The trend is clear. The interest in the Vätternrundan 100 km is steadily growing, and the race has now firmly established itself in the Cycling Week program. In 2023, the number of participants increased by a staggering 75 percent compared to the previous year.
Many couples took the opportunity to enjoy cycling together under the radiant summer sun. For example, Dan-Åke Ödling, who participated with his partner Christina, making her debut in cycling races.
“It was a fantastic day, and hopefully not the last time we did this together,” he said with a big smile at the finish line.
For spouses Magnus and Gun Gunnarsson, the race was part of the Tjejklassikern and Kortklassikern respectively. A tradition that motivates them to train throughout the year.
“It’s a great way to stay active, with just the right amount of training, and it ensures we have activities year-round.
Even though the “e-bike race” Vätternrundan 100 km is the latest addition during Cycling Week, it is now becoming established in the race catalog. However, there are still new additions. This year, for example, there was a special leisurely cycling group for cyclists who wanted to enjoy the experience even more. The idea arose during last year’s ride around the lake, where local Motala journalist Jens Bollius pedaled the 31.5 miles in jeans, a shirt, and a jacket. This year, he opted for the shortest race instead.
“Leisure cycling is about stopping and talking to other cyclists, admiring beautiful gardens as you cycle by, and not rushing. It’s about taking your time,” said Jens, who was one of the 447 participants in the race.
Cycling with an electric bike is becoming increasingly popular. This is also evident during the Vätternrundan 100 km, where cyclists have the opportunity to navigate the course with electric-assist bikes. The race took place in Motala and remotely this year, with nearly 400 participants choosing to start in the third edition of Vätternrundan’s latest addition, which also concluded this year’s unique and sunny Cycling Week. The race also provides the opportunity for women and men to cycle together for one hundred kilometers, something appreciated by, among others, Simon Hedberg and Li Höglund.
“I’ve only done the Vätternrundan 300 km before. Now, it was fantastic to experience this route as well. When you reach the top of the hill (Omberg) and see the view over Lake Vättern – it was very beautiful,” he said after the race.
As the old Swedish adage “Once is no time, twice is a habit” says, the latest addition in the race portfolio of the Bike Week really is here to stay. Compared to the opening year in 2018, the number of cyclists had increased by more than the double. Many also took the opportunity to ride the race with electric assistance. Including Helmuth Zechel who returned to Motala after he had been absent for ten years. “It’s a certain feeling to be here in Motala, you get excited when you see all of this”, Helmuth said before the race.