Forster secures a fine win in the overall classification at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup
25. February 2018, Mantra tou Kampiou, Cyprus — MTB Team
Four days of hard-fought racing at the 22nd edition of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup came to their crowning conclusion today with the classic XCO course in Mantra tou Kampiou.
Under long-awaiting glistening blue Cypriot skies, the men’s elite race followed the undulating 5.9 km lap, consisting of steep climbs, technical descents and fast fire roads thrown into the mix. And with the four BMC MTB Racing Team riders all finishing in the top 10 on today’s stage, it’s clear that they are well versed in the discipline of XCO.
Fast and tough, the final stage was made all the harder with the accumulative kilometres in the legs from the rest of the race. Sebastian Fini Carstensen rode aggressively from the gun, with Forster and his main rival Grotts keeping pace behind the young Danish rider. The trio rapidly formed a gap, with Forster adopting more of a defensive line and relying on his strengths on the descents. He admitted post-race that he could certainly feel the efforts of the previous days, but was naturally delighted with the overall win.
Forster spent the race marking fellow GC contender Grotts, aware that he’d come into the final stage with just 42 seconds advantage. Eventually this was narrowed to 26 seconds, but despite finishing fourth today Forster was able to defend his jersey and claim the overall victory.
Reto Indergand defended his solid position on the GC, finishing sixth on the stage and claiming seventh overall in the strong international field. “It was tough out there today and I kept with Lars for as long as possible. Then it was just a case of fighting for my GC place,” he said afterwards.
Teammate Titouan Carod proved more than capable of delivering on his plan from earlier in the week of targeting today’s stage, as he rode with a tactical astuteness beyond his 23 years, pacing himself superbly to come through on the final lap. Taking the leading trio unawares, the French rider was delighted to finish strong and take second on the stage. “It was a good day for me today,” he said, clearly satisfied with his podium finish. “It took me a while to get going and I managed to work my way through the field until I found myself in the lead group. I’m really happy with second.”
For the team’s youngest rider, things certainly looked brighter back on his more conventional cross-country turf. Afterwards Colombo agreed: “My legs were definitely at their best today and I kept up with the front for as long as possible. Overall my pacing was really high, even though I rode a lot of the stage on my own.”
The team now head home for a week, before looking ahead and regrouping for the final preparations ahead of next month’s UCI MTB World Cup in South Africa. “The plan is fixed,” concluded Forster, “this win doesn’t change anything for the calendar.”
- Howard Grotts (Specialized Racing) 1:20:35.304
- Carod Titouan (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team)+00:04.705
- Sebastian Fini Carstensen (CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing Team)+00:15.133
- Lars Foster (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +00:16.630
6. Reto Indergand (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +01:48.193
9. Filippo Colombo (Swiss National Team) +02:56.603
Final General Classification:
- Lars Foster (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team)) 6:22:58.109
- Howard Grotts (Specialized Racing) +0:00:26.008
- Sebastian Fini Carstensen (CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing Team) +0:02:02.083
7. Reto Indergand (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +0:08:15.935
20. Titouan Carod (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +0:17:06.962
21. Filippo Colombo (Swiss National Team) +0:18:31.569
Photos: EGO Promotion