After stops in Amathus and Tochni, bikers gathered in Macheras on Sunday for the final round of the revived Cyprus Sunshine Cup. Once again, Dutch rider Anne Terpstra secured victory for the third time without any hesitation. On the men’s side, we witnessed a third different winner in the third race, this time being Dmitriy Titarenko, a Ukrainian biker who finished third in Tochni on Saturday. The overall series victory was narrowly held by Gil Ly Gonen from Israel, who finished fifth on the day.

Czech representation at the Sunshine Cup’s final event was notable with siblings Jitka Čábelická and Jan Škarnitzl both finishing third in their respective categories.

The nearly perfect weather with a blue sky and shining sun accompanied the third race of the mini-series. The Macheras circuit, last raced in 2020, remained essentially unchanged and is a favorite among riders. The track measures 6.1 km with an elevation gain of 187 meters.

Anne Terpstra’s clean sweep

Anne Terpstra (NED, Ghost Factory) didn’t wait for her competitors this time; she started strong and left her rivals behind, securing a significant victory margin. Lotte Koopmans (NED, KMC-Ridley) finished second, trailing by 2:18 minutes, and Jitka Čábelická (GAPP System Kolofix) was third, an additional 2:17 minutes behind.

“Today was the only day I dared to go all out from the start. I wanted to test how hard I could push, and I think my form is improving, but I suffered a lot,” said thirty-three-year-old Anne Terpstra at the finish line. She used this week as preparation for her debut in the Cape Epic stage race. “I had a lot of hard training this week, so I was a bit unsure how the race would go. But in the end, it went quite well, especially on the longer gravel sections, but the intensity is still challenging for me,” admitted the winner of all three races in this year’s Sunshine Cup.

Jitka Čábelická concluded her Sunshine Cup performances with a third-place finish, earning a hundred valuable UCI points from Cyprus. “Anne decided to go for it right from the start, so the race was decided. I dropped in the climb due to performance; Lotte caught me, and in addition, I had a flat tire in the descent. Fortunately, I had a spare and calmly made it to the pit. It was just a puncture on the gravel, but I don’t think the flat tire decided anything today; I’m missing a bit of performance, but overall, it’s good. These were test races, I collected some points, which was the purpose. It gives me insights for the final preparations; I know what to improve,” said the Czech champion.

Gonen maintained overall triumph despite a broken saddle

The battle for victory among men stayed in Ukraine, similar to the previous race in Tochni. After the Saturday victory of national champion Oleksandr Hudyma (KMC – Ridley), Sunday in Macheras saw Dmitry Titarenko, the Ukrainian vice-champion, emerge victorious. They remained alone in the final lap as the previously five-member group gradually fell apart. In the second of five laps, Sunshine Cup leader Gil Ly Gonen experienced technical issues, delaying him.

“In the second lap, my saddle broke, and I rode almost one lap without a saddle. I had to stop at the pit and replace it. It took more than a minute, so I lost a lot to the leading guys. But I didn’t give up on the overall victory and gave it everything,” explained the twenty-three-year-old Israeli champion, who finished fifth, trailing by 1:18 minutes. As it turned out, he made the right choice not to give up, securing the overall victory in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2024 with a very narrow 2.8-second difference ahead of Hudyma.

5 Czechs in top 11

Czech riders demonstrated their racing apetite in Cyprus, with 5 riders in to 11. And more over Jan Škarnitzl claimed the bronze medal. He kept pace with the Ukrainian duo until the final lap, finishing with a 22-second gap to Titarenko and Hudyma.

“I’m glad I managed to snatch a medal at the end; I like this circuit, it’s nicely rolling. I let the guys to play their game… I knew that if I held mine pace, I would be on the podium,” described Jan Škarnitzl, the 2019 Sunshine Cup champion, who first raced on this track in 2009. “It will be interesting when I compare the times on Strava from previous years. I’ve been coming here for quite a while, and the circuit is still the same.”

Olympic champion Jaroslav Kulhavý (Ostra Multicraft) showed significant improvement compared to Saturday’s race, finishing seventh even with a rear wheel puncture that he quickly repaired with a plug. “Today was much better than yesterday; I managed to ride with the guys in the first group, but I don’t have the speed anymore, so they pulled away. In the penultimate lap, I cut the rear tire and had to fix it. I might have been one or two places better without that,” he added.

Complete results can be found here: [link to results PDF]