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The Rift Iceland

July 20

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Rift riders crossing deep stream

In the world of gravel cycling, where grit meets grandeur and adventure beckons at every turn, few races can match the mystique of  The Rift Iceland. This 200-kilometer (125 miles) off-road battle is not for the faint-hearted; it's a test of endurance, mental fortitude, and a thrilling gravel battle between continents. Welcome to the remote, rugged, and unpredictable landscapes of Iceland's highlands, where The Rift Iceland unfolds.  The event is also part of the Gravel Earth Series, an international series of some of the most unique gravel events on the planet.

A Landscape Born of Fire and Fury

Imagine pedaling through a dark, lunar-like expanse of lava fields, navigating treacherous terrain carved by volcanic eruptions. This is the surreal backdrop of "The Rift," a race that dares you to conquer the untamed beauty of Iceland's highlands. Here, the Earth's tectonic plates engage in a slow-motion dance, pulling apart the continents of North America and Eurasia by one inch every year. The result? A battlefield of ever-expanding lava fields, a fitting arena for the world's toughest gravel race.

The Ultimate Gravel Challenge

As a gravel cyclist and an enthusiast of the great outdoors, The Rift Iceland promises a unique experience that goes beyond the ordinary. It's a battle against both the elements and oneself. In July, the average temperature hovers around 10°C (50°F), reminding you that you're at the mercy of Iceland's unpredictable weather, which can shift from gentle sunshine to fierce winds and hail in an instant.

Where It All Begins: Hvolsvöllur

Our journey begins in Hvolsvöllur, a charming town nestled along Iceland's southern coast. This stunning shoreline stretches from the bustling Reykjavík area in the west to the ethereal Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the east. Along the way, you'll encounter nature's wonders—cascading waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers, and volcanoes.

One of the most remarkable features of the course is its circumnavigation of Hekla, Iceland's most active volcano. The mere presence of this fiery giant adds an extra layer of unpredictability to the race, as you never know when Mother Nature might decide to put on a volcanic show.

Preparing for the Unpredictable

When venturing into Iceland's wilderness, it's crucial to be prepared. Pack more than just your cycling gear. Your checklist should include wool socks, a windproof jacket, and gloves. The landscapes you'll traverse are awe-inspiring but can also be unforgiving.

As for accommodations, consider booking early, especially if you're traveling during the peak tourist season in July. Hvolsvöllur offers options for both hotels and campsites, allowing you to tailor your experience to your preferences. For a truly immersive experience, camping lets you wake up surrounded by Iceland's natural beauty.

Where to Stay: Immersion in Icelandic Beauty

For a race as unique as The Rift, your choice of accommodation can elevate your entire experience. The race organizers have partnered with two hotels near the starting line that promise the optimal Icelandic adventure. Each offers discounted rates to participants and additional opportunities to explore Iceland's wonders.

Room availability is limited and guaranteed until February 1, so don't delay securing your spot in this gravel cycling odyssey.

In the heart of Iceland's untamed highlands, The Rift Iceland gravel race stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of adventure. It's a journey through a landscape shaped by elemental forces and an opportunity to push your limits. So, gear up, embrace the unpredictable, and join this gravel battle between continents that will leave you with unforgettable memories of Iceland's remote, rugged, and awe-inspiring terrain.

 

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