Afxentia gives it a new challenge
Open for amateurs
Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2014 offers a renewed Afxentia stage race. Four instead three days from 27th of February to 2nd of March, two completely new stages and a refreshed point to point building up a challenging mountainbike competition, for both pros and amateurs. The stages are fixed now.
The 18th edition of the Afxentia stage race undergoes some real exciting changes. Adding one day more raises the challenge and makes it a better preparation for the Capic Epic in South Africa or other important mountainbike races.
In UCI calendar the stage race is registered as a Hors Classe competition, which provides a lot of points to the licenced riders. As all the years before, in 2014 again Olympic and world champions are going to collect them for the world ranking.
Nevertheless Afxentia is open for amateur riders as well, ideal to implement it into a winter training camp on the sunny island, having fun and building up the technical skills towards the mountainbike season.
“We tried to create an extended format with a good mixture of attractive landscape and a pure kind of mountainbiking”, organizer Mike Hadjioannou from event agency Bikin Cyprus explains his intention.
First two days are starting new at Lefkara, in the south of Troodos mountains, well known for it’s silver handicrafts.
Here is a short preview on the new exciting stage composition.
Stage 1 (Lefkara): It all kicks off with a Time trial race of 5,6km and 240m of elevation gain. Starting from Lefkara central square, the course runs through narrow alleyways of the village before turning into a one kilometer long, rocky singletrack which leads to the highest point of the course. The singletrack then turns downwards for a fast and bumpy run into the village of Kato Drys, from where it continues on forest roads, a short singletrack and a tarmac section to the finish line.
Stage 2 (Lefkara-Skarinou): The second totally new stage is a 55 kilometer point to point race. This is the stage expected to be the more difficult of the two point to point courses. Starting from Lefkara it follows a mostly uphill course to reach the village of Vavatsinia. From there the course takes on some short steep climbs through vineyards and pine forest to reach the top of the course at the Kionia picnic site.
There the riders will enter the Kionia - Profitils Elias singletrack, which is considered as one of the best descending trails the are has to offer. (And in the same time it is part of the uphill trail for the next day.) From there the riders will continue their downhill way on dirt roads to reach the Kyprovasa ruins where the course takes on some short hills onto the Lefkara dam and from there it follows the plains to the Dipotamos dam and the finish line in Skarinou village. So the finish is 7km away and 200m lower than the start.
Stage 3 (Lythrodontas): The third day of the race is based on the famous point to point stage of the past five years, but 2014 the start and finish line are moved to Lythrodontas village. The first 5km run through the village’s olive groves before reaching the Kyprovasa ruins. From there the course follows some remorse jeep roads to get midway of the Profits Elias - Kionia singletrack. After a short section on tarmac the riders enter the technically challenging Kakokefalos trail - with some nice steep sections and its 11 switchbacks - going down to the Mantra tou Kampiou pic-nik site. From there the course takes some fast dirt roads to reach the finish line in Lythrodontas! This sums up to a distance of 42,9 kilometers with 1420m of altitude gain.
Stage 4 (Mantra tou Kampiou): This is the only stage, which stays as the years before. The riders will tackle the legendary "Mantra tou Kampiou" XCO course which remains unchanged. Even though the three previous stages are tough and the top elite riders may manage to get in the lead of the race with a "safe" gap to the rest, no one can relax on this course. Fast and technical, a lap of 5,5km and 180m of altitude gain per lap, it can be the decisive race for the winner of the stage race!
Exact dates and routes, one can find on www.cyclingcy.com
After these four days, riders should relax to build up energy for the already known and unchanged race at Voroklini, seven days later.
Dates Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2014
- Afxentia stage race (SHC) - February 27 to March 2
- Voroklini (C1) - March 9