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Kulhavy and Hermida to open season in Cyprus

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Jaroslav Kulhavy racing at the Afxentia Cup

Jaroslav Kulhavy racing at the Afxentia Cup
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Jose Hermida

Jose Hermida
(Image credit: Daniel Geiger)
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The feedzone at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup

The feedzone at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)

Seasoned pros like Olympic cross country champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) and 2010 world champion Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida) will kick off their 2014 mountain bike racing at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup in February and March.

Hermida will be joined by serveral Multivan Merdida teammates as the squad plans its first visit to the early season races in Cyprus. Marathon world champion and 2004 Olympic champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa, Rudi van Houts and young guns Ondrej Cink, Thomas Litscher and Julian Schelb will all compete.

In contrast, Kulhavy, a Sunshine Cup regular, will be starting his season in Cyprus for the eighth time. His focus is on preparing for the 2014 World Cup as he hopes to improve on his 2013 season, in which he won just one World Cup round.

Kulhavy won't be the only Czech rider in action. Jan Skarnitzl (SRAM Rubena Trek) and Tereza Hurikova (Specialized Racing) are also headed to Cyprus. Both riders have previously done well at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup.

"It's big news for all mountain bikers on the island and also an honor for organizers," said Mike Hadjioannou from Bikin' Cyprus Event Management about the riders who've already committed to this year's racing.

Round 1 of the Sunshine Cup, the Afxentia Stage Race will happen from February 27 to March 2 while round 2 in Voroklini will occur on March 9.