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Kulhavy heads to South Africa via Cyprus

Adrian Hegyvary (UnitedHealthcare) works to bring back a couple riders.\

Adrian Hegyvary (UnitedHealthcare) works to bring back a couple riders.\ (Image credit: Cyprus Sunshine Cup)

Olympic gold medallist Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) will open his 2013 mountain bike season at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup on Cyprus, where he'll be doing part of his preparation for the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in March.

It will be the seventh time that Kulhavy takes part in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, but it will be the first time the race has ever hosted a current men's Olympic cross country champion.

In 2012, the Czech rider also kicked off his season in Cyprus, arriving as the then-reigning cross country world champion. In a press conference in Nicosia, he told the media about his dream to win gold in London and how important racing and training on Cyprus was to reach his big goal.

This year, Kulhavy has another goal in mind. The Sunshine Cup will serve as his final race preparation for his first Cape Epic in South Africa. He will riding the week-long mountain bike stage race for the first time and is teaming up with teammate Christoph Sauser to ride in memory of their mutual late teammate, Burry Stander, who was killed in a training accident when hit by a taxi on January 3.

Kulhavy will race Sunshine Cup rounds 1 and 2, both of which he won last year. Round 1 is a single day race in Voroklini on February 23 while Round 2 is a three-day stage race in the Afxentia Macheras Mountains on March 1 to 3.

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