (Den) Team T-Bikes0:05:22.16
72Igor Bogdan (Ukr)0:05:29.00
73Huber Alexander (Ger)0:05:33.21
74Fagerli Ole-Christian (Nor) Raumerrytter0:06:17.90
75Andrews Christopher (GBr) Orange Monkey Cycling Team0:06:53.16
76Alaxander Chioupin (Cyp) Olympiada0:07:17.02
77Oleksandr Kachanov (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team0:10:04.68
78Jan Jobanek (Cze) 2010 Merida Biking Team0:10:05.25
79Loukas Theodorou (Cyp) Iraklitos0:12:26.88
DNSHeiko Gutmann (Ger) Rothaus-Cube Mtb Team
DNSClaus Crone (Den) Aarhus 1900 Mtb
DNSKiriakos Papanastasiou (Cyp) Dopi

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) German National Team0:26:55.02
2Ekaterina Anoshina (Rus) Primorskiy District0:00:21.85
3Janka Stevkova (Svk) Ck Epic0:00:58.59
4Alexandra Engen (Swe) Rothaus-Cube Mtb Team0:01:03.66
5Annika Langvad (Den) HMTBK0:01:19.00
6Clarke Suzanne (GBr) Great Britain0:01:20.16
7Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:01:51.85
8Mosch Vanessa (Ger)0:02:12.06
9Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Look0:02:20.86
10Melanie Spath (Ger) Cycleways0:02:45.05
11Githa Michiels (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:02:45.62
12Elena Gogoleva (Rus)0:02:47.56
13Ksenia Chernykh (Rus) Orient Giant Russia0:02:53.42
14Anne Terpstra (Ned) Stappenbelt Specialized Mtb Team0:03:13.66
15Nicoletta De Jager (Ned) Rijwielpaleis Mountainbike Team0:04:35.09
16Yana Klishina (Cyp) Dinamo Moscow0:04:39.98
17Zeldenrust Monique (Ned) Giant Benelux0:05:03.68
18Alla Boyko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team0:05:43.99
19Idit Shub (Isr) City Cycling Club0:06:28.01
20Darya Zaytsena (Rus) Karofilm0:06:45.70
21Irina Malysheva (Rus)0:07:32.61
22Jelena Petrova (Lat) Omonoia0:13:11.31
DNSBarbara Benko (Hun) Rothaus-Cube Mtb Team

Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonas Pedersen (Den) HMTBK0:23:20.32
2Anton Stephanov (Rus)0:00:14.95
3Artem Alexandrov (Rus) Primorskiy District0:01:09.63
4Alexey Krylov (Rus) Primorskiy District0:01:24.35
5Sergey Lahanov (Rus) Dinamo Moscow0:01:30.03
6Nikita Chubukov (Rus) Karofilm0:02:23.33
7Ben Roff (GBr)0:04:35.22
8Egor Komin (Rus) Primorskiy District0:07:00.73
9Eirinaios Koutsiou (Cyp) Iraklitos0:07:34.31
10Egor Kropachev (Rus) Primorskiy District0:10:52.36
DNFIlya Bykov (Rus)
DQIlya Dushakov (Rus) Dinamo Moscow
DNSAndrey Shirobokov (Rus) Dinamo Moscow
DNSLeontios Katsouris (Cyp) Pol
DNSMamas Kyriacou (Cyp) Dopi
DNSAngelos Kyriacou (Cyp) Dopi
DNSAlexey Solovyev (Rus) Dinamo Moscow

Junior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emmas Ferner (Swe) Borlange Ck0:31:24.01
2Josefine Grimbeck (Swe) Ck Wano0:00:01.70
3Andrea Christoforou (Cyp) Omonoia0:01:18.08
4Svetlana Poverina (Rus) Karofilm0:01:46.79
5Yulia Yakovleva (Rus) Primorskiy District0:02:21.76
6Valeriy Kuzmenko (Rus) Karofilm0:02:41.21

Masters 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Benoit Valentin (Fra) V.C.La Pomme Marseille0:25:16.65
2Morris Anthony (GBr) Evans Cycles Rt0:00:35.35
DNSMarios Antoniou (Cyp)

Masters 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mads Bodker (Den) T-Bike0:27:07.41
2Victor Korchagin (Rus) Giant - Russia0:00:24.04
3Soren Christensen (Den) HMTBK0:01:36.87
4Zierke Frederik (Ger)0:02:11.51

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.

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