The last stage of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup Round 2 was a normal lapped cross country race, around the same course as the time trial 2 days earlier. The women had a startloop + 3 laps, which is one lap less than last year, probably due to the adverse weather conditions. It basically didn't stop raining for the whole race and the descents turned into muddy slides with rivers flowing down.
My whole aim for the race was to beat Julie Krasniak by half a minute, because that would pull me up one place in the General Classification. The next girls up were over 4min ahead of me and fast, and it was unlikely for me to beat those girls AND make up that much time on a shorter race. I was also about 3min ahead of the next girl down, so as long as I kept my position, there was no danger for them to overtake me in GC.
I had a good start and made sure to get ahead of Julie early and worked on increasing my gap to her. A group of about 5 girls had formed chasing after the two leaders, Annika Langvad (DEN) and Elisabeth Brandau (GER) who had gone out front from the start. Unfortunately I couldn't hang on with the group and lost touch in the first proper lap. Then I crashed on lap two on a really slippery downhill bit (leaving me with a nice bruise on my leg and on my cheek from where I hit a rock), but my bike was OK and I could go on. I had a bit of a fun battle with Ekaterina Anoshina (RUS) during most of the race and at one time managed to get ahead of her into one of the singletrack sections in the last lap, but she stuck to my wheel and overtook me again in the last singletrack section. She was too strong for me.
In the end I came in 7th place, just after Ekaterina, and placed 6th in the general classification. I am really looking forward to the last race of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup next weekend!
Thanks to Boerje from Cycle-in-Cyprus for feedzone support.
Results and General Classification are available on cyclingnews.
All photos used in Cyprus race reports Copyright by Armin Kuestenbrueck.