Giger got his 2012 season off to a strong start, finishing second in Cyprus behind the world champion.

Giant XC Riders Start Strong in Cyprus

19 februari 2012

The mountain bike racing season is underway in Europe, with some of the top XC World Cup riders making the annual trip south to compete in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup series. Giant riders fared well at Sunday’s opening round, with Fabian Giger of the Rabobank-Giant team and Liam Killeen of the Factory Off-Road Team finishing second and third respectively in warm, sunny conditions.

Giger rode his XtC Advanced SL aggressively from the start of the five-lap, 30km race and came within 2 seconds of victory. He was edged out by World Champion Jaroslav Kulhavy, who passed the Swiss rider on the final descent.

“The most important thing was that I felt good,” Giger told “At the end, maybe I had too much respect for the world champion because I let him pass in the corner. Anyway, it’s not too bad to be second behind the world champion.”

Killeen also got his season off to a strong start. The Brit, racing the XtC Composite 29er, was in the lead trio of riders who survived at the front to battle it out at the end. He ended the day third, just one second behind Giger.

Completing the effort for the team in Cyprus was a top-10 finish by Emil Lindgren. The Swedish National Champion rode his XtC Composite 29er to a strong seventh place.