Cyprus Sunshine Cup set to open European season

The Cyprus Sunshine Cup continues in 2013 with a similar set of venues and dates as in recent years. Three races within two weeks will occur on the Mediterranean Island in February and March. 

Each year, several top racers kick off their season at the Sunshine Cup. Olympic gold medalist Jaroslav Kulhavy and silver medalist Sabine Spitz started their 2012 seasons in Cyprus, and Spitz is among those returning again in 2013.

"Cyprus Cycling Federation and Cyprus Tourism Organization are happy to have the Cyprus Sunshine Cup in 2013, continuing the long lasting work on the race series, which is good for the riders and good for the development of our beautiful island," said Mike Hadjioannou, head of the Bikin' Cyprus event agency.

For years, the round in Voroklini has been a kind of season opener in Europe. This year, the race will occur on Saturday, February 23, one day before the presidental election in Cyprus on February 24.

"We wanted to avoid a conflict on organization matters. So we decided to race on Saturday," Hadjioannou said.

The change adds an extra day of training time before the next round, the Afxentia stage race in the Macheras Mountains, which kicks off the following Friday. The stage race, a UCI category HC event, includes a time trial, point-to-point race, and cross country. Last year Kulhavy and Tereza Hurikova (Sabine Spitz-Haibike) won.

The Sunshine Cup finale will again be held in the ruins of Amathous, on the outskirts of Limassol.

Emil Lindgren (Rabobank-Giant) and Annika Langvad (Fujibikes-Rockets) won the overall Sunshine Cup title last year.

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