Kulhavy opens season with uphill sprint victory

Cross country world champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Factory Racing) and marathon world champion Annika Langvad (Team Fujibikes Rockets) won the first round of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup in Voroklini on Sunday. Kulhavy grabbed his first-ever win in Voroklini in a tight finish against Fabian Giger (Rabobank-Giant) and Liam Killeen (Giant Factory Racing). Langvad won for her third time in a row in front of Sabine Spitz and Tereza Hurikova (both Sabine Spitz-Haibike Pro Team).


Under a sunny sky, the men raced five 6.km laps. On the third lap, seven men escaped to form a lead group. At first, Manuel Fumic (Cannondale), Fabian Giger and Wolfram Kurschat (Topeak-Ergon) were active in keeping the leaders' pace high.

Then Fumic had a crash and lost contact. Giger and Kurschat got away, but were caught again by the remains of the lead group.

When the race came into the final lap, Emil Lindgren (Rabobank-Giant) and Jan Skarnitzl (Rubena Birell Specialized) lost contact as did Kurschat. He couldn't get around a female rider on course, while Giger, Killeen and Kulhavy made the pass ok.

Immediately before the last downhill, Kulhavy overtook Giger for the lead, gained some seconds and then went full gas into the short, final climb. The move proved decisive as Kulhavy crossed the finish line as the winner in 1:23:36, two seconds ahead of Giger, who was just one second ahead of Killeen.

"It was a crazy race," said Kulhavy. "After the start, I had bad legs. During the race, they became better and better. I managed to get into the lead before the downhill and then sprinted up the last climb."

Kulhavy was still dialling in his new gear for the 2012 season. "I have new shoes, a new bike and everything has to be set up again. I think I have to change my position on the bike a bit. Next weekend it should be better."

Giger seemed pleased with second. "The most important thing was that I felt good. I could go at a high speed from the beginning to the end. Kurschat was strong in the uphill and two times, we escaped. At the end, maybe I had too much respect for the world champion, because I let him pass in a corner. Anyway, it's not too bad, to be second behind the world champion."

Third place finisher Killeen said, "I felt comfortable in the lead group. It's good to be back in the front. It was a hard and fast race, maybe one lap too short. I hope to improve more and more."

Kurschat mistakenly thought he had to do one more lap, and Fumic closed the gap and easily took fourth spot, 31 seconds after Kulhavy. Three seconds after Fumic, Kurschat rounded out the podium in fifth. Skarnitz was behind him.


Mechanical troubles influenced the women's race, which drew 40 starters. Sabine Spitz and Tereza Hurikova and Annika Langvad took the initiative and formed a three-woman group on lap two of four. Blaza Klemencic (Felt Oetztal X-Bionic) held on at first, but then fell back.

On lap two, Langvad accelerated while Hurikova had a mechanical problem with her chain. Then Langvad flatted and Spitz and Hurikova came back.

Hurikova's mechanical problems weren't over, and Langvad got away while Spitz sat in third place. However, the German Olympic champion closed the gap to Hurikova as Langvad rode away solo to the win in a time of 1:20:09.

"Last year, I gave everything in the first race, but this time, I tried to keep something," said Langvad. "It's always exciting to compare the first time with the other girls. I had a pretty good feeling and it's great to start with a win."

Runner-up Spitz, who finished in 1:21:51, said, "I felt good, I recognize the impact of the training camps I did (in South Africa, Engadin and Gran Canaria). What I still miss is the ability to change my rhythm. There were some parts where I lost time. But at the end, I'm very satisfied about my performance. It's a pity for Tereza, she was really strong today."

On the fourth and final lap, Hurikova's troublesome chain finally broke. Fortunately, she was not too far away from the tech zone, so she was able to save her third place on the podium, crossing the line in 1:23:09.

"I'm a bit sad," said Hurikova. "After such a long time not competing for a victory, it is bad to be stopped by a mechanical. Today my body worked pretty well. At least I'm happy that I could save third place because I was not too far to the tech zone."

