Forster takes second in stage one of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup22. February 2018, Cyprus — MTB Team
Switzerland’s Lars Forster proved that he can convert a stellar cyclo-cross season into an early season podium finish as he clocked the second fastest time at the first stage of the 4-day Cyprus Sunshine Cup, where fellow Swiss rider Thomas Litscher took the win.
After a stint of testing in Finale Ligure, Italy, the four-strong team consisting of Titouan Carod, Reto Indergand, Lars Forster and Filippo Colombo have landed in Cyprus with sports director Alex Moos to take on the now legendary Sunshine Cup. Starting the season with high intentions, their participation in the Afxentia Stage Race demonstrates a different approach in sight of March’s early season UCI MTB World Cup in South Africa.
In its 22nd edition and often used by the mountain biking elite to hone their form ahead of the season, the first stage consisted of a loose and fast 14.6km downhill time trial, starting in the arid mountains and finishing inland, taking in trails, gravel tracks and the town of Lefkara. With a lot of pedaling on rough fire roads and twisty turns in the mix, it was a great warm-up for the riders to make sure that their technical skills were on point.
After the stage Forster expressed relief at having now completed the prologue, describing it as “a bit crazy.” Going into the stage blindly, the riders remarked on the diversity of the course with a lot of fire roads, high-speed turns and villages to ride through. “I think everyone managed to ride at their best and I’m happy with my second place,” said Forster, adding that the Fourstroke was an inspired choice of bike for the event.
All four BMC MTB Racing Team riders stacked in close behind the stage winner on the predominately downhill course, which was interspersed with two steep climbs of around 2 and a half minutes each to shake riders out of any residual winter slumber.
Forster is now looking ahead to the next three days of hard-fought racing, which continues tomorrow with 52 kilometres and 1,820 metres of climbing. His positive outlook is mirrored by the rest of the well-placed team, including the newest entrant, 20-year-old Filippo Colombo, 14th in the prologue, who is keen to gain valuable racing experience in the Macheras Mountains.
- Thomas Litscher (jb BRUNEX Felt Factory Team), 23:19.045
- Lars Foster (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +4.943
- Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing XC) +24.211
6. Carod Titouan (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +50.331
14. Filippo Colombo (Swiss National Team) +1:07.181
16. Reto Indergand (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team) +1:16.962