Jaroslav Kulhavy finished the final UCI World Cup race in the Italian Val di Sole in the fourth place and he kept the bronze position in the overall ranking. He has met, after the triumph at the ABSA Cape Epic and the victory in front of the home crowds in Nove Mesto Na Morave, his target of this year season.
“The beginning of the hill didn´t fit me, I was losing there and had to reach the others again. But after the failure in America I am very glad today. I didn´t know what I should expect from myself. I was a little bit over-trained because we were trying a new model after Lenzerheide with a high-altitude model and together with travelling it was just too much. I did my maximum on this track,” said smiling Jaroslav after the race. In the first half of the race he was fighting in the leading group along with Schurter, Absalon and Vogel, but he couldn´t follow them in the severe climbs so he concentrated on keeping the overall third position.
“The World Cup podium was my goal of this year and I am very glad that that I have met it. The first half of the season was perfect but I regret the failure in the oversea races…. Today it is a small end of the season for me, only the World Championship is left, high in the mountains, which I do not like. I am not travelling to Andorra with a special tactic I do not expect too much. But of course I will do my best. It is very important for me that I am back again before the Olympics and I can win again,” added Jara.
The overall 2015 World Cup ranking:
1. Nino Schurter /SUI/ 1350 point
2. Julien Absalon /FRA/ 1110
3. Jaroslav Kulhavý /CZE/ 932
4. Florian Vogel /SUI/ 784
5. Mathias Flückiger 724
The oversea World Cup races were not successful. After the 13th place in the Canadian Mont Sainte Anne, Jaroslav finished the second race in the American Windham in the 32nd place. In the overall running ranking he still holds the third position.
“Today I wanted to finish the race just because of the points and overall ranking. I really do not know what happened and how I got to the finish. I had a shiver and completely empty legs. I was feeling well during the week, much better than before Canada. The training lap I rode 20seconds faster than today during the race. I had a good start but I lost in the second lap…,” said totally exhausted Jaroslav shaking his head after the race.
“It wasn´t a successful week, but on the other hand we have done a lot of work after Lenzerheide and tried out some training models towards the next season. I hope that my performance will return to normal,” added Jaroslav before flying back home.
Jaroslav has moved over the sea for the two next World Cup MTB races. He left for there after two victories and one third place as a leader of the World Series, but the very first race was not according to the wish. At a traditional location in the Canadian Mont Sainte Anne, where the World Cup was held for the 25th time and where Jaroslav won in 2001, but this time he finished in the 13th place.
“The race really didn´t came off well. I was a bit tired, the track didn´t suit me and finally the defect which knocked me out of the top ten fight,” wondered Jara shaking his head. The very next day he moved with his Specialized Racing Team to the American Windham.
A little bit worrying moment happened during the customs control at the Canadian-American border when the Olympic Champion was told by a respectable customs officer that if he had brought the World Cup leader jersey to the USA he should also take it away.
Windham and its track, is friendlier to Jaroslav. He has already won it twice and the first winning was even his first World Cup race. The next race is planned on Sunday at 14:15 local time.
Jaroslav lost the Czech Champion jersey. He did not reach the next home title on the track in Kutna Hora and had to surrender to Ondrej Cink. The second place was safely enough for the overall triumph in the Strabag Czech MTB XCO Cup
“Actually, due to all those circumstances today´s silver is pretty good…,” thought Jara after the race.
“Overall, today´s race did not fit me. I have been recently training a lot but not especially for the Championship. I lead the World Cup and want to do my best in the next two overseas races. I didn´t like the track, it did not fit me. It was physically demanding and not funny. And moreover I have made a lot of mistakes today, smaller falls at the beginning and I left the others. Ondra was riding very well today and deservedly won. At least I picked up some points and won in the overall Cup rating which I am happy about,” Jaroslav summed up after the race.