Only three seconds behind Hurikova, Klemencic entered the finish in fourth while former European champion Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing) came in fifth (1:24:07).

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Factory Team1:23:37
2Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:00:02
3Liam Killeen (GBr) Giant Factory Racing0:00:03
4Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:00:30
5Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:00:34
6Jan Skarnitzl (Cze)0:00:35
7Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:01:05
8Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:01:48
9Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Otzal X-Bionic0:01:50
10Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Otzal X-Bionic0:01:52
11Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Goldwurst-Power/ Trek0:02:18
12Milan Spesny (Cze)0:02:21
13Jiri Novak (Cze) Remerx-Merida Team Kolin0:02:25
14Jiri Friedl (Cze)0:02:47
15Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:03:04
16Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:03:17
17Mathias Fluckiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:03:18
18Ondrej Cink (Cze) Merida Biking Team0:03:25
19Marek Rauchfuss (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:03:40
20Scheib Julian (Ger) Lexwave Racing Team0:04:28
21Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet0:04:31
22Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:04:41
23Alexey Medvedev (Rus) Russian National Team0:04:44
24Jeff Luyten (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:04:50
25Christoph Soukup (Aut) Hitec Team0:04:58
26Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:04:59
27Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Belgian Cycling Team0:04:59
28Maxim Gogolev (Rus) Samara-Shvsm-Roma0:06:16
29Ivan Smirnov (Rus) Protek0:06:25
30Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Elettroveneta Corratec0:06:36
31Lee Williams (GBr) Team Wales0:06:58
32Matous Ulman (Cze)0:07:12
33Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus-MIG0:07:17
34Ivan Seledkov (Rus) Dinamo-Nagornaya0:07:25
35Urruty Maxime (Fra) Team Bikepark.ch Scott0:07:37
36Dmytro Titarenko (Ukr) ISD MTB Team0:07:37
37Anton Gogolev (Rus) Izhevsk-Impul's0:08:11
38Robert Mennen (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:08:35
39Sergij Nikolaev (Rus) Samara-Shvsm0:08:43
40Ola Kjoren (Nor) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet0:08:51
41Frank Schotman (Ned) MPL Specialized0:09:05
42Axel Lindh (Swe) Harnosands CK0:09:50
43Marios Athanasiadis (Cyp) Omonoia0:10:07
44Daniel Geismayr (Aut) Centurion Vaude0:10:47
45Timofey Ivanov (Rus) Team Primorskiy District0:11:06
46Kuyan Mark (Rus) Team Primorskiy District0:11:06
47Alexey Leontyer (Rus) CC Roma0:11:44
48Vasilis Adamou (Cyp) Omonoia0:12:03
49Marc Metzler (Swi) Pink Gilis Swiss Team0:12:16
50Simon Hupperetz (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team0:12:34
51Sergii Rysenko (Ukr) ISD MTB Team0:12:40
52Brice Scholtes (Bel) National Team Belgium0:12:45
53Bojan Djurdjic (Srb) Salcano Factory Team0:12:54
54Anton Liubyl (Ukr)0:12:54
55Bilal Akgul (Tur) Turkish National Team0:13:26
56Giorgos Fattas (Cyp) Ch. Pettemerides0:13:59
57Gavrilov Anatoly (Rus) Dinamo-Nagornaya0:15:01
58Rien Terpstra (Ned) MPL Specialized0:15:25
59Quentin Winandy (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team0:15:48
60Abdulkadir Kelleci (Tur) Turkish National Team0:15:54
61Fabrice Mels (Bel) Salcano Factory Team0:16:12
62Pieter Geluykens (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team0:17:30
63Tobias Reiser (Ger)0:17:45
64Aleksa Maric (Srb) Salcano Factory Team0:19:08
65Vittorio Oliva (Ita) Bi&Esse-Infotre Protek0:19:38
