Some more world class riders out of worlds cross country family are registered for the 20th edition of the Afxentia stage race from 25 to 28 of February 2016. The Cyprus Sunshine Cup welcomes the title defender Florian Vogel and also two more Olympic gold medalists on the women’s start list: Julie Bresset and Sabine Spitz.
Remember 2015? In spring, there was a guy, who won six races in a row. His name is Florian Vogel and he started his series on: yes, Cyprus. Almost at the opening time trial of the Afxentia stage race in Lefkara, the Swiss rider took the yellow leaders jersey and kept it on his shoulders until the fourth and last stage.
Why change a successful preparation, especially entering an Olympic season. No reason and so the sunny island in the Mediterranean Sea welcomes Florian Vogel, riding for the Focus XC team.
He is one of the contenders for only three Olympic spots available for the big number of strong male Swiss mountain bike riders. In this bunch, Fabian Giger is included. Concerning the victory in the Afxentia, he was the predecessor of Vogel in 2014. Now riding for the Kross Racing Team, Giger aims for his first participation under the five rings. Giger took the bronze medal at the first European Games in Baku in 2015.
The four days of Afxentia will check the shape for the first time. The demanding stages, but also the bunch of world class riders. French team BH Sr Suntour-KMC has already registered, including their male top riders Maxime Marotte and Jordan Sarrou (both French).
Together with the already named Olympic gold medallist Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing), his country man Ondrej Cink (Multivan-Merida), Germanys Manuel Fumic, the Italian Marco Fontana (both Cannondale Factory Racing), there are enough prominent riders to create exciting races.
Women’s start list, shines in gold
Same for the women. Julie Bresset (BH Sr Suntour-KMC), London gold medalist, will compete against the Athens gold medalist Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Multivan-Merida) and Beijing gold medalist Sabine Spitz. The German legend announced her participation on her website, but this is no surprise, since Spitz has a long lasting relationship to Cyprus. 44 years old, Spitz is still competitive. She won gold at the marathon European championships and bronze at the marathon worlds in 2015.
Germanys Adelheid Morath (BH Sr Suntour-KMC) is also familiar to the Cyprus Sunshine Cup and she always was up to the front of the Afxentia. No wonder, since Morath also entered the world cup podium for two times.
Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools) from Slovenia, European champion in 2014, should be among the contenders for the win, Yana Belomoina (CST-Superior Brentjens) as well as Linda Indergand (Focus XC) from Switzerland, the current Eliminator world champion. By the way, her male counterpart, Daniel Federspiel (Scott) from Austria has also registered.
Dates oft he Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2016
February 25 to 28 - Afxentia stage race (SHC)
March 6 - Voroklini (C1)