New record with one week to go until opening round
A record 29 countries will be represented at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup. The popular early season event will kick off on February 20 in Voroklini with a UCI category 1 event.
"This huge number of different countries is really impressive. Sometimes you don't get this many in an overseas World Cup," said Mike Hadjioannou of Bikin' Cyprus.
In 2010, riders from 25 nations participated. In addition to the usual top mountain bike countries of Switzerland, France or Germany, riders also came from Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malta, Corea, Estonia and Latvia.
Asian champion Kohei Yamamoto may have one of the longest trips, coming from Japan, but as the number 26 world ranked racer, he a familiar face in the peloton.
With one week to go, Slovenian Blaza Klemencic (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic) also announced her participation. She finished fourth in the World Cup finals in 2010. She'll be joined by teammtes Thomas Litscher of Switzerland and Austrians Karl Markt and Simon Scheiber.
The German under 23 national team, the Dutch national team and the Swedish national team will all be on the start line.
The Sunshine Cup's round two will include the Afxentia stage race on February 25-27, and the finals will happen in Amathous-Agios-Tychon on March 6.