Runners on bicycles take 1st place!
WOW Cyclothon winners 2013 Team IP with second place Team Synir Helga
Coming in through the finish line 4 minutes ahead of second place, the competition was, as you can imagine, fierce as the teams cycled into Reykjavík as fast as they could, using up every last bit of force after nearly two days of non-stop cycling. Competition finals hardly get more dramatic than this did at 11 o‘clock on a Friday morning.
It took them a mere 41 hours and 3 minutes to cycle 1332 km, all the way around Iceland. To make it plain; driving the ring road in that time by car, with an engine, fuelled by gasoline, would be considered quite the feat. These men cycled, on their bicycles, using their muscles. Get impressed!
The abbreviation in the team’s name stands for InniPúkar, an Icelandic derogative term for people that spend too much time indoors and translates as “inside imps”. They got their nickname from spending most of their exercising time indoors on treadmills. That’s their specialty, they’re all runners and they share a history of running injuries that gradually drew them into cycling. “It’s a great sport and it’s much easier on your joints and back” says team captain Sigurður Hansen. But Team IP got off to a pretty bad start.
There were a lot of incidents and we dragged behind right in the beginning and had to race back into the game right away. We tried to lose our competition which counted 8 teams at the time, at Möðrudalsöræfi (the area between Mývatn and Egilsstaðir) but were unsuccessful so we decided to get ahead at Öxi.”
Every single team we spoke to mentioned Öxi, the notorious gravel highland road between Egilsstaðir and the southern region. Öxi is clearly a strategically important part of this cycling competition as well as being a memorable challenge that all the teams overcame.
“We are really good going uphill and we used that to our advantage. Even though we got 10 minutes ahead of Team Synir Helga, we decided to wait for them on the other side of Öxi. Using each other’s draft is really important in competitions like this. Team Synir Helga was fierce competition though. They are a really strong team.”
They had one long hill left and after cycling with Team Synir Helga all the way from Öxi, they took off at the steep Kambar hill going up from Hveragerði just 40 km outside Reykjavík. That’s where Team IP really put their legs to work, resulting in their sweet victory.
“We’re probably going to compete next year. We’ve already begun planning it. We’ve got to defend our championship title!”