Rio Road Race Olympic gold medalist, Anna van der Breggen, has announced her plans for the Afxentia stage race. In addition to the Dutchwoman, the complete CST Sandd American Eagle Team of Bart Brentjens have confirmed their participation, as well as World-class Frenchman, Jordan Sarrou.
What do Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Merida), Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing), Sabine Spitz and and Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) have in common? That’s right, all four are in possession of an Olympic gold medal!
However, the first three celebrated their Olympic victory on the mountain bike, whilst Anna van der Breggen claimed her gold in the Road Race in Rio de Janeiro. The Dutchwoman follows in the footsteps of her compatriot, Marianne Vos, who was also an Olympic victor on the road and then made a trip to the mountain bikers' camp the following year.
Four years ago Vos was also at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup and, with great style, was able to win the Afxentia stage race. Anna van der Breggen made her first attempts at mountain biking at the Costa Blanca Bike Race in Spain just two weeks ago and, together with Margot Moschetti, won the two-stage race.
"We are very pleased to be able to experience the Olympian Road Race Champion at Afxentia and are curious to see if they will be as strong as Marianne Vos at the time," says Mike Hadjioannou from Bikin 'Cyprus.
More Strong adding to the registration list
Despite her obvious class as a bike rider, van der Breggen will have some serious competition, and not just from her fellow Olympic Gold medallists, Dahle-Flesjaa and Spitz.
Into the mix is added the first Mexican competitor at the Sunshine Cup, National Champion and World Number thirteen, Daniela Campuzano from BH-Sr Suntour-KMC. Also CST Sandd American Eagle’s Ukrainian Champion, Yana Belomoina, and the again healthy Margot Moschetti (Fra) are among the podium candidates.
Their team-mates Grant Ferguson, Hans Becking, Didier Bats and Sebastian Carstensen Fini can play an important role in the Men’s race. Indeed, Ferguson is a previous Cyprus Sunshine Cup race leader, but even he is likely to be pushed by Jordan Sarrou. The Frenchman from Team BH-Sr Suntour-KMC is a top ten World Cup rider and a contender for victory at Afxentia.
With just over two weeks to go, the Cyprus Sunshine Cup is shaping up to be a scintillating race!
Dates of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2017:
Afxentia stage race (SHC): 23rd to 26th February
Voroklini (C1): 5th March