Weather scared off 4,000 cyclists

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State meteorologists’ predictions of more rain and mud prompted nearly 4,000 cyclists registered for the annual Birkebeinerrittet over the weekend to drop out, but nearly 14,000 still showed up at the start. Many claimed later that trail conditions were much better than expected.

Cyclists braved rain, wind and mud to complete the tough 94.6-kilometer course from Rena to Lillehammer over the weekend. PHOTO: Birkebeinerrittet

“The weather was fine for us who started early,” real estate specialist Finn Tveter told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). The 63-year-old director of the national association for real estate brokers (Eiendomsmeglerforbund) was pleased with his own performance, completing the 94.6-kilometer course over the mountains from Rena to Lillehammer in three hours, 50 minutes and 46 seconds, and he praised the event’s arrangers for working hard to maintain the trails after months of heavy rain.

The event was won by Stian Remme of Bergen in the elite class for men, with a time of two hours 54 minutes and 45 seconds, while Pia Sundstedt of Finland won the women’s elite class with a time of three hours eight minutes and 26 seconds.

The numbers of those dropping the race, despite paying registration fees, was higher than normal, with around 2,000 also dropping the extra FredagsBirken race on Friday. Organizers blamed the weather forecasts and rain, which did start to fall and did create mud, along with the mud that caused an outbreak of stomach illness last year.

Views and News staff