Mountainbike world champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) in a press conference at Nicosia on Tuesday was talking about the relevance of Cyprus Sunshine Cup for his preparation towards the Olympic season. Alekos Orountiotis, president of Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO), emphasized the importance of cycling for the tourism on the island.
“It’s the sixth time in a row, that I come to Cyprus to ride the races of the Sunshine Cup”, Jaroslav Kulhavy stated. “It’s a perfect preparation for the season, I like it very much. I can test my shape and I can test my new bike.”
The Czech mountainbiker, one of the big favourites for the Olympic gold medal in London, refered to the technical demanding and exciting trails on Cyprus in general and in the three stages of the Sunshine Cup in particular, which is organized by Bikin’ Cyprus agency and the Cyprus Cycling Federation.
Alekos Orountiotis was happy to hear such compliments out of the mouth of the current world champion. “It’s very important to have the world champion here. We feel happy about the results of our efforts in all this years, which are shown by his presence”, he said.
Further he emphasized the importance of cycling for the work of the CTO. “Cyprus tourism has to be more than sun and sea. We want to increase the number of visitors during the period from November to March. This is not so easy, but the Cyprus Sunshine Cup is one of the important tools to reach that goal.”
Orountiotis pointed on the current financial crisis, which decreases also the support of the mountainbike race series. “Hopefully this would be only for this year and we are able to support the Cyprus Sunshine Cup in the same way as the years before.”
After the press conference with three tv stations taking part, Jaroslav Kulhavy took his Specialized bike and left the building of Cyprus National Olympic Committee. Above his head, the five huge Olympic rings on the front of the building. Perhaps a good omen to welcome him to the Cyprus Sunshine Cup as an Olympic Champion in 2012.