Jaroslav Kulhavy is heading to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa for the UCI MTB Marathon World Champion. He will try to improve his second place from 2011 and get the rainbow jersey, which he has been still missing in his collection of achievements.
What are your chances before the race?
Based on the paper results, five people can think about the title, so we will see how the race will goes. My shape has been relatively good since I returned from the World Cup in Australia and I hope to avoid all the falls and troubles. This title is the last one I would like to have in my collection.
How have you adjusted the training to this top event?
The first training block I did after Albstadt, but it lasted only for six days because of the crash there, wasn´t so good and long enough. Now I have passed the second longer one so I should be in a better shape than during the European Championship in Northern Ireland.
What has been your longest training?
I was training in a similar way like when I was getting ready for European Champs. The trainings lasted for five hours and when you add up two training blocks plus five hours of racing in Malevil Cup last weekend, it should be much better.
Do you have any information about the course in Africa?
Instead of single-tracks and long up-hills they should be short and steep. That´s why I was preparing in the Orlicke and Beskid Mountains. I still do not have a detailed information about the track. Most of the 95km long circuit leads through the private land and that´s why we will get there only this week. But it should be quite enough to get acquainted with it.
Does XC racer on long tracks have any advantage over the marathon racers or is it more about disadvantages?
The advantage may be in a faster start which I managed now at Malevil Cup and at the European Championship. I am able to ride fast since the start and till the others respond I can have a some lead. I can ride in the front for thirty forty km and I can build up the lead for three minutes. It is then much easier than in case the whole group is entire on the 70th km. Marathon specialists have on the other hand better preconditions for the race finish and they also focus on it in the training. Another plus for me is the flat land where I can keep a high pace and I can quite easily ride up a lead.
21st June 2014
Just a week before the Marathon World Championships Jaroslav has tested his shape at Czech prestigious race Malevil Cup. A 100 kilometers long race was also a part of the UCI MTB Marathon Series and Czech XCM Cup.
“At the beginning I tryed a fast start and we’ve built some lead like last week with Susi at European Champs. This is my advantage from cross country races and that’s what I would like to utilize,” said Jaro after the race.
The most crucial climb to the hill Hvozd did not solve anything this year. Jara has built a small lead in the technical downhill then, but not important.
At about Km 90. Jaroslav has attacked again and only one who remained with him in the front was Jan Skarnitzl. About his victory Jaroslav decided at the finish at Malevil Ranch. After his triumph in 2010, this was his second victory here.
“I am happy, good result was what I needed. It wasn’t easy today, because of hard training in last days. Marathon World Champion title interests me a lot, I don’t have anyone and I would like to got it! I would be the first who could collect all the titles and Olympic gold. The shape is good, ” said Jaroslav. He is going to fly to Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
15th June 2014
Jaroslav won the silver medal at European Marathon Championship! Only Jaro’s teammate and reingning World Champion Christoph Sauser was faster on a beautiful and challenging course in
Ballyhoura, Northern Ireland.
“I am glad, I finally had a good race! Right at the beginning we flat out with Susi and left others. I pulled the first thirty kilometers, we went full gas and built big lead in the front. At the end, on the wide roads Christoph was stronger. I’ve tried to catch him, but the gap between us still got bigger, ” said Jaroslav after 93km’s of racing.
“I’m happy of that, because after my crash in Albstadt, I’ve trained only about six days. There were the same athletes who should fight for the rainbow jersey for 14 days in Pietermaritzburg, Africa, so I have to get in better shape and hope It will be good there!” said before UCI Marathon World Championship.
1st June 2014
Even in another UCI World Cup race in Albstadt, Jaroslav failed to break out of luck. This time he paid painfully for his mistake on fast course.
“After the start, it stuck and we had to run. It was not possible to overtake in first two laps. Up on the third lap I started to move forward, “shaking his head over the narrow trails Jaroslav.
He was riding around 25th place, but in the fourth round he crashed hard on his right knee, that’s where the kneecap was broken at the beginning of this season.
“In fast but smooth corner my front wheel slipped very quickly. I don’t even know why, it was so quick and unexpected that I missed nothing at all to do and I went down to knee, shoulder and head. It was a senseless crash, “shaking his head Jaroslav, who then sat down again on the bike and finished the race at least on the 87th spot.
“Shoulder is sore only, but I’m bit scared about the knee. It started swell, but I hope it will not be broken again”.
Right after the race Jaroslav went to Prague for hospital check.