Some of the best #mountain bike riders in the world are in #Cyprus as they prepare to take part in the three-stage 2014 #Cyprus Sunshine Cup which gets underway on Thursday and finishes on March 9.
This year’s race – which will also feature events for youth riders and amateur cyclists – will once again see points earned in the #International Cycling Federation rankings.
Three elite mountain bike teams – BMC, Cannondale and Scott-Odlo – will be involved in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup action including Ralph Naf and Lukas Fluckiger (both BMC), Manuel Fumic and Marco Fontana (both Cannondale), London 2012 gold medallist Jaroslav Kulhavy and Florian Vogel (Scott-Odlo Team).
Fluckiger had earned the silver medal at cross country Worlds in 2012 while Naf was world champion in the eliminator that same year. He’s previously also won marathon Worlds and finished as high as second at cross country Worlds.
The duo will be preparing to race the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in South Africa later in March.
“We want to have race ahead of the Cape Epic, because it would be too hard for the body otherwise. The other reason to race the Afxentia is to check out our new bikes and the setup before using it in South Africa under race conditions,” said Näf.
In the women’s events, six of the top 10 ranked women in the world will be taking part including former Olympic cross country champion Sabine Spitz (Haibike), two-time marathon world champion Annika Langvad (Specialised), former cross country world champion Maja Wloszczowska (Giant Pro XC) and eliminator world champion Alexandra Engen (Ghost).
Other top riders include nine-time world champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida), Linda Indergand (Struby-BiXS), Nathalie Schneitter (Sui, Colnago-Sudtirol), Blaza Klemencic (Feenstra Felt) and Yana Belomoyna (Betch.nl Superior Brentjens).