The traditional Cypriot village Tochni hosted the second race of the Sunshine Cup 2024, where Anne Terpstra from the Netherlands and Oleksander Hudyma from Ukraine emerged victorious on the circuit, marking the series’ first visit to this location.

Second solo for Anne

The thirty-three-year-old racer from the Ghost Factory team delivered a performance similar to the one in Amathus on Wednesday. In Tochni, she led with absolute dominance, leaving her closest competitors behind in the initial laps of the four-course circuit. A three-member group, led by Czech biker Jitka Čábelická, broke apart, and Anne shifted to a higher gear, distancing herself from the duo. She then raced at her own pace, enjoying the circuit, and secured victory with a time of 1:19:53 hours. She will naturally enter the final race in Macheras in the leader’s jersey of the Sunshine Cup.

“I absolutely love this circuit! It’s fun in every direction, all the single tracks up and down! On the other hand, it demands a lot of concentration, but it’s exactly what I love and suits me. Maybe I was smiling a bit between some sections; it’s just super fun to ride on this track,” laughed the winner at the finish of the second Cyprus Sunshine Cup race.

The battle for silver didn’t last long; Jitka Čábelická (CZE, GAPP System Kolofix) – second in the Amathus race – had less energy this time compared to Dutch competitor Lotte Koopmans (KMC – Ridley), and the two bikers swapped positions. Lotte finished second with a gap of 47 seconds, while Jitka claimed third with a deficit of 1:54 minutes.

“This track was less rocky, and I felt much better on it than last Wednesday in Amathus. At the beginning, we were riding in a group of three, when Anne attacked, I was behind Jitka, so I couldn’t try to keep up with Anne because there was no chance to overtake on the single trail. But then I overtook Jitka and rode at my own pace, attacking on every hill, trying to maintain a good flow,” said Lotte, a doctor by profession.

Czech rider Jitka Čábelická admitted that she might have ridden the initial laps too fast, and it cost her later on. “I’m happy that I managed to start well and then ride a fast pace in the lead and the first lap. I wanted to challenge Lotte again, like on Wednesday. But when Anne attacked, although I managed to accelerate, it was probably the limit because I started making unnecessary mistakes, and in the end, Lotte also passed me. I lost my flow, and it wasn’t the same. Maybe I should have ridden a bit more freely at the beginning of the season. The track is beautiful, not exactly what I like, but it’s more points, and I’m looking forward to Macheras tomorrow, I really like it there.”


Hudyma victorious, Gonen still leads the series

Double Ukrainian champion and 2021 European junior champion Oleksander Hudyma showcased his strength in the long ascents and playful single tracks in Tochni. However, the men’s race was decided in the final fifth lap, where he was still competing with his compatriot Dmitro Titerenko and the winner of Wednesday’s Amathus race, Gil Ly Gonen from Israel. The tactical maneuvers of the Ukrainians eventually simplified Oleksandr’s path to victory, which he achieved with a time of 1:20:32 hours. The Israeli finished second, 24 seconds behind, and Titarenko secured third place with a 36-second gap.

“It was a tough race with the guys from Ukraine, but I gave it my all, and I’m quite satisfied with it,” expressed Gonen. “They played a good tactic, but that’s normal; when they had a chance, why not. Tomorrow, I’ll give it my all to keep the orange jersey,” said the silver medalist in Tochni, Gil Ly Gonen.

“It was a very tough race, but there were two of us from Ukraine, so we could strategize together, and I think it worked for us. In the last lap, I attacked and managed to win. It was a completely different circuit than on Wednesday, I really liked it, a very fun circuit,” said the twenty-one-year-old Hudyma.

Three Czech riders stacked up under the podium: Lukáš Kobes, Jan Škarnitzl, and Jan Sáska.

The best among them, Lukáš Kobes, finished fourth, the same as in Amathus on Wednesday. Jan Sáska, bronze medalist at the same location, had to settle for sixth place in Tochni. “I was completely exhausted after Wednesday’s race.”

Another Czech biker, double Olympic medalist Jaroslav Kulhavý, came to Cyprus to warm up for the upcoming Cape Epic. Despite starting from the last position, he managed to navigate through the single tracks to secure the final 13th place. “It would take about two more hours of racing :-) In the last lap, I started to get into it, otherwise, my legs were quite stiff,” said Kulhavý, who has been a regular participant in the Sunshine Cup since 2009 and in Tochni finished as 13th.

The Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2024 will its final round tomorrow, Sunday, February 25, on the many years-tested circuit in the mountains, in a place called Macheras. Women start at 11:00, men at 13:00.

Complete results of the race in Tochni: