Went to Sweden for the 3rd Sweden3Days. Lots of racing, very go, go go!
It’s all a blur really.
There were 46 competitors from all over the world. There was a big Swedish contingent understandably, but another large group from America. One racer- Fidel Enrique- even came from Puerto Rico- and he was bloody hard-core!
Different race venues test different cycling competencies. You can’t simply be fast on a track to win the overall as this is the world’s only Penny-Farthing (Highwheel) stage race. No, it’s a test that only the best all-around Penny-Farthing cyclist can win.
Day 1 starts with a 10K time trial and then moves to a track which suits sprinters. Day 2 is in Lund’s main park and this is technically challenging with stretches of gravel in the Park, paved roads outside of it with cobblestone speed-bumps and sharp 90 degree bends- also on cobblestones. Oh, and everything is wet & slick because it rained. But this is go, go, go and there are no “rain days”. You just have to get on with the conditions as they are. Day 3 is on a “track” in another park, but it’s tight and it’s won by elimination: weaker riders are picked-off until there is just (3) fighting it out for the places on the podium. Oh, and it sheeted down freezing rain for nearly half an hour during the final race.
There was a wreck in the park on Day 2, but in true Penny-Farthing fellowship a rider who was doing really well in the rankings stopped to aid the injured cyclist; kudos to you Andreas Carduck. Andreas also helped shift the Penny-Farthings around between venues, so without him riders would have struggled to get to the races. No good deed goes unpunished, so wanted to acknowledge Andreas contribution to making the event a success; he’s a righteous dude and a great cyclist in his own right.
At the end of 3 days of racing, the cyclist with the highest score raises the cup. Which this year was a Peruvian racer: Joaquin Olquin! Who’d have thunk it that the Peruvian’s were world-beating Penny-Farthing cyclists- but clearly they are. And indeed they are the nicest, most gracious bastards as they crushed the rest of us mere Penny-Farthing mortals! Interesting side note: Joaquin & the overall number two Mattias Nordstöm are colleagues and work together: Indeed, it was Mattias that got Joaquin into Penny-Farthing racing. The full race results can be found HERE.
I’ll try to bung up more videos of this year’s Sweden 3 Days (I’m just trying to do some kind of reasonable write-up until time permits to be more expansive), but here’s a video of Day 2 in Lund’s main park that gives you a flavour of what the event is like, with your’s truly getting whupped like a red-headed step child by some really outstanding cyclists (Steve Weddles from PA). Well, if you have to get whupped, I couldn’t think of nicer, more sportsmanship like folks to get whupped by!