Events

Paulissen, Hurikova win Cyprus stage race

Belgian Roel Paulissen (Cannondale-Vredestein) and Czech Tereza Hurikova took overall victories at the Afxentia Stage Race, a three-day cross-country race held on the island of Cyprus. The competition included two cross-country races — each counting as rounds of Cyprus’ Sunshine Cup series — as well as an individual time trial sandwiched between.

By Fred Dreier

Belgian Roel Paulissen

Belgian Roel Paulissen

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Belgian Roel Paulissen (Cannondale-Vredestein) and Czech Tereza Hurikova took overall victories at the Afxentia Stage Race, a three-day cross-country race held on the island of Cyprus. The competition included two cross-country races — each counting as rounds of Cyprus’ Sunshine Cup series — as well as an individual time trial sandwiched between.

Paulissen took his GC victory by 5:11 over Czech Jaroslav Kuhlhavy (Czech National), with Kuhlhavy’s teammate and countryman Milan Spesny in third. American Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) finished in fifth place, 9:50 down on Paulissen.

The Belgian took the opening stage, the 43km Mantra-Kionia-Mantra cross-country race, ahead of former teammate Swede Fredrik Kessiakoff (Full Dynamix) by 1:47. Paulissen then padded his lead by defeating Kessiakoff by 29 seconds in the 7.4km Macheras Mountains time trial.

Kessiakoff dropped out of the stage 3 cross-country race on March 2 due to a leg injury, opening the door for the Kulhavy to take over the second-place spot. Kulhavy did not disappoint, and attacked Paulissen on the last of five laps to take the stage win.

Czech Tereza Hurikova

Czech Tereza Hurikova

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“I didn’t want to take any risks in the downhills. I was looking on the overall,” Paulissen said about his second-place finish in the final event. “The last two days were very hard.”

Hurikova, the 2005 junior world champ, battled relentlessly with German Sabine Spitz (Central-Ghost) throughout the three day event. Spitz narrowly defeated the Czech rider in the opening stage, dropping Hurikova on the course’s final climb and hanging on for a four-second victory. But Spitz sat out the time trial, allowing Hurikova into the driver’s seat. The Czech took the short individual race by 30 seconds over Swede Alexandra Engen (Merida Sweden). American Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) finished in third place at 41 seconds down.

Spitz asserted her dominance in the final day’s cross-country race, defeating Hurikova by 15 seconds. But with the German only completing two of the three races, Hurikova took the overall win by 10:09 over Engen. Irmiger, who suffered a flat tire in the opening stage, finished third, 19:26 down.

Each year Cyprus’ Sunshine Cup series hosts the first UCI-sanctioned cross-country mountain-bike events of the calendar year. Many of Europe’s top cross-country riders use the five-race series as training and preparation for the upcoming World Cup series. The Sunshine Cup concludes with the March 9 race in Voroklini and the March 16 event in Limassol.

