The Dutch Headwind Cycling Championships are set to take place today at the Oosterscheldekering (in English: Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier) in the southern province of Zeeland with the organisers are taking advantage of the strong winds from Storm Ciara.
This year will be the sixth running of the championships and the winner of the inaugural race back in 2013 was Bart Brentjens, former World and Olympic champion mountain biker. The championships did not take place in 2019 with Dutch riders Max de Jong and Lisa Scheenaard the most recent winners.
Competitors must ride the 8.5 km course against the wind on upright single-speed bikes, which come from the organisers. The championships are announced three days before a storm is expected as the organisers wait for the ‘perfect’ conditions. Riders have faced headwinds of up to 90 kmph in the past.
Since 2014, there has also been a team time trial. A total of 200 individual cyclists can participate with 25 teams of four cyclists. Participants start 30 seconds apart from each other and the one with the fastest time wins.
The video below shows the conditions the riders faced in 2016.