Riders in the storm: Dutch cyclists brave the Ciara storm

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Call them horsemen in the storm.

While a lot of northern Europe fell on Sunday and hoped that Storm Ciara would blow rapidly with hurricane-force winds, a bunch of intrepid cyclists took benefit of the circumstances to compete in the championships Dutch biking headwind.

The components had been easy: a fundamental bike with out gears, with out featherweight carbon racing body, with out lowered handlebars, stable legs, metal decision and wind. Lots of wind.

Still, full the 8.5-kilometer (5.3-mile) course alongside the coast of the province of Zeeland in the south of the Netherlands and throughout a stormwater barrier whereas robust winds had been blowing. biking with sand from close by seashores was something however easy, even for knowledgeable cyclists. The organizers supplied vomit buckets at the finish.

"I survived, but it's very difficult," stated Hans Deting, 56, his proper hand dripping with blood after being ejected from his bike.

Eventually the gale drive winds grew to become too robust even for this punitive occasion. The organizers ended the race very quickly after 250 of the 300 runners completed.

While the concept of ​​plowing your head first into a serious storm on a motorcycle might seem to be folly, it’s surprisingly fashionable in the Netherlands, the place many individuals journey bikes to work regardless of wind or rain. Some 11,000 individuals expressed curiosity in collaborating on-line, however the organizers solely had a most of 300 locations obtainable.

According to the organizers, the Netherlands was nearly as shut as attainable to sort out an alpine stage in a bicycle race.

"We call it the Dutch mountain," organizer Robrecht Stoekenbroek informed The Associated Press. "It's like climbing a 10% incline on the worst bike you can imagine."

With purple and white socks flapping in the wind, the riders bent over their handlebars in a determined try to remain as aerodynamic as attainable. Many opponents wore tight Lycra biking clothes.

A person made a daring trend assertion whereas carrying a jumpsuit with Brussels sprouts on his biking gear.

Crossing the Oosterscheldekering storm barrier, the cyclists crossed the cycle path whereas struggling to take care of their stability.

"There is nowhere to hide," stated Stoekenbroek.

Many of the individuals, who had been racing one time at a time, weren’t too in their time. It was only a matter of ending the occasion.

"It's a list of things to do," stated Edwin van Gaalen, leaning, gasping, on his handlebars after he completed.

He stopped to elucidate additional.

"When you have done it once, you want to do it twice. And more and more, because it is an experience that you have to live, "he stated." So I can talk about it a lot, but you have to be there to feel the wind, to feel the experience, to get it all. "

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