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The start of the 2011 Sunshine Cup in Voroklini
Marotte, Fumic and Gujan also confirmed for early season races
Several more racers have confirmed their participation in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup coming up in February and March, including 2011 World Cup winner Julie Bresset and her French BH-SR Suntour-Peisey Vallandry teammate Maxime Marotte, plus Cannondale Factory Racing's Manuel Fumic of Germany and Martin Gujan of Switzerland.
Bresset won the elite World Cup last season even though she was still an under 23 racer. This season, she is looking forward to competing full time as an elite, including at the world championships, World Cups and Olympic Games. Bresset will use the Sunshine Cup as preparation for the World Cup opener in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in mid-March.
Marotte has similar intentions for heading to the sunny island for early season racing. The 25-year-old mountain biker stepped up to race among the world's best in 2011. He finished fifth overall in the 2011 World Cup rankings.
Fumic is expecting to race the Sunshine Cup opener at Voroklini as well as the Afxentia stage race five days later in the Macheras Mountains.
"The Sunshine Cup is perfect for Pietermaritzburg preparation," said Fumic. "I want to be at a top level at the World Cup opener, and therefore I need some races."
Fumic's Cannondale teammate Martin Gujan of Switzerland will join him in Cyprus.
"I'm very excited about the level of competition coming. It seems to become the best we ever had on Cyprus. And I expect that the riders will already show up in a very good shape," said organizer Mike Hadjioannou.
Several other racers, like the Flückiger brothers (Lukas and Mathias), have previously confirmed their participation in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup.
2012 Sunshine Cup
February 19: Voroklini (C1)
February 24-26: Afxentia Macheras Mountains (SHC)
March 4: Amathous-Agios-Tychon (C1)