On a nice and sunny day Annika Langvad (Easton-Rockets) was riding in her own league. The Cyprus Sunshine Cup title defender didn’t care about her contenders and started a solo ride soon after the start loop, where she was still accompanied by former marathon European champion Blaza Klemencic (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic).
Every of the first four of five laps Langvad gained more than one minute to Klemencic and seemed to be already in the competition modus as in the middle of the season.
Last lap she took it a little bit easier and ended up in 1:45:39 hours with a 5:06 minutes difference to Klemencic. The Slovenian was not unhappy with her ride. She never was in danger to loose the second place since Kristine Norgaard (HMTBK) after 32 kilometers had another 4:04 minutes lost.
The Dane marathon specialist was riding her first cross country abroad and didn’t expect a result like this.
The first experience of Four Cross world cup winner Anneke Beerten as a cross country race was stopped directly before the start due to a mechanical problem.
Annika Langvad: “I didn’t change my winter preparation and I cannot understand why it works like this. But that shows me that I still can improve as a rider. I’m just happy with this start into the year.”
Blaza Klemencic: “Annika was too strong, I had no chance to keep her. I was riding with a full suspension bike and could go very fast in the downhills. But in the uphills I was not so fast and Annika went away. But to be on the podium at the first race is always good.”
Kristine Norgaard: “I was so nervous before the race and I never expected it like this. When I recently did a test my coach said it was not bad but not that good as last year. I’m really surprised about my very best cross country race. I was in a cool team (Rothaus-Cube) last year and the bike may has some energy from that.