In the MTB race in Ignalina – the victory of the elite Lithuanian cyclists

Eimantas Gudiškis. Photo: Kavivile Kavaliauskienė

On Sunday, the second round of the MTB bicycle Cup Marathon Cup took place in Ignalina, where the recognized leader won. This year’s Lithuanian champion Eimantas Gudiškis won among men, while Olympian Daiva Tušlaitė-Ragažinskienė was the fastest in the women’s race. Both athletes represent the Colibri cycling team.

E. Gudiškis covers a distance of 78 km in 2 hours. 39 minutes. 12 sec. His teammate Justinas Ožiūnas, who passed the second half three minutes later. 6 seconds and Artūras Kazakevičius (Kaunas Cycling Team) who finished third is one second behind.

“In the first round we met very well, we were separated from a lot of people, but after that I turned around to see that there were three of us from one group and two groups.” Opponents really do not want to move forward, maybe because there are three of us. We started playing strategy games and fired one of our teammates. We chased our opponents and after catching them I organized an attack. I saw that I had a gap and I tried to keep it to the end, ”E. Gudiškis summed up the competition.

The “Colibri Cycling” team once again controlled the success of the first stage in Anykščiai, when the representatives of this group took first and second place in the men’s event. Of course, the runner-up at the time was not J. Ožiūnas, but Justinas Biekša.

“The fact that we always ride in a group as much as possible. It’s fun to win all three prizes, but the cards have to be strong – it’s hard to do because when we are ahead of three opponents, take advantage of that, save and do not go ahead. I am happy that out of the five who escaped today, the first and second are from our team, “said E. Gudiškis.

With a second victory from as many as possible, Vilkaviški is on the verge of victory in the overall standings. In the women’s 52km race: D. Tušlaitė-Ragažinskienė became the champion there. Participants in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics admit that Ignalina is one of the hardest roads in Lithuania and that the hot weather has made it difficult for athletes to endure.

“Today we were able to break away from the start. Every time I tried to hold on to the post after the start, which often worked, but in the second round it felt like I was no longer loaded in the first place. I was wrong, but this time it worked – I held the position to the end. Is the Ignalina stage difficult? I think Ignalina and Lapiai have the hardest track in Lithuania, “commented D. Tušlaitė-Ragažinskienė.

In the first stage in Anykščiai, the athletes finished fourth, so there will be no shortage of interest in the fight to win the overall title on September 11 in Vilnius.

“I do not know if I will be able to win or not, because I just finished fourth in Anykščiai, the score is lower than today. For the rest of the stage, I did not set any goals. This is MTB, anything can happen – broken tires, exploding tires. I try to drive carefully at all times and if it works, it works. Of course, it is always happy to win. Lecture D. Tušlaitė-Ragažinskienė.

Colibri Cycling member Ernesta Tubytė finished second in Ignalina, one minute behind the winner. 12 sec. Third place went to Orienteer Gabrielė Andrašiūnienė (SK S-Sportas) two minutes after the Olympics. 59 sec. By the way, in the women’s MTB race, cyclists do not think too much about team strategy, they do not have to find an escort on the road, as they participate in races together with men.

“There is no team strategy. We can never ride together, if we can, maybe there will be tricks. “Women are divided into groups with men, and when they arrive, yes.” D. Tušlaitė-Ragažinskienė smiles.

About 1,000 sports fans tested their strength in the MTB Bicycle Marathon Cup. The final phase of the 2022 season will take place in Vilnius on September 11.

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