The 2014 Cyprus Sunshine Cup will consist of two rounds for 2014. The European season-opening series has in recent years held as many as four rounds. However, one of its rounds, the Afxentia stage race, has been extended to four days and will serve as a preparation for the Cape Epic for some racers. In total, the number of racing days in the series remains the same as last year.
"We wanted to improve and give the Cyprus Sunshine Cup a new pulse," said promoter Mike Hadjioannou.
The new approach targets amateur riders, especially those who want to take part in the Cape Epic in South Africa a few weeks later. The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is a is a destination where some central Europeans chose to prepare for other races early in the season. It's agreeable climate and trails give many a break from "winter".
Not only are the trails technically challenging and physically demanding, but the trails in the Afxentia stage race also offer stunning views. The first stage will be a time trial event.
However, compared to all previous editions, the race will not take place in the Macheras Mountains, but in Lefkara. The new second stage will start from there, too, while its finish will be in Skarinou. Lythrodontas will be the start-finish for stage 3, and the riders will ride the well known large loop through the Macheras Mountains. On stage 4 on Sunday, the cross country race at Mantra tou Kampiou concludes the competition, as a UCI HC-classified race.
"The Afxentia stage race is an ideal preparation for the Cape Epic, and you can use it as part of a training camp," said Hadjioannou.
Non-Cape Epic racing pros may also use the racing in Cyprus as a training ground ahead of the World Cup.
The second stop of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup will then take place one week later in Voroklini as a cross country race, situated not far from Larnaca.
2014 Cyprus Sunshine Cup
February 27- March 2: Afxentia stage race, Lefkara / Macheras Mountains (SHC)
March 9: Voroklini cross country, Voroklini (C1)