We are happy to announce that in 2019 WOW Glacier 360 is a UCI class 2 stage event (S2). This is important for the race as well as Iceland, being the first race in the country to receive a UCI standing. Teams wishing to compete for UCI price money and UCI points must register as UCI Pro Elite riders and possess of a valid UCI licence at the time of the race.
Today we had the final stage of WOW Glacier 360, from Hveravellir highland centre to Gullfoss waterfall. Post race meal was in Úthlíð along with the award ceremony and final celebration. We congratulate all riders finishing the circumnavigation of 2018.
Another perfect day has gone by for riders of WOW Glacier 360.
Stage two is dubbed the waterworld climbs. The name stems from the river crossings riders have to tackle under the supervision of trained guides. Furthermore the stage is the most gruelling one of the entire race. Riders expose themselves to the highlands riding on the North side of the glacier. Terrain resembling a desert, where you can ride kilometer after kilometer without eyeing anything except for the vast highlands.
Cat Sutherland's Glacier 360 experience...
"Never say that in a race. Never say that even if you’re sure you know the profile and your watch enticingly tells you the final few kilometres are in sight. Never say that when the force of gravity is superseded by the mighty force of the wind through a cosmic landscape with nowhere to hide.
We’re racing in Iceland. A place of magical, Narnia-like proportions where more common than fellow man is the hiss of hot geysers and the vastness of glacial plains. Marking its second year, Glacier 360 is Iceland’s first and only mountain bike stage race. Covering near to 300 kilometres of volcanic terrain, it circumnavigates the second largest glacier, Langjökull. Against forceful winds, the route traces unforgiving rock, sand and river beds. Enlisting a fellow hardy Scot for the task, I was joined for the adventure by Naomi Freireich, a proven competitor in the world of endurance mountain bike racing. Whilst not really knowing each other prior, she echoed a tough and resilient figure who’d be game for this most northerly of long distance endeavours..."
We can hardly believe that the year has almost come to an end. It will be memorable for a lot of reasons; America voted a new president, UK opted out of the European Union, Rio hosted the Olympics and Paralympics and the Icelandic national football team made it to the quarter finals at the European Championship (matching the women team's best results). In doing so, Iceland became the smallest ever nation to reach this far in a major tournament.
As interesting as this sounds the highlight of the year for us will always be our first-ever Glacier 360 race. Did you know that never before has a MTB stage race been held in Iceland and never before have as many foreign riders attended a bike race in Iceland!
Next year will be another year of first's for the Glacier 360 crew and riders when we enter the UCI race scene. Also, new riders, volunteers and supporters will arrive from all over the world. What more could one wish for? At the very least we're looking forward to it so bring it on!
On behalf of the Glacier 360 crew I wish you a happy holiday season and a great new adventurous year!
CEO of Glacier 360