The last stage of Cyprus Sunshine Cup at Voroklini ended up in a Czech duel. Ondrej Cink took the win in front of Jan Skarnitzl. Third place went to Thomas Litscher (Sui). In a tight finish of women’s race, Jolanda Neff (Sui) was able to pass Blaza Klemencic (Slo) to take her second win in Cyprus. Third spot on the podium went to Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Nor). The overall classifications also went to today’s winners.
The men’s race became a fight between the two countrymen once Rudi van Houts (Multivan-Merida) lost contact. Early on in the race José Antonio Hermida suffered from a flat tyre and Julian Schelb (Ger) crashed.
From lap 3 Ondrej Cink (Multivan-Merida) and Jan Skarnitzl (Sram Rubena Trek) were increasing their gap up to half a minute. Cink and Skarnitzl stayed together until the last lap where Cink created a gap on an uphill single trail. “He was stronger there every lap and I could not close the gap again”, Jan Skarnitzl explained. “It was a great race and I am satisfied with that result. Ondrej was very strong.”
The victorious Cink crossed the finish line 17 seconds earlier and of course was happy about his first season win. Cink says: “During the week I felt tired and even yesterday not so good. But today, everything was perfect. I felt super for the whole race and could do what I want. It was a very, very good day for me.”
Behind them both, Litscher reached van Houts and left him behind. After the first lap, Litscher was going as fast as leading two and finally took the third spot on the podium. Rudi van Houts was happy with his ride but disappointed to have just missed out on the podium. Wolfram Kurschat (Topeak Ergon) was pleased to finish 5th on his season debut.
From Britain the Batchelor brothers (Fluid Fin Racing Team) led the way making a fast start and then working together for the final few laps, Seb would finish 25th, Hamish 26th. Jason Bouttell (Velopro) finished 28th after riding most of the race tantalisingly close to the two brothers ahead. Steven James (Hargroves Cycles) now recovered from illness last week rode strongly to 32nd dropping Lee Williams (Gateways Cycles) on the final climb, Lee would finish 34th. Youngster and former British junior national champion Sam Stean (Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team) suffered from illness the morning before the race but battled on to a respectable 74th place.
In the women’s Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC) secured her second win within a week. The 21 years old Under 23 World Champion punctured on the first lap. After changing her back wheel, she passed the finish line with 40 seconds behind the three ladies leading group on seventh position.
Jolanda Neff fought back and on the following lap she already caught the leaders. On the third lap Neff and Blaza Klemencic (Feenstra-Felt) rode away, with Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Multivan-Merida) following eight seconds behind and Maja Wloszczowska (Liv Pro XC) another 15 seconds further back.
Neff and Klemencic increased the gap, both were still together on the last downhill, Klemencic was leading and Neff not able to pass. They reached the asphalt and there a fast corner. “Blaza took the outside line and I found the gap to pass her”, said Neff. “I felt pretty strong in the uphill and it was okay in the downhill. But Jolanda, she is so fast in the downhill, I had no chance”, Klemencic confirmed.
Nine times World Champion Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa, “I felt strong, but I am not in shape. Of course, I should be happy to make it on the podium, but the body is not so far off. I had to control myself and ride on strength. It went pretty well in the uphill and in the technical parts. First podium gives me motivation; it was a good fight with the girls”. Maja Wloszczowska was happy to finish fourth after health problems this winter. Sabine Spitz confessed the 2008 Olympic champion finished 5th.
The Voroklini C1 race attracted a record number of participants, “We are really happy about this improvement and looking forward to next year. The success of this year gives us motivation to work on some details for 2015. Thanks to all the support we got from the communities, Cyprus Tourism Organization and Cyprus Cycling Federation and also thanks to all the positive comments”.