Näf and Flückiger preparing for Cape Epic
Cyprus Sunshine Cup registration list adds some more big names of cross country racing. The top pro teams Cannondale, BMC and Scott-Odlo are represented on the sunny island by riders of world class format. Some of them are preparing for the Cape Epic. Cyprus Sunshine Cup kicks off February 27 with the Afxentia stage race.
Cannondale Factory Racing’s Manuel Fumic (Ger) already had some appearances in Cyprus Sunshine Cup. But for this year’s edition 2013 vice world champion Fumic is accompanied by London Olympic bronze medallist Marco Aurelio Fontana from Italy. He will give his debut on Cyprus, but of course he is among the favourites.
Same counts for Ralph Näf and Lukas Flückiger. The Swiss duo from BMC Racing Team since years belong to the highest ranked cross country riders in the world. Flückiger took the silver medal that worlds 2012 and Näf was world champion the Eliminator as well as in the marathon discipline, but also silver medallist in cross country in 2007.
While Flückiger has already some experience in racing the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, Näf will compete the first time on the Mediterranean island. Together they will participate in the Cape Epic mountainbike stage race in South Africa later in March. Racing the Afxentia stage race on Cyprus is part of the preparation for Näf and Flückiger.
“We want to have race in front of the Cape Epic, because it would be too hard for the body without. The other reason to race the Afxentia is to check the new bikes and the setup before using it in South Africa under race conditions”, Ralph Näf explains. Despite this kind of test modus, the BMC riders are contenders for the overall victory there as well.
“I am excited to open my season on Cyprus for the very first time. Finally it worked out for me”, Näf adds.
Florian Vogel from Scott-Odlo Team is another absolutely top mountainbiker, who registered for the CSC. The Swiss owns a gold medal from the European championships 2008, a silver medal from the worlds 2008 and two bronze medals from the worlds 2007 and 2009. The two times Olympian still belongs to the very top athletes in his sport, aiming for another high level season.
The upgrade of Afxentia stage race from three to four days seems to attract more and top riders. As already known Multivan-Merida Biking Team will arrive there also. José Antonio Hermida and Rudi van Houts are following the same idea as Flückiger and Näf, preparing on Cyprus for South Africa’s epic stage race.
With all that names on the start list, the Cyprus Sunshine Cup will get an amazing level of racing. Should be exciting to watch them fighting for stage and overall victories.
Mike Hadjioannou and his organizing team also recognize a raising number of amateur bikers, registering for the Afxentia stage race, which kicks off on February 27. “They are very welcome to enjoy racing and our beautiful landscape. Especially Afxentia is an event for both, pros and amateurs. Same as it is at Cape Epic or other comparable events”, Hadjioannou comments.
Dates Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2014
- Afxentia stage race (SHC) - February 27 to March 2
- Voroklini (C1) - March 9