|PRESS RELEASE 26/03/2012
Over 30,000 sign up for
annual cycling event in Sweden
Over 30,000 cyclists will take part in this year’s edition of the world’s largest cycling event, Vätternrundan, held June 9-16th in Motala, Sweden. 23,000 have signed up for the 300 km main event, which was fully booked as early as September last year. Another 10,000 are fairly evenly divided between the 150 km Halvvättern and the 100 km ladies’ ride Tjejvättern. Spaces are still available for these two rides.
A record number of nationalities will be represented in the 2012 edition of Vätternrundan, 41 in total. The largest participating countries are Sweden, the Nordic countries and Germany, but countries from further afield, for instance France, show an increasing presence.
Most cyclists take about 8-12 hours to complete the 300 km Vätternrundan, although anything up to 20 hours can be considered normal. But interest in the fast Sub 9 start groups, which aim to finish in less than nine hours, has increased significantly in recent years, with the fastest cyclists completing the course in just under seven hours. The Sub 9 start group has been increased from 700 riders last year to 1000 this year, but there is still demand for more spaces.
“We notice how cyclists turn up better trained and better equipped each year. This is a testimony to the increasing interest in cycling in general and in Vätternrundan in particular,” says Eva-Lena Frick, general manager of Vätternrundan.
Vätternrundan starts and finishes in Motala in south-central Sweden, halfway between Stockholm and Gothenburg. For a few days in June every year, the population of this normally quiet place more than doubles as cyclists from all over the world arrive with their friends and relatives to take part in what has become the world’s largest celebration of cycling.
Vätternrundan is the world’s largest cycling event in terms of total distance cycled between all participants combined. Between them, Vätternrundan’s cyclists pedal over eight million kilometres.
The 2012 edition of Vätternrundan will be the 47th consecutive year for the event. The 300 km ride circles the scenic Lake Vättern, Europe’s sixth largest lake, while the shorter rides take place on its eastern side.
The event is held on open roads. However, the organisers work towards making the 300 km Vätternrundan a car-free event. At the moment, local authorities are unable to meet Vätternrundan’s requests for closed roads due to legal constraints. The organisers are now lobbying the central government for a change in the law.
“In principle, the local authorities are in favour of separating cars from bicycles during Vätternrundan. Hopefully, we can get a change to the law from 2013,” says Frick.
For further information and registrations, see www.vatternrundan.se
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