The 18th edition of the Afxentia stage race will also be part of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup next year. Many of the XC pros like Sabine Spitz and Alexandra Engen are on the sunny island of Cyprus in winter and use the series to optimally prepare for the season. The route for the upcoming Afxentia stage race, which starts on February 27, 2014, has now been determined. There are also some fundamental changes. For the first time, the race will extend over four days. It should also attract many marathon riders due to its HC status. So you can expect many Cape Epic participants who want to give their form the finishing touches.
Nevertheless, the Afxentia stage race is also open to hobby bikers and ideal for incorporating into a winter training camp on the sunny island. Great for training, having fun and building your skills for the mountain bike season.
"We tried to expand the format and create a good mix between an attractive landscape and real mountain bike enjoyment.", explains organizer Mike Hadjioannou.
//Stage 1 – Lefkara
It begins with a time trial of 5,6 kilometers in length and 240 meters in altitude, starting and finishing in the center of Lefkara. The path for through the narrow streets of the village before leading into a one kilometer long, rocky single trail up to the highest point of the course. Then follows a fast downhill to Kato Drys, from where it leads to the finish on forest paths, a short single trail and finally a passage on asphalt.
//Stage 2 – Lefkara-Skarinou
The second new stage starts in Lefkara and ends after 55 kilometers in Skarinou. This part of the day will probably be the more difficult of two point-to-point stages. From Lefkara it is mostly uphill to Vavatsinia. From there, riders climb short, steep climbs through vineyards and pine forest before reaching the Kionia picnic area. From there the Kionia-Profitis Elias single trail is driven, which is known as one of the best downhills on the island. It's the singletrack that's ridden as an uphill at the point-to-point the next day. It goes all the way to Kyprovasa ruins where the course undulates to Lefkara dam and then flat to Dipotamos dam and finish at Skarinou. The finish is just seven kilometers from the start but 200 meters lower than Lefkara.
//Stage 3 – Lythrodontas
The third leg of the day is based on the well-known Point-to-Point of the past five years, but the start will be moved to Lythrodontas in 2014. The first five kilometers lead through olive plantations to the Kyprovasa ruins. From there the route follows some ungracious jeep roads halfway through the Profitis Elias - Kionia singletrack and up from there. A short asphalt section follows and then the technically demanding Kakokefalos Trail - with beautiful steep sections and a total of eleven switchbacks - to the Mantra-tou-Kampiou picnic area. From there, the bikers still have to get over the fast and bumpy clay road to Lythrodontas and then have 42,9 kilometers and 1420 meters of altitude behind them.
//Stage 4 – Mantra tou Kampiou
The final cross-country race is the only stage that remains the same as in previous years. The riders will tackle the almost legendary cross-country course at Mantra tou Kampiou in the fight for daily and overall victory. On the demanding, 5,5-kilometre lap with its 180 meters of altitude difference, the overall standings can get moving again.