Macheras, Cyprus – Felt Oetztal X-Bionic rider Karl Markt was victorious at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup #2 over the weekend, taking the overall win in the three stage event. Markt also won the Cyprus World Cup #1 the week prior. Fellow X-Bionic rider Blaza Klemencic took second place overall in the Women’s General Classification.
The Sunshine Cup #2 consisted of three races, a short time trial, a point to point race, and a traditional XC circuit race. Markt completed the time trial on Day One in 16:34, just one second away from first place. The point to point race on Day Two proved to be the decisive race, and Markt rose to the challenge. Markt and one other rider escaped on a long single track section 9km from the finish, and had a twenty second lead at the summit. Markt’s breakaway companion suffered a mechanical, and Markt continued to push the pace on his Edict full-suspension bike
, extending his lead over the remnants of the field. He crossed the line 36 seconds ahead of second place, and took the lead going into the final stage. Markt successfully defended his position on the Day Three, securing his overall win with a second place finish on the final stage.
Markt was ecstatic after the race. “It’s unbelievable,” he said. “Last weekend’s win was amazing but this one totally makes me the happiest guy around! Winning a HC race is not a daily routine. I’m somewhere between exhaustion and euphoria right now. My team and I, we have this motto for the news season. It’s called ‘driven by emotion.’ And that’s what it’s all about! It was a win by heart! To be on top of such a strong starting field gives me the right kick for the season!” With the win at an HC Catgory event, Markt received 160 UCI points.
Like Markt, Blaza Klemencic also started the race with a strong time trial, finishing in second place on Day One. Day Two, was a bit difficult for Klemencic and saw her finish fourth place. However, Klemencic rebounded on Day Three, taking the win in the XCO race in dominating fashion. She took the lead from the start, and increased the time to second place with each lap. With the win, Klmencic moved into second place overall.
The weekend was extremely successful for Felt Oetztal X-Bionic, achieving significant results in their first year on the UCI World Cup level.