Cyprus Sunshine

Cyprus Sunshine "The Challenge" 2019

The Authentic Mountaibike Experience for Everyone!

If you are a passionate mountainbiker, love trails and want to race amongst the best riders in the world, but you don't have a UCI licence then the Cyprus Sunshine Challenge is exactly what you're looking for!

The Cyprus Sunshine Challenge is a 3-day event addressing non-UCI riders, providing the opportunity to passionate amateur mountain bikers to compete in the first three stages of Afxentia Stage Race and get ranked In their own category!The mountainbikers can combine their holidays in Cyprus with a high quality event where they will be riding among the best riders in the world!

The Cyprus Sunshine Cup, and by extension the Cyprus Sunshine Challenge, is one of the most prestigious mountainbike race events in the world, and one of the most famous mountainbike series on the UCI Calendar. Taking place every year in the early season, it is an awesome opportunity for top riders to kick start their race season with a bit of sunshine and excellent trails in the Mediterranean. Due to its exceptional route, the event attracts both professional athletes as well as recreational and keen mountainbikers from all over the world!


"The Challenge" follows the first three stages of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup #1 -  "Afxentia Stage race”, which has been organized for the past 20 years. Since 1997 it has been registered as a UCI Race, which makes it one of the oldest, if not the oldest existing stage race in Europe, and one of the very few Hors Class Stage Races (SHC) in the UCI calendar. It is organized in honor of the National hero Grigoris Afxentiou who sacrificed himself in the area of Macheras Forest in 1957, during the freedom struggle of 1955-1959.

With the best mountain bikers in the world a permanent “feature” of the race, more and more amateur riders discover the beauty of Macheras Mountains and the great riding the area has to offer and line up next to their idols for some unique early season racing!

The race is a useful test for many Elite riders, where they can find high-level competition and top-level courses that will challenge them to a last check of their performance after their winter preparation. Many riders have said that “If you are doing well at the Afxentia Stage race, then you are in for a great season”

The second race of Cyprus Sunshine Cup is taking place inside, and around, the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Amathus in the outskirts of Limassol and is a Class 1 registered race in the UCI Calendar.

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Lefkara hosts the first two stages of The Cypru Sunshine Challenge. A picturesque village with narrow and winding, stone paved alleys and traditional architecture of old, terracotta-roofed houses. It is situated at the south-eastern foot of the Troodos Mountains, at an altitude of 650m above sea level. Lefkara village was well known in Europe since the Medieval ages for its lacing and silversmithing crafts. Legend has it, that the famous painter Leonardo da Vinci himself visited the village in 1481 and bought a lace altar cloth, which he donated to Milan cathedral. While riding through the village you can still observe the skilled craftswomen, in the narrow alleyways of the village, patiently creating these masterpieces!



The community of Lythrodontas hosts the third stage of the Challenge stage race. Lythrodontas is built on the foothill of the Machairas Mountain region and is covered by the green colour of its olive groves which combined with the wild vegetation of pine trees and thyme create a beautiful scenery! The village has a long tradition on agriculture and farming, and is well known for its high quality and tasty olive oil. The first mentions of organized agriculture and farming in the area are coming from the Byzantine years in Lythrodontas.


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Cyprus is the right place to train yourself and challenge your limits due to the excellent climate conditions. Racing specialists, touring cyclists and mountain bikers will all find just the right exciting challenges, under the mild Mediterranean climate and a delightful combination of sea, beaches and mountains. Cyprus is the ideal destination for a mountain bike experience, both for professional and amateurs bike enthusiasts.

The island is located on the east end of the Mediterranean sea, offering perfect weather for cycling, especially during the months of October through April, when temperature range between 15°C and 25°C, while the annual rainfall is also quite low in comparison to other European countries. Moreover, unlike other European or Mediterranean countries, the strong headwinds that are a bane to cyclists, here are rare.

Within an area of 10Km you can go from rocky to clay and steep to flat, enabling you to experience all surfaces within a short period of time transforming the island unto one huge mountain bike arena. Quite rural roads, with excellent quality tarmac, well signposted and limited car traffic are some of the key element that accompany the attractive scenery. In addition, there are no legal barriers to cycling anywhere on the island, except of course on motorways.

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Cyprus Sunshine Cup #1  |  Afxentia Stage Race – SCH 

Stage 1 - XCT: Distance: 14.5Km | Ascent: +147m  

Course Map | Start to FZ1 | Start to FZ2

Stage 2 - XCP: Distance: 52.2Km | Ascent: +1820m

Course Map | Start to FZ1 | FZ1 to FZ3 | Start to FZ2 | Start to FZ3 | Start to FZ4

Stage 3 - XCP: Distance: 61.2Km | Ascent: +1916m

Course Map | Start to FZ1 | Start to FZ2 | Start to FZ3 |  FZ1 to FZ2


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Non-UCI licensed riders (Open Categories)

Men/Women 19-29 yrs
Masters 1 Men/Women 30-39 yrs
Masters 2 Men/Women 40-49 yrs
Masters 3 Men/Women 50+ yrs

Participation fee for the Stage Race:   €200

The race fee includes:

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Meet the Professionals at the Races
  • Electronic Timing
  • Route Signage
  • Safety Personnel
  • Feeding and Water stations
  • Technical Assistance on Course
  • Medical Assistance
  • Memorabilia T-shirt
  • Finishers Medal
  • Bib and Bike numbers
  • Maps and Profiles
  • Pasta Party
  • Certification of Participation
  • Energy Gel
  • Sponsor's goodies
  • Local Treats after Each Stage (Stages 2 & 3)


Option for participation in single stage:       

 Stage 1: €50   |  Stage 2: €75  |  Stage 3: €75       

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