Fögnum saman góðu hjólasísoni
12.11 2013 23:59
Last week the aðalfundur of the Hjolreiðanefnd was held at ÍSÍ, following there is a summary of what was said. Later posts will elaborate on some of the discussion that happened during the meeting, and what you can expect in the year to come. (photo courtesy of Örn Sigurðsson)
1. Overview 2013
2013 has been good year for cycling in Iceland, whichever facet of it you are involved in. The sport has continued to gain in popularity as many more people that have taken up cycling as a pass time, and have gone on to try competition, something that has been made easier over that last years by the advent of more accessible races, and a welcoming cycling community at the clubs.
The year started off well with a new competition, and a whole new competition format at the Reykjavík Internationl Games (RIG) in January - the fact that cycling was invited to play a part in this is another indication of how the sport is now regarded - and it turned out to be a great event with a wide range of abilities and an interesting array of bikes being used! With the continuation of the CX series, it meant that there was at least one race every month of the winter.
The launch of hjolamot.is in March helped to provide an easy to use centralized entry system for almost all the years races, and by mid summer the page was registering almost 10,000 hits per month. Making the procedure of finding which races are being held, and also making them easy to enter can only have helped to boost race entries. With its continued back end development over the summer we have an incredibly sophisticated tool, and I would like to thank Alvogen & Ingvar Ómarsson for making this possible.
In April the summer season began as usual with Reykjanes, with a field almost double that of the previous year, and things continued in a similar fashion throughout the season with race after race outstripping the previous years entry. A number of new races entered the calendar - aside from RIG there were the Heiðmörk 6, a new format for Jokulmillan, Kexreið, the Alvogen Midnight TT and the Nesjavellir Hill Climb. All of these races have already been confirmed as running again in 2014, and there are some others exciting additions in the pipeline.
During May a team was taken to the bi-annual running of the Small Nations Games in Luxembourg. With the access to International competition not easy for most, it was always going to be quite something to achieve good results, but I personally went in with great hopes and faith in the abilities of the team. As it was, we had mixed fortunes - 4 Luxembourgers against 3 from the other nations in the womens made a frustrating race for María Ögn Guðmundsdóttir, a downpour of rain minutes before Karen Axelsdóttir set off in the TT and a large crash within the last km’s of the mens (which was again dominated by a Luxembourgish team twice the size of the other nations) all made things a little trickier than they could have been. However, Davið Þór Sigurðsson salvaged 6th place, equalling the highest ever by an Icelander, and when all the dust settled, the team had won the bronze medal making this the first games in which we had medaled in any cycling discipline. It is perhaps unfortunate that there is no cycling present in the 2015 games, to be held in Reykjavík, but I believe that by the time 2017 comes, we should have some legitimate possibility of more medal success if we continue to build on our domestic racing scene, and make efforts to gain more international experience.
June saw a battle of epic proportion on the way to the Blue Lagoon, with Hafsteinn staging a fantastic comeback to win his 8th consecutive title. A week later 2 races were held on the same weekend with near 100 competitors in each field, and the WOW Cyclothon was staged once more
Traditionally a quiet month, July started off with the first running of the Alvogen Midnight TT, another event with over 100 entrants and another extremely enjoyable and successful event that brought some more attention to the sport of cycling in Iceland. Vesturgatan provided a welcome trip out of town and another good battle. Rounding out the month the National Road Race was set off down the road by a former Tour de France winner in Andy Schleck, who coincidentally happened to be staying with our hosts, the Ion Hotel. The course provided a nail biting finish on the slopes of Nesavellir, and was a great collaborative effort between all the clubs.
Perhaps August proved one of the most obvious signs that the sport is only gaining in its popularity - National Championships in TT, XC & DH were run, but along with those the traditional 3 day Landskeppni proved popular and the last road race of the season, Gullhringurinn, had over 160 people compete making it the 2nd largest race of the season, 2nd only to the Blue Lagoon Challenge.
All in all I think the year can be considered to have been a great success - there was a continued growth in competition, both in numbers and in a raising of standards. With the odd minor issue, all competitions went well and without mishap. We also demonstrated a good ability to work together, and I think that this is a key aspect of continuing the rise in popularity of the sport, and so I would like to end on thanking all of you that have continued to support the sport in a positive manner - the competitors, the race organisers, sponsors and all those that give their free time to helping out in whichever way and whenever they could.
For a number of years now there have been efforts made to obtain full membership of the UCI. It has been quite difficult to establish exactly what the hold up has been but this year we established that there were a couple of key aspects:
that we were not a Federation under ÍSÍ
that we had no 3rd party insurance
After finding out what the problem was, it became the main focus of the year to resolve these issues.
I can report now that both have been taken care of; any registered and paid up member of an official cycling club competing and any officially registered club under ÍSÍ that is organising a race will be covered by an insurance policy taken out with Sjóvá. The policy also covers racers when competing in other countries (though notification would have to be given to the board beforehand).
Early on it was established that ÍSÍ had already earmarked cycling as a sport that would become a Federation, there were a number of facets that we needed to satisfy:
clubs in 5 regions of the country
500+ registered club members (see below)
a set of statutes/laws for the Federation
As of now, we satisfy the first 2 requirements. The last is something that will be worked upon over the next couple of months and covers just the basic administration side of the sport, not the competition rules. Upon confirmation of these laws, I have been given an assurance by the ÍSÍ that cycling will become a full Federation as of Jan/Feb 2014.
In tandem with this, a re-application to the UCI will take place, and given that the hurdles we previously faced have been removed, I would not anticipate any problems with our full membership acceptance at some point during 2014, though it is obviously difficult to predict exactly when.
3. Hjólreiðafólk Ársins
Various awards were presented on the night, chiefly those of the series winners, and the male and female cyclists of the year. There was also a new category instigated this year, that of “Most Promising Junior Cyclists”. Below is a list of the winners - full series tables can be seen on the hjolamot.is results page.
Road Series - María Ögn Guðmundsdóttir
TT Series - Birna Björnsdóttir
XC Series - María Ögn Guðmundsdóttir
Road Series - Hafsteinn Ægir Geirsson
TT Series - Hákon Hrafn Sigurðsson
XC Series - Ingvar Ómarsson
Womans Cyclist of the Year - María Ögn Guðmundsdóttir
Mens Cyclist of the Year - Hafsteinn Ægir Geirsson
Most Promising Junior Womens Cyclist - Kristín Edda Sveinsdóttir
Most Promising Junior Mens Cyclist - Emil Tumi Víglundsson
David James Robertson
Síðast breytt þann 13. nóvember 2013 kl: 16:50 af David James Robertson