Forster rides into the Leader’s Jersey on day 2 of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup23. February 2018, Cyprus — MTB Team
A tough stage by any standards, today’s 52-kilometre route came with two major climbs and saw Lars Forster finish just 12 seconds adrift of eventual stage winner American Howard Grotts. After claiming second in yesterday’s downhill prologue, Forster’s solid performance today was enough to ride him into the Leader’s Jersey ahead of another tough stage tomorrow.
In unseasonably wet conditions, the riders set a blistering pace in the first half of the race, which many paid for later. The leading bunch of 10 riders battled up and over the first climb and long singletrack descent, knowing that the selection would be made on the day’s final, shorter ascent. “There was less rain than forecast but it got heavier as we raced,” explained Forster, who arguably rode in a tactically astute manner today. “The race went really well for me, with a fast start leading into the long uphill. The final climb was super steep – it was a real killer. Fortunately my legs were feeling good and I was able to finish in second and take the lead.”
All of the team riders were present for the bulk of the race, with the youngster Colombo delivering a strong ride to finish in 24th despite slipping off the pace at an inopportune moment. Speaking after the race, teammate Carod explained that he was in the lead group until 5 kilometres to the finish, at which point the gradient ramped up and he dropped off the pace. Now the team have their sights set on getting through tomorrow’s 61km circular stage starting in Lythrondontas before targeting Sunday’s XCO-style course.
- Howard Grotts (Specialized Racing) 2:10:47.327
- Lars Foster (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +0:00:12.382
- Sebastian Fini Carstensen (CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing Team) +0:00:19.561
21. Reto Indergard (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +0:04:20.220
24. Filippo Colombo (Swiss National Team) +0:05:50.521
41. Titouan Carod (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +0:09:59.662
Photo: EGO Promotion