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Kulhavy and Sauser finish one-two at Roc d'Azur marathon

Discussion in 'Specialized' started by I-am-Specialized, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. I-am-Specialized

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    <p>Specialized Factory Racing claimed the top two spots at the Roc d'Azur marathon mountain bike race on Friday in Frejus, France. Jaroslav Kulhavy crossed the line first, just ahead of teammate Christoph Sauser. Both recorded a time of 3:28:08.</p><p>
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    "It was a good race for us," said Kulhavy. "Susi and I were together. It's a nice last race of my season. I'm satisfied with how I rode because my training has not been such good quality since the Olympics." The Czech rider was referring to the many demands for his time that have followed winning the Olympic mountain bike race in London in mid-August.</p><p>
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    "Jaro and I shared the finish together, and I offered him the win," said Sauser. "Jaro is a good sprinter and he won the Olympics that way. I figured I wasn't going to be a better sprinter than Nino." Nino Schurter was the man Kulhavy had outsprinted for the Olympic gold medal.</p><p>
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    At the Roc d'Azur marathon, Kulhavy and Sauser were onboard 2013 Specialized S-Works Epic 29-inch full suspension bikes with custom RockShox SID World Cup 29 Brain forks, including inertia valve damper, Solo air spring, tapered carbon crown/steerer, top-mount Brain Fade, rebound adjuster and 100mm of travel.</p><p>
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    Kulhavy won on Specialized Control Fast Trak 2.00 (front) and Specialized Control Renegade 1.95 (rear) tires while Sauser used the Control Renegades on both wheels. They provided perfect traction on the course despite significant rain on the eve of the race. Kulhavy's bike featured a SRAM XX1 drivetrain while Sauser was onboard SRAM XX components except for a SRAM XO Type2 short cage rear derailleur.</p><p>
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    Initially after the start, the favorites were all together, but after the first feed zone, Sauser, who won this race in 2011, escaped off the front with Jochen K‰s. </p><p>
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    Sauser had noticed an unexpected pain in his back, which was quickly worsening, and he figured out that the cause was that his saddle position was not quite right. "I'd never raced that bike, and I could feel that the nose of my saddle was too high. Although I still broke away with Jochen K‰s, I had to stop and adjust my saddle."</p><p>
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    At that point, another group caught Sauser and he hung on to them until he was back up with his teammate Kulhavy. "My back got better and better. Then Jaro and I rode with the Colombian guy [HÈctor-Leonardo P·ez] for second." The trio was all that was left of the top chasers. At the second feed zone, K‰s held a lead of one minute. </p><p>
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    By the third feed zone, which was also the highest point in the race, K‰s had 1.5 minutes on his three chasers. That's when Kulhavy and Sauser put the hammer down.</p><p>
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    "K‰s was getting closer to us, and then I had an awful crash and had to stop and re-adjust my stem," said Sauser. "I chased back up to Jaro and the Colombian guy."</p><p>
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    "We were getting time splits, and we could tell Johan was bonking. We passed him on one of the last climbs, and he couldn't hang on." Fifty-three kilometers into the 83km race, Kulhavy, Sauser and Paez overtook K‰s. </p><p>
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    Eventually, Kulhavy and Sauser would finish in front of K‰s, Alban Lakata and Paez.</p><p>
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    Sauser was using the Roc d'Azur marathon to test out a new bike setup. Instead of his usual 600mm flat bar with bar ends, he tried out the 680mm Specialized S-Works Mini Rise Carbon Bar and skipped the bar ends.</p><p>
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    "I'm thinking of next season, and I wanted to have a change and try something new. Roc d'Azur is a good platform for testing because it is good racing," said Sauser. "I've been a rider who rides a lot on bar ends... but when you have a wider bar and you are off the saddle, you can pull the bar better toward you and you can take some pressure off your legs. You can't do that on a shorter handlebar. The bar ends also can get broken off, even in a small crash. This new set-up felt good out there. Maybe it will be my setup for next year." </p><p>
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    Kulhavy and Sauser had little time to recover after their race. They and the entire Specialized team headed directly to the opening of the new Specialized Concept store in Frejus, France that evening.</p><p>
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    Kulhavy heads home on Saturday to start his off-season while Sauser will race the Roc d'Azur cross country on Sunday. Last year, he finished second in the cross country race.</p>

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