We can hardly believe that the year has almost come to an end. It will be memorable for a lot of reasons; America voted a new president, UK opted out of the European Union, Rio hosted the Olympics and Paralympics and the Icelandic national football team made it to the quarter finals at the European Championship (matching the women team's best results). In doing so, Iceland became the smallest ever nation to reach this far in a major tournament.
As interesting as this sounds the highlight of the year for us will always be our first-ever Glacier 360 race. Did you know that never before has a MTB stage race been held in Iceland and never before have as many foreign riders attended a bike race in Iceland!
Next year will be another year of first's for the Glacier 360 crew and riders when we enter the UCI race scene. Also, new riders, volunteers and supporters will arrive from all over the world. What more could one wish for? At the very least we're looking forward to it so bring it on!
On behalf of the Glacier 360 crew I wish you a happy holiday season and a great new adventurous year!
CEO of Glacier 360
Press release: A UCI classified race in Iceland for the first time
UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) recently approved the Icelandic mountain bike multi-day stage race Glacier 360 as a class 2 race. The race was held for the first time in August 2016 and dates are set for August 11th - 13th 2017.
According to Björk Kristjánsdóttir, CEO of the Icelandic company Made in Mountains ehf. which manages the race this is an exciting time not only for the race itself but also for Iceland which joined UCI last year. “The number of cyclists in Iceland has grown significantly for the last few years and we feel like this is an important step for the local community, being able to participate in the international scenery of the sport."
Glacier 360 is a three day MTB marathon stage race in which riders travel 290 km around the famous Langjökull glacier. Taking ancient trails, paths and roads the ride is challenging and different from what experienced riders have seen before. Riders race in pairs, supporting each other throughout the race.
The race is suitable for all riders and outdoor enthusiasts as well as professional athletes. Riders will choose their category depending on their ambition, UCI Elite (subcategories men and women) for those seeking a shot at the points and cash prize, General Category (men, women, mixed, masters and grandmasters) for those in it for the adventure, challenge and experience.
“This year we had riders of both genders and all ages gathering from all around the world for the first-ever Glacier 360. People with different background which all of a sudden had this adventure in common. This creates the unique atmosphere we’re seeking in camp and on the course.” Says Björk but the team is looking forward to welcoming riders again next year.
This might just be your invitation by Red Bull to Glacier 360, a three day mountain bike stage challenge in Iceland in 2017.
Next year, Red Bull will offer one registered team a full reimbursement of their registration fee and an upgrade for the team to the exclusive race package.
Starting from Hveravellir Hot Springs in between the glaciers of Langjökull and Hofsjökull in centre of the Icelandic highlands this morning (19th of August 2016) in fine weather, competitors had blue skies and no wind from start to finish.
Todays stage started with a fast gravel, lava and hardpack road to the Þjófadalir (Valley of Thiefs) where a single track starts and the team descend fast towards the Kjölur mountain road. Rock gardens, small streams, mud paths, lava fields, black volcanic desert..well you get the picture, pretty much anything Iceland can throw at you was on the menu today.
Starting from Húsafell, in the lava fields to the west of Langjökull Glacier this morning (18th of August 2016) and route charges into the wilderness and towards the middle of Iceland.
The competitors faced the daunting task of riding 111 km over Arnarvatnheiði Heath. Climbing 1700m and crossing anything from rock gardens the size of Manhattan to 50m wide rivers. Or as they say in plain English, every obstacle imaginable known to wild places in high latitudes.