With the finish of the 24-hour races on the finish straight of the Nürburgring race track, the cycling festival in the Eifel region reached both its highlight and the end of the event. At least when it comes to amateur competitions. In the afternoon the riders of the Rad-Bundesliga (German Cycling League) went on the track. The victory in the category “24-hour race – individual riders” went to Keke Dörnbach and Natascha Dorner on the road as well as to Stefan Lang und Nele Dönneweg off-road, Pit Leyder won the Bundesliga race. A great final of a festival for cycling fans of all kinds.
24 hours can be a hell of a long time. Especially if you ride on a demanding hill profile like the Nürburgring. But it's just as easy to forget all the dragging, puffing and the lack of sleep when you cross the finish line after a full day and night when everything revolved around cycling - whether as individual rider or in teams of 2, 4 or 8. A record field of almost 5,300 teams and individual riders crowned themselves as 24-hour finishers on Sunday noon.
Winners of the category “individual riders road bike” were Keke Dörnbach (27 laps) and Natascha Dorner (15 laps), the category teams of 2 won the duo Orkan (28 laps) in the men’s classification and team Jessy/Ronja (16 laps) in the women’s classification. Teams of 4 was won by Ledschends (32 laps, men) and Scuderia Ragazze (25 laps, women). Avia Racing I (32 laps) and Avia Racing III (24 laps) finished first in both men’s and women’s classification of „teams of 8“.
On the mountain bike, Stefan Lang (50 laps) and Nele Dönneweg (31 laps) won the individual riders’ category. The most laps in teams of 2 were collected by Radon Jentschura Bike Team (63 laps), in teams of 4 by Nicolai Bikebauer (69 laps). Mondraker Rockets (73 laps, men) and RockhopperZ (51 laps, women) were victorious in the category teams of 8.
General trend: rising
"We see a constant increase of the heart of our event. This shows that we are on the right track with the Rad am Ring concept," sums up chief organizer Hanns-Martin Fraas. Nevertheless, this positive trend does not mean that nothing is changing anymore at the Nürburgring cycling festival. The opportunity to go e-biking on the Nordschleife free of charge as part of the new event component eBike am Ring was taken advantage of - despite somewhat cloudy weather on Saturday morning. The workshops and seminars also aroused interest. All in all, according to organizers, well over 8,700 participants and overall 25,000 bike enthusiasts visited the Nürburgring on the three bike (sport) days. These included experience-oriented tour riders, ambitious race cyclists who competed in the 25-, 75- and 150-kilometer amateur races, persistent long-distance riders in the 24-hour races, young bikers in the Kids Race and cycling fans who enjoyed the unique atmosphere when watching the races, visiting the Expo with manufacturers of complete bicycles, parts, clothing and sports nutrition as well as attending the extensive supporting program.
German Cycling League makes a guest appearance at the Ring
On Sunday there was also some licensed racing to be seen on the Formula 1 asphalt: a series run of the Rad-Bundesliga. Pit Leyder of team Leopard Pro Cycling won after 110 km and approx. 2,600 vertical meters, during which the legendary Nordschleife was ridden five times, in 2:46:42 hours.
"All in all, we can look back on three successful days," says Hanns-Martin Fraas, "the established disciplines were very well booked, the new elements showed that it is also worth opening up – even as a race-oriented event – to young segments such as the e-bike, or the group of non-competitive cyclists". After all, 360 degrees of cycling at Rad am Ring is not only a motto that exists on paper. Everyone who is interested in cycling, whether in competitive sports or in everyday life, on narrow or studded tires, should feel welcome at the Nürburgring and find something that interests them. "I believe we have come a little closer to this goal this year," concludes Hanns-Martin Fraas.
About Rad am Ring
Rad am Ring is a cycling event that has been held at the Nürburgring since 2003. The track leads through both the ultra-modern Formula 1 arena and the legendary Nordschleife. At its heart are the 24-hour races on the traffic-free, partially illuminated race track and with team quarters in the pit lane. In 2018, in addition to the ultra- and long-distance events at Rad am Ring, a series race of Rad-Bundesliga (German national cycling league), various amateur races, a time trial, for the second time a mountain bike marathon and touring rides without timekeeping were offered. The amateur races are part of the German Cycling Cup, Germany's biggest amateur race series. Rad am Ring was supplemented in 2018 by the event element eBike am Ring.