Cyprus Sunshine Cup is one of the most historical mountain bike races in the world and in 2020 it is about to enter a new era!
Following 23 years of continuous evolution and growth the organising team wishes to give a new, upgraded image to this authentic mountain biking race, which has been taking place in the mountain ranges of Cyprus since 1997.
From 2020 onward, the race will be called Cyprus Sunshine Epic, emphasizing on the history of the race as well as the difficulty of the routes and the challenge that the participants face in their efforts to complete the race.
Beyond the change in the name of the race, we also change its character since the athletes will now compete in teams of two and not individually. The team classification is, at last, a common practise in the world of mountain biking.
What will not change in Cyprus Sunshine Epic is the beautiful routes of the mountain range of Larnaca and the unique atmosphere and hospitality, owed to the participants and the organisers of the race. All the above, together with the cypriot culture, traditions and hospitality are some of the ingredients that make the race such an authentic mountain biking experience for the participants.
In the 23 years of the race, many of the world's biggest names in the sport have competed and have spoken highly about the race, the tracks and the Larnaca mountain range and the ideal conditions Cyprus offers for mountain biking.
To name a few: Jaroslav Kulhavy, Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjia, Jolanda Neff, Sabine Spitz, Annika Langvad, Anna Van Der Breggen, Jan Skarnitzl, Howard Grotts, Lars Forster, Manuel Fumic and Ondrej Cink are among the athletes who have the Cyprus Sunshine Epic in their yearly racing calendar. They view it as the best opportunity for training in ideal weather conditions and in demanding but still improbable and scenic routes. One of the greatest stars in World Cycling, the Dutchman Mathieu Van der Poel had stated after winning the second stage of the race in 2017, "It was the most beautiful two hours I ever spent on the bike"!
At Cyprus Sunshine Epic, amateur riders have the chance to live the unique experience of cycling shoulder by shoulder with the biggest names of mountain biking, world champions and Olympians, who gather in Cyprus every end of February, making this celebration of mountain-biking an experience not to be missed!
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.
In the middle of the Nicosia — Limassol road, between Kornos and Psevdas, stretches a mild, shallow valley that is crossed by a small tributary of the river Tremithos and under the North foothills of Stavrovouni lies the village Pyrga of the Larnaca District. Built at an altitude of 270 meters, the village is literally “drowned” in the green of pines and wild vegetation.
The community of Lythrodontas hosts the third stage of the Afxentia 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.
Macheras Forest– Mantra tou Kampiou
While the start and finish areas of Afxentia are hosted by the largest communities of the area, the core racing is held in the heart of Macheras Mountain which is a National Forest Park! Extending to an area of 4520 hectares, Macheras is one of the largest forested areas of the island. Although covered mostly by Calabrian Pines and Golden oaks, more than 600 plant species can be found in the area - 27 of which can only be found in Cyprus and nowhere else in the world! Being a large forested mountainous area with an ever-changing landscape with a vast network of forest roads and some very nice flowy singletrails, the Macheras area is one of the best areas of the island for Mountainbiking.
Cyprus Sunshine Epic has a unique format in regards to its stages and their sequence. In Cyprus Sunshine Epic, we don’t change the race courses every year. We believe that in order to enjoy a race course you need to ride it several times. Especially in the area of Macheras forest every time you ride a route you see and feel something new, more exciting than the previous time. So enjoy the routes and come back again
From the very beginning of the event, back in 1997, all the years the first stage is an Individual time trial. The next two stages are in the format of Point to point, long stages with elevation of about 2000m each stage. The beauty and the ambience of Macheras forest makes these two stages an enjoyable ride. Despite suffering on the uphills the long scenic and flowy single trails of Kakokefalos and Profitis Elias are there to put a smile on your face.
In 2016 when Mathieu Van der Poel was winning stage 2 of Cyprus Sunshine Epic he stated after the finish: “it was the best two hours of my life on a bike. It’s really, really nice here”
To make the excitement even greater, at the finish line you will feel the hospitality (philoxenia) of Cyprus countryside people. Locals are preparing just for you the specialties of the village like grilled bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil, lemon and herbs, cyprus donuts (loukoumades), fruits and many many more tasteful snacks! You don’t want to miss this!!!
All race courses are To Be Confirmed
Stage 1 - XCT: Distance:
Stage 2 - XCP: Distance:
Stage 3 - XCP: Distance: 61Km | Ascent: +1916m
Stage 4 - XCO: Distance: 5.9Km per lap | Ascent: 219m per lap
Cyprus Sunshine Epic is open to all ages from 17-year old passionate and thirsty for action young people to adults of any age that still love to ride their mountainbike and have fun in riding amazing trails and meet new bike-friends from around the world! Oh, you also meet and ride the same routes with the best Mountainbikers of the World!
So age is not a matter but to be more fair to you, we created different age categories so that there is a fair competition between all participants.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Age categories are determined by the average age of the two members of the team concerned as on the 31st December of the year of the event. In the case were less than 3 teams register for a category, that category will be merged with another category.