The weather was perfect in Zeeland for the 7th Dutch National Headwind Championships on Sunday morning – 80kph headwinds, rain and wind-chill of -7C.

300 amateur cyclists lined up to time trial race across the 8.5 kilometer course on the exposed Oosterscheldekering (sea storm surge barrier) as quickly as possible – all on identical upright single-speed bikes with coaster brake (not necessary).

It was the best (or worst) conditions in the seven year history of the very challenging event. “The weather is really beastly. The combination of the wind, cold and pouring rain made it the toughest ever,” said organiser Robrecht Stoekenbroek.


And the winners?

25-year-old Jurjun van der Velde triumphed with a time of 20:22 for the men and Lisa Scheenaard stopped the clock at 22:53 for the women.  In the 4 person team time trial competition the all-male Noitstop team won in 15:14.


PHOTOS: NKtegenwindfietsen