Martin Stošek overcame technical problems and beat his competition at 20th Malevil Cup while Jana Pichlíková clearly won at the womens category.
The Malevil Cup, part of the UCI MTB Marathon Series calendar, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. It was a great international celebration with more than 1300 racers from 14 countries. After many years the gold medals stayed in Czech Republic – Jana Pichlíková and Martin Stošek won Malevil Cup for the first time.
The Lusatian Mountains again offered challenging route full of complicated climbs and often rocky descents. In contrast with the previous hot days the weather was favourable to the racers, though for sure they got sweaty during the race.
As a huge number of elite bikers took part in the race, organizers preferred a bit unusual start from starting waves. At 8.30am elite men started, including Kristián Hynek (Vitalo Future cycling), Jan Škarnitzl (Mitas Mercedes-Benz Praha Trek), Martin Stošek (Vitalo Future Cycling) and several foreign bikers such as Danish Sören Nissen racing under the Luxembourg flag, last year’s winner of Belgian MTB Challenge.
14 elite women followed them one minute later, another minute after them hobby racers who are the biggest group at Malevil Cup. This year more than 1300 of them chose one of the four tracks, the majority (512) the longest 100 km track!
Martin Stošek reached the finish as the first one. The young mountain biker has had a very successful year – he managed to win almost everywhere where he came. Second position belongs to Tomáš Višňovský and third to Matouš Ulman (both Česká spořitelna Accolade).
“Considering the difficulty of the race I planned to be part of the first group from the start and wait until the race itself shows the abilities and form of the bikers. I was unlucky at the beginning of the race because I got a flat tyre at approximately 20th kilometer. Before I started the repairing, my team partner Dominik Buksa reached me and gave me his back wheel. The head of the race was a minute ahead of me and it took me 17 kilometers and lot of energy to reach close this gap. In the end it was just me and Tomáš Višňovský at the head and my bad luck from the earlier stage of the race was compensated a bit because his chain fell,” Stošek describes the race.
A bit different was the race for second Višňovský: “I started three times at Malevil Cup in previous years so I know the race. My best result was the third position so far so this year I improved it by one position. From the start I was part of the leading group but by the first refreshment station I got to the lead alone. Kristián Hynek had to invest a lot of energy to get close to me again, then Matouš Ulman attacked and we were again in the group of five. Martin Stošek reached us around the second refreshment station. I focused on the Mountain prize at Hvozd and managed to win it. The following descent was rather cautious from my side because I had technical problems there in the previous years. Then we rode together with Martin Stošek a Jan Škarnitzl, once my chain fell and I had to get back to them. Then Jan Škarnitzl had a defect and stayed there so it was just me and Martin approaching to the finish. Unfortunately my chain fell again so the final result was clear. This was my second peak of the season after Cape Epic so I especially prepared for the race.”
Jan Škarnitzl did not reach the finish at all due to technical issues and his ambition to triumph at Malevil Cup stays unfulfilled.
The victory of Jana Pichlíková (Kross Bikeranch) was clear, she finished 9 minutes before great Slovenian biker Blaža Pintarič (Pintatim). Pintarič had to turn away the attack of Milena Cesnaková (Maloja – Rocky Mountain team) at the finish area, but in the end the current winner of Král Šumavy ended at the third position.
“I’m really happy, I didn’t hope to win because there were many good bikers. At the start I kept at the leading group. When hobby bikers reached us some of the girls used the situation and hooked them,” the winner of the race comments on the unusual starting from the special wave.
“Blaža Pintarič was still ahead of me in the first half of the race but I still saw her. At the Mountain prize at Hvozd I was just behind her but she controlled the situation and overtook me. It was the last moment when she was ahead of me. Luckily I managed to ride with some elite men bikers at the last 20 kilometers of the race. I remembered from the last year that this will help me a lot in the final part of the race,” says Pichlíková.