Jaroslav Kulhavy has completed his collection of bike titles today, when he added to his achievements the jersey of the European Champion in the MTB Marathon.
“I have been missing this title although I have already won the title of the World Champion, but today more or less it met well today. There was no other race this weekend and it well fitted into my training before the cross country World Cups. Here met good riders, practically all top XCM guys from Europe, that´s why it was a good result for me and I appreciate it,” said Jara in the finish after the 98km long race with 2800m of elevation.
“It was relatively a quiet race. After the start I was waiting what was going to happen. Approximately on the 15th kilometre there was about a hundred metres in the single track with roots and mud, where I rode on the first position and when I went out , there were just three of us, me, Kristian Hynek and Sascha Weber. So we pushed the tempo. Kristian had some technical problems at the end of the first circuit and we lost him, which was a little complication, because I had to push the pace and there was a group of eight riders chasing us.
Weber was glad to drafting behind, but he was strong in the climbs. When we reached the sign of 15km till the end and the lead was about two minutes, I started to believe that I can keep it,” commented Jaro the race.
“The track was quite boring, but fast with short hills which suited me. It was more a pace race, where you could use the tactics and it was advantageous to go in a group. I was surprised a little bit that they let me go and so the performance decided….,” said the fresh European Champion in Marathon, who chose as usually the full-suspension bike Specialized S-Works Epic 29” World Cup, although the hardtail would be better for this type of the course.
“It was a bit of handicap this time, but for me the priority is the World Cup and I didn´t want to change the Epic just two weeks before the event.” added Jaroslav, for whom it was, after the Cape Epic, one of the last long races of this year. In his calendar there is left the World Championship in Sella Ronda, where he should defend the rainbow jersey.
“I don´t think I should be the favourite there. The race profile will not suit me and I will be in the middle of the XC season. I will try to help my team colleague Christoph Sauser, for whom it’s gonna be the last race of his pro-career.”
1. Jaroslav Kulhavy /CZE, Specialized Racing/ time 3:22:02 h.
2. Sascha Weber /GER, Orbea SMP/ + 6 sec.
3. Alban Lakata /AUT, Topeak Ergon/ + 2:05 min.