Touching down in Cyprus, the warm Mediterranean air kisses your face and welcomes you to an island of wonderful experiences.
The Cyprus Sunshine Cup is many things to many different people.
It is a place to race and suffer hard; to train and ease into the season; to chase all-important UCI points; to experience a professional race for the first time; to challenge yourself simply to finish; to explore Cyprus.
But whether you are an Olympic Champion or a first-time racer, it is always about the warmth of the welcome and the warmth of the sun.
The Spring has sprung in Cyprus and the mountains are coming to life with bursts of fragrant flowers, butterflies and birds. The riders, too, are coming to life and stretching out towards the summer season ahead of them.
For the Elite riders, the Sunshine Cup holds an important place in the international mountain bike calendar; it sits on the edge of the long, lethargic European winter and the cusp of a strenuous summer. It is the perfect transition from training into racing which conditions the mind as well as the body. The relaxed nature of the event coupled with a World-class field of racers strikes the perfect balance for February.
For amateur racers, this relaxed atmosphere is an ideal introduction to the World of professional racing. It offers riders and spectators a chance to mingle with many of the best riders in the World before the stresses and strains of the race season focus their minds solely on the start line. It is a unique experience, to ride in the tyre tracks of your favourite athletes, and then share a chat and some delicious local cuisine at the finish line.
The Sunshine Cup is a lot about sharing.
Elite and amateur riders share the same trails; the locals share their village squares; Cyprus shares its stunning scenery and amazing heritage; everyone shares their love of riding mountain bikes.
When you are at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup you are immediately a part of it, welcomed into the race family. The tiny cobbled streets with flowers overflowing are yours to explore. The freshly baked breads soaked in Cypriot olive oil are yours to taste. The mountain passes and technical singletrails are yours to conquer. It is a beautiful marriage of local intimacy and international acclaim.
To everyone returning to Cyprus for the Sunshine Cup and to all those who are about to experience this wonderful week of racing for the first time, we extend the warmest welcome and wish you success and sunshine!