With less than one month to go until the opening round of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, the race has attracted top riders for some sun and warm weather racing to help them find form prior to the World Cup season. Austrian Olympian Christoph Soukup (Czech Merida) and German Karl Platt and are among those who will compete for time on TV and increased prize money.
Last year, Soukup won the final race of the series. Platt will prepare for the season along with his new Team Bulls teammates Frenchman Thomas Dietsch and German Tim Böhme. Dietsch is one of the most successful marathon riders of the world and especially in the first stage he could be able to compete for the win.
Swiss Petra Henzi is returning to Cyprus as the women's favorite after winning two races and the overall Cyprus Cup in 2008.
Cyprus Tourism Organization increased the race's prize money with more than 10,000 euros given for all four stages, including three-day Afxentia stage race. In total, 26,000 euros are on offer for the UCI C1 and C2 events.
Last year's events saw wins by Fredrik Kessiakoff, Heather Irmiger, Roel Paulissen, Sabine Spitz, Jaroslav Kulhavy, Petra Henzi and Soukup.
Sunshine Cup 2008
February 22: Round 1 - Tochni-Kalavasos (XCO)(1)
February 27: Round 2 - March 1 - Afxentia Macheras Mountains (SR)(1)
March 8: Round 3 - Amathous-Agios-Tychon (XCO)(2)
March 15: Round 4 - Voroklini (XCO)(1)