Emil Lindgren and Blaza Klemencic at second round of Cyprus Sunshine Cup took the win in Afxentia stage race time trial. The Giant rider from Sweden put eight seconds between him and Olympic Gold medalist Jaroslav Kulhavy and eleven to team mate Henk-Jaap Moorlag (Ned).
Slovenian Blaza Klemencic won three seconds in front of surprising road Olympic champion Marianne Vos (Ned) and 15 to Adelheid Morath (Ger).
Under warm and dry conditions in the Macheras Mountains, in men’s competition the expected riders put the best times on the list.
Emil Lindgren is well known as an explosive rider and so it was not a big surprise, that he was able to beat Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) on the 5,6 kilometer and take the yellow jersey for the Afxentia lead. Even though Lindgren was sick the days before, taking Antibiotics.
Having Fabian Giger in fourth place, Giant Pro XC Team will have a lot of opportunities for Saturdays point to point race.
Emil Lindgren: I have some tough weeks behind, because I got an infection from my kid. This is the last day, I took antibiotics. It’s nice to have a win and that the whole team did really well. Oscar Saiz, our technic coach, told me to suffer in the last climb, because it’s close.
Jaroslav Kulhavy: I had some difficult training the last days, hard and long. So, I was a bit tired. But I think the time trial is not so important. Tomorrow and Sunday, I think, I will be a bit fresher than today.
Henk-Jaap Moorlag: I am very, very happy about my result. I felt during training, that I am much better than last year. After a hard training in the winter, I have lost five kilogram weight. That effects a lot. It’s also good for the whole team to start with such a result.
Women: Surprises on two and three
To see Blaza Klemencic (Calcit Bike) on the top was expected, after her win in Cyprus Sunshine Cup opener at Voroklini. As before the time trial nobody knew, how road world champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank/Liv Giant) could do on her mountainbike. Now it’s obvious, that she is within the best.
Another surprise was Adelheid Morath (Sabine Spitz-Haibike) on third position. The German vice champion herself was surprised about her result.
Blaza Klemencic: Last year I had a very bad feeling all three days, but today my legs were very good. The whole winter, I could train very well, without any health problems. I am really happy for today.
Marianne Vos: I am happy with this first experience, it’s quite good. It’s a tough thing, especially when you do time trial. It’s so hard to keep concentration, when you get tired at the end.
Adelheid Morath: Actually I am still not in a race feeling. I feel not perfect confortable on my new bike and I had less training on the road bike as well, because the winter was hard at home. Today I had fun, but I am totally surprised by this result today.