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Vätternrundan 2013 - Sweden's Largest Cycling Event

by Penny Comins

Despite the high winds, a new record was set for the highest number of cyclists completing the 48th edition of Vätternrundan. 18 475 cyclists completed the 300 kilometres in Motala, Sweden on 14-15 June.

sweden
Riders Conquering The Headwinds

Athletes faced 100 kilometeres of head wind as they headed around the lake, which will go down in history as one of the more windy events of recent years. Although conditions were windy, a new course record was also set with the time 6:37:09. This was achieved by a team riding of eight in support of children with inherited heart disease, headed by Mattias Reck, captain of the Swedish national team as well as Vätternrundan's training expert. 4 101 cyclists came from countries other than Sweden. In all, 44 different nationalities were represented.

The event had 267 registered riders from the UK; 1474 from Germany; 824 from Norway; 601 from Denmark; 450 from Finland; 42 from the Netherlands; 26 from Switzerland; 25 from Belgium and 20 from France. "I came in at 9.30am but people kept coming all day. This tells you something about the scale of the event," Martin Elvins from Edinburgh, said after the event. "I've done a lot of sportives in the UK but this is by far the best organised event I've ever been to," said Danny Frost, from Folkestone. "Me and my friend split up, but you tend to find groups and ride with them, big groups that plough on into the night," added Frost. "There's a great mix of people, from groups that come past you like a steam train, to cycles with baskets on the front," commented John Burnham, from Birmingham.

The 300 km Vätternrundan is the final event in a series running over two weekends, also comprising the 150 km Halvvättern and the 100 km all-female Tjejvättern. Taken as a whole, this series of rides represents the world's largest cycling event with around 30,000 cyclists pedalling nearly 7 million kilometres between them.

The 300 km Vätternrundan is an annual event that was first run in 1966. 2015 will mark its 50th anniversary. For more information please visit: www.vatternrundan.se/en/





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