One week before Cyprus Sunshine Cup kicks off with the Afxentia stage race, the start list offers a lot of the worlds best female mountainbikers. Olympic champion Sabine Spitz, two times marathon world champ Annika Langvad, vice world champion Maja Wloszczowska and Eliminator world champion Alexandra Engen are among them.
It nearly looks like world cup line up. Sabine Spitz (Ger, Haibike), winner of 2013 Andorra world cup round and three times Olympic medallist, joins the Cyprus Sunshine Cup together with her team mates Adelheid Morath (Ger) and Kathrin Stirnemann (Sui). They both are among top contenders in the world cup. Morath last year after finishing third at Afxentia, later in summer she grabbed in Val di Sole her first world cup podium ever. Stirnemann won a world cup race in the Eliminator Sprint.
2010 world champion Maja Wloszczwoska (Giant Pro XC) was three times second in a world cup race 2013 and took silver at the worlds. The Polish is accompanied by team mate Jolanda Neff. The 21 years old Swiss is one of the biggest talents the sport ever has seen. Two times u23 world champion and two times vice world champion in the Eliminator Sprint discipline is listed in her palmares.
Ghost girls trio includes world champion
The registration list continues with Alexandra Engen. The Swedish has used Cyprus as training and competition destination since years – with success. Last year she defended her Eliminator world title and finished world cup overall on fifth position.
Engen comes not alone. Ghost team mates Katrin Leumann (Sui) and Elisabeth Osl (Aut) should be also riders to be watched. Both are able to compete among the top then in the world. Leumann won the Cyprus Sunshine Cup overall in 2013.
The same counts for Annika Langvad. The winner of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup overall in 2012 rides for Specialized Racing and uses the races on the sunny island for preparing the Cape Epic in South Africa.
The Danish rider will be joined by Specialized team mate Tereza Hurikova. The Czech for years played a good role on Cyprus.
...and they all meet the legend Dahle-Flesjaa
As already released these women will meet the living legend of mountainbiking Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Nor). The nine time world champion and world cup record winner from the Multivan-Merida Biking team races first time on the island, but of course is one of the favorites at Afxentia stage race as well as in Voroklini.
But there are some more interesting names rounding up women’s start list. Linda Indergand (Strüby-BiXS) belongs to the most talented riders. And she won bronze at the Eliminator worlds in South Africa last year. So the medal winners of this discipline are complete on Cyprus.
Not to forget Nathalie Schneitter (Sui, Colnago-Südtirol), Blaza Klemencic (Slo, Feenstra Felt) and Yana Belomoyna (Ukr, Betch.nl Superior Brentjens).
At least there are six riders of the female world ranking 2013 on the registration list for the season kick off on Cyprus. The races should be really exciting to watch.
Dates Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2014
- Afxentia stage race (SHC) - February 27 to March 2
- Voroklini (C1) - March 9