The final race during the first weekend of Cykelveckan attracted several famous names to the starting line. Among them was cycling profile and commentator Roberto Vacchi, who had a somewhat different experience than he’s used to. He made his debut as a pilot on a tandem, cycling together with blind Paralympic star Louise Jannering. Additionally, the specially built ‘tridem’ bike carried Joakim Ericsson, Dennis Byström, and Ola Danielsson around the 150-kilometer-long course.
For Lukas Vernersson and his clubmates in Motala AIF Serneke Allebike, however, it was a regular race. And for them, it was fast. With three hours and 18 minutes, they now have the fastest time in Halvvättern’s history
Cykelveckan usually sees many well-known names on the participant lists. But few have as impressive cycling credentials as one of this year’s participants in Halvvättern. With two second places overall and several stage wins in the Giro d’Italia, Tommy Prim is one of our greatest professional cyclists ever. During Halvvättern 2022, the 66-year-old cycled with Team Mustasch, which raises awareness and collects money for the Prostate Cancer Association.
Other familiar names among those who crossed the finish line were former handball star Staffan Olsson and former CEO of Vätternrundan, Gunilla Brynell-Johansson. They both experienced a race that offered several different weather conditions, as sun, wind, and rain alternated throughout the day in Motala.
This year, Halvvättern coincided with Tjejvättern and Vätternrundan 100 km, with the sun shining brightly alongside the cyclists. By 2021, some changes had been made to the course route to reduce the number of left turns and thus create a safer race. This was highly appreciated by the participants. Christine Stafström had nothing to compare with as it was her debut at Halvvättern. But she liked the course. ‘It was very nice, and a fun track. And it was great with the sense of community. I made it through mostly thanks to my cycling friends,’ she said.
It was also a debut for Team Mustasch – the team that raises money for prostate cancer research. Previously, they had only cycled the Vätternrundan 300 km, but this year they participated in Halvvättern for the first time with a group of 16 cyclists. It’s a race they will continue to participate in during future Cykelveckor.
After 54 consecutive years, 2020 became a year that went down in history. Due to the pandemic, Vätternrundan was forced to cancel Cykelveckan – at least the physical event in Motala. Instead, the organization shifted gears and allowed cyclists to take on the race from home. My Vätternrundan turned out to be a great success, with a total of 5,455 cyclists from 26 countries completing the various races. One of them was the pioneer Stig Johansson, thus maintaining his streak as the only one remaining to have cycled all Vätternrundas. In keeping with tradition, he rode his old Husqvarna bicycle from 1937 around Lake Vättern, but this time starting and finishing in his hometown of Fagersanna.
The total distance covered by all participants (1,375,825 meters) equates to 34 laps around the Earth.
CEO Gunilla Brynell-Johansson was pleased with the great commitment from the participants: ‘It exceeded our expectations and shows how significant the interest in cycling is. It’s about being creative and finding ways to solve situations, something our participants have proven to be very good at. A positive aspect is that about a quarter of those who registered their races were not initially registered participants,’ she said.
If the sun was shining and there was summer heat during the other races of the Bike Week, there were worse conditions for the cyclists in Halvvättern. Despite rain, and sometimes heavy winds, the mood was at the top among the more than 5,000 cyclists who started the race. Home cyclist Johan Svensson, who we got to follow in the web-TV series “Vägen mot målet i Motala”, was one of all satisfied cyclists who made it to the finish line.
The heatwave over Sweden didn’t stop Anders ‘The Angry Carpenter’ Övergård or the other 6,116 cyclists who completed the 150 kilometers around Halvvättern. At home in front of the screens, it was possible to follow the guys and girls in the integration project ‘Cykla Tillsammans’ and Vätternrundan veteran Gary Fleming’s progress on the track – part of this summer’s major effort in live broadcasts.
When the 10th edition of Halvvättern was held, a new participant record was set. 7,567 participants were registered, and 6,412 of them showed up at the starting line. Weather-wise, the conditions couldn’t have been better. Although the air was cool during the early morning hours when the first cyclists set off, it soon warmed up to a more comfortable temperature, and a lovely sun shone from a clear blue sky.
We had the pleasure to welcome a participation record of 7567 registered participants to the start of the 10th Halvvättern.
There were the best possible weather conditions this day. The air was a bit chilly in the early morning hours when the first cyclists rolled away, but it soon warmed up to a more comfortable temperature and a lovely sun shone from a clear blue sky.
7 503 registered is a new record! Unfortunately the number of starting and completing isn’t a record.
Most of it can be blamed on the poor weather. If Tjejvättern was a sunny ride, Halvvättern was a windy ride. The winds were so heavy that the end time for finishing was postponed and the final rider crossed the finish line at 8:22 pm.
Never before has so many registered, started and completed Halvvättern. The Sunday gave mild winds and a spectacular sunshine and all the participants smiled after the ride. This was probably the best Halvvättern in history according to most people.