Cyprus is going to feel the vibrations of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Lots of world class mountain biker, lead by London gold medallist Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) and Athens Olympic champion Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Nor), are on the list for the 20th edition of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup. Amateur riders are able to join this atmosphere, starting on February 25 with the time trial of the Afxentia stage race.
After the holidays, the office of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, day by day, gets kind of flooded by registration requests. Between all the names and teams from different continents, well-known riders are on the papers. Very well known.
There appears Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing), who is a regular guest on Cyprus since ten years now. For his big victory in London 2012, he has started his race preparation at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup and for the Czech, there is no question of change. “The island is perfect for training, we find good weather and it’s also perfect to have the Cyprus Sunshine Cup to get in the race mood”, he describes the benefit.
The printer in the office has thrown out also the name of Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Multivan-Merida), the most successful female rider in cross country and marathon racing. The Scandinavian now enters the Cyprus Sunshine Cup for the third time in a row, of course already with August 20 in her mind, the day of women’s Olympic race in Rio. Dahle-Flesjaa felt in love with the island in 2014, impressed “by an Eldorado for mountain biker” and about the “open, nice and warm people”.
To add, what these two great personalities achieved, since we wrote a preview for the Cyprus Sunshine Cup in 2015: Dahle-Flesjaa after the marathon worlds put her 10th (!) rainbow jersey in her wardrobe and celebrated her 29th UCI world cup victory. She is now the all-time record holder alone.
Kulhavy won two rounds of the UCI world cup and also the title of the European marathon champion. This was a historic success because he has now won every single European and world title you can get in mountain bike cross country racing and he is the only one.
Some more medallists...
Around these two highlighted figures of the sport, the stack in the office shows some more interesting names. Ondrej Cink, Multivan-Merida teammate of Dahle-Flesjaa and countryman of Kulhavy, has also been registered. Cink comes as bronze medallist of the worlds 2015.
Further on his rival in the fight for bronze, the German Manuel Fumic, joins the bunch on Cyprus again. Fumic was fourth at the worlds, but won bronze at the Europeans. He comes together with his Cannondale teammate Marco Fontana from Italy, who was bronze medallist at the London Olympics and also at the worlds in 2014.
Bart Brentjens, Olympic champ from 1996 and now team manager, will appear with his whole CST-Superior Team, including worlds bronze medallist Yana Belomoina (Ukr), Rudi van Houts (Ned) and Grant Ferguson (Gbr), third in the u23 world championships in Andorra.
Olympic vibrations, also for amateurs
They, and a lot more from the stack, are looking forward to the Olympics, the excitement and the vibrations of the five rings will be recognized during the days of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2016.
Amateur riders are invited to be part of this sportive atmosphere, part of the Afxentia stage race, which is gonna be held for the 20th time.
“We are now preparing for the 20th edition of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup and we are looking to have one of the most prestigious line-up of top elite riders. The level of the participants is very high and it shows, that our races are established as one of the main competitions at the beginning of the season”, says Mike Hadjioannou, CEO of the organizing Bikin’ Cyprus agency.
The series on the sunny island offers the chance to test the bikes and the equipment as well as the individual performance, but most of them extend their stay to enjoy the good weather on Cyprus and the amazing single trails and do some more serious training.
Dates of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2016
- February 25 to 28 - Afxentia stage race (SHC)
- March 6 - Voroklini (C1)