The dates of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2018 are fixed. The mountain bike race series in the sun of Cyprus starts on February 22 in Lefkara with the 22nd edition of the Afxentia Stage Race and ends on Saturday, March 3 by the race in Amathous/Agios Tychon. For amateur riders the event offers a slightly different concept.
It’s all about being reliable and flexible in the same time. On the one hand Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2018 keeps the well known and accepted five days of racing format, with the four stages of Afxentia and the single cross country event at the ancient ruins of Amathous.
But when the World Cup XCO calendar for 2018 starts in Stellenbosch, South Africa on March 10, the organisers of the race series decided to move the second event at the border of Limassol from Sunday to Saturday.
“This change offers the riders to take a flight to South Africa already on Sunday”, Mike Hadjiouannou, head of the organising committee explains regarding the preparation of the pro cyclists for the World Cup opener.
Riders at Cyprus hit it out on the start loop. Photo: Maasewerd
Fine tuning for the World Cup and Cape Epic
Cyprus and the Sunshine Cup should be a perfect destination to prepare the World Cup in South Africa anyway. The temperatures on the sunny Mediterranean island are ideal to adapt the climate in the southern hemisphere. And the trails are best to train, test and adjust equipment, especially for riders who have moved teams or are using new equipment for the season. So a lot is set under the sign of the first World Cup event in Stellenbosch.
The Afxentia Stage Race stays in the same format as it was created this year for the first time. The much praised opening time trial from Lefkara to Skarinou asks especially for downhill skills. This first stage will be followed by two point to point loops, one from Lefkara and the other one from Lythrodontas. Finally it all ends with the cross country race at Macheras.
The Cyprus Sunshine Cup for amateurs
The Cyprus Sunshine Cup Challenge for amateur riders next year will last only three days. The Downhill time trial and the two days of racing point to point will be create an overall classification. The final cross country race could be done also by the amateurs, but without addition to the overall.
Head to the event website for full details.