Dancing and bikes combined in Pano Lefkara. © Abdo Semaan Nader

Dancing and bikes combined in Pano Lefkara. © Abdo Semaan Nader

CYPRUS – Need a kickstart to your spring season training?  Looking for warm sunny skies to ignite your motivation?

If so, join Cyclocross Magazine’s Euro-correspondent and pro cyclocrosser Christine Vardaros for the eighth edition of “Tour of Cyprus 2013″ to be held on March 30 through April 1.  The three-day ToC Stage Race offers amateurs the unique opportunity to race with the pros. It’s last edition consisted of over 110 international participants from 18 countries. The tour also doubles as an important fundraiser for charities such as “Help Save Elikas,” a foundation for people with special needs.

There are two groups to choose from:

Group A – elite/competitive riders. They will complete a tour of approximately 350 km with intermediate sprints – 110-120 km per day. This includes neutral zones before and after the timed sections.  Winners in each category will be recognized at the awards ceremony every evening, as well as the overall leaders.

Group B – amateur riders and cyclo-tourists. They will ride the same routes but at a more relaxed untimed pace. They have the option to complete as many ToC stages as they wish. In addition, they can step into the follow vehicle at any time to rest and continue later whenever they choose.

Each stage departs from the picturesque beach town of Limassol and heads up into the hills, with some kilometers spent along the coastal line. The entire ride is fully-supported, including energy food, drinks, clothing/luggage transport, mechanical support, security escort motorbikes, police escort and traffic management. The tour also makes sure to treat the riders to much local flavor.  They are taken through the classically gorgeous towns while being treated to a wide variety of authentic local foods in the feed zones, transforming the tour into a fully exotic experience.

Team and charity sponsorships are possible. Registration deadline is January 31st or until the spots are filled as there are only a few left. The weather in Cyprus at this time of year is expected to be about 70°F (22°C)  with 9 hours of sunny skies per day.

The ToC can be reached by both Paphos and Larnaca Airports. For more information on the tour, visit www.tourofcyprus.com. The “Tour of Cyprus” (ToC), is a large scale international “cyclosportive” event in the Republic of Cyprus. ToC is a multi stage endurance event and is open to elite and amateurs.