The 2011 European mountain bike season kicks off in under three weeks, on February 20, with the Cyprus Sunshine Cup's opening round.
With qualification points for the London Olympics on offer, more top international racers have committed to attending the Sunshine Cup, which offers category 1 and Hors Categorie (HC) points.
Current Olympic cross country champion, Sabine Spitz, will be starting her season with the race. The German rider, who finished 10th in the 2011 cyclo-cross World Championships last weekend, will be training in Cyprus with members of her team, Central Haibike ProTeam, including Kathrin Stirnemann, Tereza Hurikova and Elisabeth Brandau.
Spitz will be racing against 2009 cross country world championship silver medallist and current Norweigan cross country champion, Lene Byberg, among others.
In the men's race, registered racers include current marathon World Champion Alban Lakata as he prepares for the Cape Epic, junior cross country World Champion Michiel van der Heijden, and under 23 silver medallist at the 2010 cross country Worlds Thomas Litscher. American Adam Craig and Swede Emil Lindgren, both of Rabobank-Giant, are also confirmed to ride.
The Sunshine Cup is made up of two single-day races, at Voroklini and Amathous, and a stage race at Afxentia that includes a time trial, marathon and cross country.
For more information on the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, visit www.mtbcyprus.com.