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The scenery during the Afxentia mountain bike stage race in Cyprus
Four days of early season racing on tap in Cyprus
The Afxentia mountain bike stage race is adding one stage to its 2014 edition. Instead of the three days, the race will happen over four days from February 27 to March 2. The race will also feature two all-new stages.
In its 18th year, the Afxentia mountain bike stage race will be a UCI category HC event, which means it will offer plenty of points toward world rankings for elite riders.
Organizers hope that by adding a day, the race will appeal to more potential pro and amateur racers who are preparing for the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race later in March.
"We tried to create an extended format with a good mixture of attractive scenery and a pure kind of mountain biking," said Bikin' Cyprus organizer Mike Hadjioannou.
The two new stages, 1 and 2, will begin at Lefkara, in the southern Trodos mountains.
Marianne Vos and Fabian Giger won the Afxentia stage race in 2013.
2014 Afxentia Stage Race
February 27: Stage 1 - Lefkara, 5.6km time trial
February 28: Stage 2 - Lefkara-Skarinou, 55km point-to-point cross country
March 1: Stage 3 - Lythrodontas, point-to-point cross country
March 2: Stage 4 - Mantra tou Kampiou cross country (5.5km laps)
The Cyprus Sunshine Cup will include only one other round in 2014: The Voroklini C1-category cross country race on March 9. In recent years, the series has included three or four rounds.