66Christopher Platt (Ger) National Team0:20:00
-1lapMichalis Karatzis (Cyp) PolRow 66 - Cell 2
-1lapKrylov Alexey (Rus) Team Primorskiy DistrictRow 67 - Cell 2
-2lapsStefan Hermens (Ned) Thijs Hendriks Mountainbike TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
-2lapsTimotheos Skettos (Cyp) Limassol Sporting ClubRow 69 - Cell 2
-2lapsPantelis Christoforou (Cyp) Agios MnasonRow 70 - Cell 2
-3lapsTim Lemmers (Ned) Feenstra Stevens BiketeamRow 71 - Cell 2
-3lapsKoutsiou Irinaios (Cyp) HraklitosRow 72 - Cell 2
-3lapsLoukas Theodorou (Cyp) HraklitosRow 73 - Cell 2
DNFPavel Pryadein (Rus) Dinamo-NagornayaRow 74 - Cell 2
DNFGeert Van Der Horst (Ned) Feenstra Stevens BiketeamRow 75 - Cell 2
DNFOle Christian Fagerli (Nor) Team Herbalife 24 RaumerrittetRow 76 - Cell 2
DNFPascal Hossay (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
DNFErwin Kuunders (Ned) Thijs Hendriks Mountainbike TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
DNFJens Schuermans (Bel) Belgian Cycling TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFLeontios Katsouris (Cyp) PolRow 80 - Cell 2
DNFAnton Sintsov (Rus) Titicy Lgl Pro TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Carlsson (Swe) Mjolby CKRow 82 - Cell 2
DNSRudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan-Merida Biking TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
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Eltie women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annika Langvad (Den) Team Fujibikes Rockets1:20:09
2Sabine Spitz (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:01:42
3Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:03:01
4Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Felt Otzal X-Bionic0:03:03
5Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:03:11
6Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Swi) Team Bikepark.ch Scott0:03:14
7Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) National Team0:03:58
8Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:03:59
9Vera Andreeva (Rus) Dinamo.cheboksary0:04:24
10Zakelj Tanja (Slo) Salcano Factory Team0:05:17
11Katrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:05:38
12Janka Stevkova (Svk) CK Epic Dohnany0:06:09
13Anne Terpstra (Ned) MPL Specialized0:06:31
14Ann Berglund (Swe)0:06:54
15Mona Eiberweiser (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:06:54
16Elisabeth Sveum (Nor) Team Crampfix Nakamura0:07:36
17Ekaterina Anoshina (Rus) Protek0:07:45
18Yana Belomoyna (Ukr) Bi&Esse- Infotre0:08:50
19Laura Turpijn (Ned) MPL Specialized0:09:08
20Krista Park (USA)0:09:42
21Nicoletta De Jager (Ned) MPL Specialized0:10:10
22Josefine Ahlstrom (Swe)0:10:34
23Nataliya Krompets (Ukr)0:12:21
24Elena Gogoleva (Rus) Samara-Shvsm-Roma0:12:41
25Oksana Rybakova (Rus)0:12:41
26Antri Christoforou (Cyp) Omonoia0:13:37
27Helen Grobert (Ger) German National Team0:14:19
28Angelica Edvardsson (Swe) Cykloteket Racing Team0:14:45
29Lisa Mitterbauer (Aut) Team Bikepark.ch Scott0:14:58
30Crnogorac Jovana (Srb) Salcano Factory Team0:16:35
31Kseniya Kirillova (Rus) Suvary.cheboksury0:17:13
32Marta Tereshchuk (Ukr) Bi&Esse- Infotre0:17:47
33Esra Kurkcu (Tur) Turkish National Team0:18:37
34Michaela Malarikova (Svk) CK Skiklub Sportmed Bratislava0:21:12
35Virginie Pointet (Swi) JB Felt Team0:23:01
36Ksenia Chernykh (Rus) Giant-Russia0:27:15
DNFStephania Magri (Mta) GB CyclesRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFSemra Yetis (Tur) Turkish National TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
DNFAlexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
DNFHomovec Nina (Slo) Salcano Factory TeamRow 39 - Cell 2

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