A few days before Christmas the Cyprus Sunshine Cup has an early gift! Two Olympic Champions, Sabine Spitz and Jaroslav Kulhavy, have announced an early start to their mountain bike seasons with the races in Cyprus.
Together, the German and the Czech have won a total of five Olympic medals. Sabine Spitz is the only lady ever to acquire all three colour medals in the cross-country discipline: Gold (2008), Silver (2012) and Bronze (2004). Jaroslav Kulhavy won Gold in London 2012 and got a silver in August in Rio de Janeiro.
There is nothing as precious as an Olympic medal to be won on our sunny Mediterranean island in 2017, but as regular visitors to Cyprus and the Cyprus Sunshine Cup over the past years, Spitz and Kulhavy have many good memories of the place.
Last year Spitz rode the Cape Epic for the first time and, with the preparation from racing in Cyprus, she did it better than she had hoped. Together with CST Superior Brentjens’ Ukranian Champion, Yana Belomoina, she finished second in South Africa.
At 45, Spitz remains very ambitious and has thus extended her cross-country career by another year. She wants to win at the Cape Epic and will once again use the Afxentia stage race for preparation.
Unfortunately Kulhavy flew home from Cyprus last year with a sense of disappointment after a rather unspectacular fall resulted in a broken hand. However, he has not let this damage his affections for Cyprus where he has often successfully prepared for the season at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup. "I'm looking forward to Cyprus and hope this time without injury," he said on Twitter.
This is of particular importance in 2017 as Kulhavy, like Spitz, wishes to use the Afxentia stage race to prepare for the Cape Epic. Together with his Specialized colleague, Christoph Sauser, the goal is nothing other than his third victory.
Where the professionals race, the amateur and sportive riders can follow! Whether as preparation for the Cape Epic or another season goal or simply to test yourself over four days of competition, the Cyprus Sunshine Cup offers something for every racer on the great trails of this beautiful island.