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Results

Mens Elite GC:
1 JAROSLAV KULHAVY CZECH NATIONAL TEAM 01:57:25

2 ROEL PAULISSEN 01:57:52

3 ANDREAS KUGLER 01:58:09

4 CHRISTOPH SOUKUP 01:58:50

5 MILAN SPESNY CZECH NATIONAL TEAM 01:59:05

6 JIRI FRIEDL MERIDA BIKING TEAM 02:00:01

7 MAKCIM GOGOLEV 02:00:05

8 JAN SKARNITZL DIMP GIANT TEAM 02:00:40

9 ALEXANDER WETTERHALL 02:00:47

10 SERGIY RYSENKO 02:01:04

11 JEREMY HORGAN-KOBELSKI SUBARU/GARY FISHER 02:01:47

12 STEFAN SAHM BULLS 02:02:07

13 MATTIAS NILSSON 02:02:12

14 KARL PLATT BULLS 02:02:25
15 NICOLAS VERMEULEN B.N.T 02:04:12

16 DRIES GOVAERTS B.N.T 02:04:35

17 CHRISTOF BISCHOF 02:04:47

18 JOSEF KAMLER CESKA SPORITELNA MTB 02:05:17

19 TOMAS TRUNSCHKA CESKA SPORITELNA MTB 02:05:43

20 NICOLA ROHRBACH CENTRAL GHOST PRO TEAM 02:05:56

21 ANTON GOGOLEV TEAM LENINGRAD REGION 02:06:27

22 ANDRAS MELTS CORRATEC WORLD TEAM 02:07:40

23 LARS BLECKUR 02:07:49

24 TIM WIJNANTS B.N.T 02:09:52

25 DMITRIY MEDVEDEV RUSSIA NAT.TEAM 02:10:17

26 RONALD PLANK MTB-CLUP-OBERWART 02:10:25

27 ANDRIY GUMENYUK 02:11:08

28 ILIAS PERILKLIS 02:11:33

29 ANDRIY KHRIPTA 02:11:35

30 MARIOS ATHANASIADIS 02:13:33

31 NICOLAY ZAGULAEV CCL KARO FILM 02:14:03

32 IAN FIELD BIKIN’ CYPRUS 02:14:08

33 MICHAEL WEISS CICLOPIA 02:14:23

34 ANTON FOMIN 02:14:36

35 VLADISLAV NEROZNAKS 02:14:42

36 IGOR BOGDAN 02:16:16

37 BILLY-JOE WHENMAN 02:17:12

38 ALEXANDER FEDOTOV CCL KARO FILM 02:19:02

40 OSCAR EKSTAM SWEDEN -1 LAP

41 EVGEN MEDVETSSKYY -1 LAP

42 FRANCESCO PANZA -1 LAP

43 PAUL BEALES -1 LAP

44 MATTHEW STEVENS -1 LAP

45 MAXIM ZHURKIN RUSSIA NAT.TEAM -2 LAPS

46 ANDREAS LIEBERHERR -2 LAPS

47 TIMOTHEOS SKETTOS -2 LAPS

48 LUKE SMITH -3 LAPS

49 ALEXIS ELEUTHERIADIS -3 LAPS

DNF KARL MARKT SRM-STEVENS-TEAM DNF

DNF ALEKSEY MEDVEDEV RUSSIA NAT.TEAM DNF

DNF FREDRIK KESSIAKOFF FULL DYNAMIX DNF

DNF EMIL LINDGREN FULL DYNAMIX DNF

DNF GIORGOS FATTAS DNF

DNF PAVEL BLAGIKH RUSSIA NAT.TEAM DNF

DNF BJORN BREMS B.N.T DNF

DNF MAGNUS DARVELL RIETUMU DNF

DNF MAKAEL SALOMONSSON ASARNA IK DNF

DNF DENIS VORONTSOV RUSSIA NAT.TEAM DNF

DNS MIRKO PIRAZZOLI DNS

DQ MAX OSTE MACDONALD DQ

Womens Elite GC

1 SABINE SPITZ CENTRAL GHOST PRO TEAM 01:57:43

2 TEREZA HURIKOVA CZECH NATIONAL TEAM 01:57:58

3 PETRA HENZI FISHER BMC 01:58:55

4 ELISABETH OSL GHOST INTERNATIONAL 01:59:51

5 ALEXANDRA ENGEN MERIDA SWEDEN 02:01:11

6 MARIA OSL 02:01:34

7 IVONNE KRAFT 02:02:57

8 ELENA GADDONI 02:04:19

9 NATALIYA KROMPETS UKR.NAT.TEAM 02:05:56

10 HEATHER IRMIGER SUBARU/GARY FISHER 02:06:29

11 MAAIKE POLSPOEL B.N.T 02:07:05

12 OXANA RYBAKOVA RUSSIA NAT.TEAM 02:10:25

13 GITHA MICHIELS 02:13:07

14 KSENIA CHERNYKH RUSSIA NAT.TEAM 02:17:11

15 ELENA GOGOLEVA 02:21:50

16 EVGENIA BELOZEROVA RUSSIA NAT.TEAM -1 LAP

17 YELENA PETROVA APOLLON -2 LAP

DNF IRYNA SLOBODYAN UKR.NAT.TEAM DNF

DNF EKATERINA MELNIKOVA MGFSU-CUBE DNF

DNF BARBEL JUNGMEIER CICLOPIA DNF