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No Elfstedentocht for 27 years

Warming continues. Elfstedentocht gets even further out of sight.

No Elfstedentocht for 27 years

Leeuwarden - Jan. 4, 2024

Today marks 27 years since Henk Angenent triumphed on the Bonkevaart. The Elfstedentocht in 1997 was the 15th and unfortunately last tour that could be organized by the Association De Friesche Elf Steden.

KNMI reported Tuesday that 2023 will be the warmest year on record. With an average temperature of 11.8°C, it will be more than 2½ degrees warmer than a century ago. Climate change is beginning to manifest itself more and more clearly and unfortunately also has negative consequences for the many lovers of natural ice in our country.

To reflect on the consequences of climate change and the failure of the Elfstedentocht to take place, the Friesland Beweegt foundation and Cycling 4 Climate are organizing on Sunday, Jan. 14, for the 10th time the alternative that can take place: The Winter Cycle Elfstedentocht.

Former 1997 participant and Frisian Bert Thalen: "In 1997 I crossed the finish line at 12 minutes to midnight, just in time. The cause is clear: we must stop burning fossil fuels and exchange meat for a plant-based alternative. Let 2024 be the year when everyone takes responsibility and contributes to a livable climate."

Eric Lansu, Director of Stichting Friesland Beweegt: "Cyclists traditionally hang their bicycles in the garage by winter, because that's when they skate. Unfortunately, good skating ice is becoming increasingly rare and our foundation therefore started an alternative in 2015; The Winter Bike Eleven Tour. For next edition only a handful of starting tickets are still to be given away. But of course we hope to be able to cancel it again because it can be ridden on skates."

Those interested in the bicycle tour of the eleven cities can still register at the Stichting Friesland Beweegt (James Wattstraat 4-F7) on Saturday, Jan. 13, and at the Elfstedenhal on Sunday, Jan. 14 (from 6 a.m.).

About this illustration: The "Climate Stripes" show global warming very well. The vertical stripes each represent one year, from the beginning of this century to the present. The color of the stripe indicates the average temperature of that year: blue for relatively cool years, red for relatively warm years. The red "crosses" show in which years the Elfstedentocht took place.

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