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Archive for May, 2009
Wolfram protects his second place in the World Cup overall classification. Irina fights a head cold.
The fourth round of the World Cup series took Team Topeak Ergon to the Spanish capital Madrid. It is a race which stands out in the calendar, being unique with its city center parkland location. The athletes have to prove their stuff on short climbs and a number of flat passages, in what usually leads to an interesting and well fought race.
A power rider at his heart, Kurschat’s preference is always for prolonged climbing, allowing him to get a rhythm. Starting from second place, he slipped a number of positions before being able to move forward again throughout the race. He bridged gaps from group to group, but being slightly off color with a head cold, the needed punch just was not there. He missed a place on the podium by 20 seconds. “My 12th position finish is okay, but missing out on the podium by that small amount is a little disappointing” Wolfram said following the race. All the same, the finish was good enough to protect his second place overall in the World Cup series, and build his lead over the third placed rider.
In the women’s race, couldn’t find the form to ride at the front and help decide the result. Following a head cold in the weeks leading up to the race, she found herself feeling very weak, and it was questionable whether or not she would actually ride. Choosing to ride though, it a good finish was never going to be the order of the day. Finishing in 11th place took everything that she had.
Alban Lakata, the Austrian National Marathon Champion, wasn’t able to replicate his result of the previous week. His form on the day mean that the good finish that he had hoped for wasn’t to be. “My legs weren’t good today, and the steep climbs were very difficult” the 29 year old said. He finished in 50th place, which all the same saw him earning World Cup points.
Finally, an amusing anecdote. Just in the lead up to the womens race, having warmed up, Kalentieva returned to the team truck to get changed for the race. As a general rule, 20 minutes before the race, the truck is locked. This took place as normal, however with Irina inside. Following a frantic search, the Team Manager finally heard knocking on the inside of the truck’s door. According to spectators, a bemused Kalentieva emerged with a grin on her face “Whatever I was locked up for, I would like to claim my innocence” she said!
A second place finish at the Oetzler Cross Forest race marks a change in Lakata’s from.
Alban Lakata has had to face some disappointment in the last few races. Disappointment as his performance hasn’t been what he was expecting of himself. His results have been getting better, and the form curve is taking a turn for the better, shown by his performance last weekend.
His training had seen him building up to the next level and last weekend everything clicked. Finishing with a time of 1:57:08 for the course, his second place at the race in his native Austria was enough to remind everyone of just what a good rider he is.
“It was a demanding course, being really fit was a must. Also, the number of rooty sections and rock gardens meant that it was technically challenging. It gives me hope for my performance at World Championships and European Championships this year.” Lakata shared with us following the race.
The winner, Ralph Naeph (Merida Multivan) was joined by Christof Bischof (ISD-Team) in third place to make up the podium with Lakata.
For Team Topeak Ergon all roads now lead to Madrid! The World Cup circus is heading to drier climates. Wolfram Kurschat, currently in second position in the overall classification will be joined by and Alban to race on a course that is closer to a criterium loop than a typical MTB course.
Fingers are crossed, and following the successes of the last few weeks, the team spirit is good.