WORLD CUP REPORT FROM SPAIN

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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