The organizers have come up with something special for the fifth edition of the legendary Nibelungen Gravel ride. 34 participants took part in the first Nibelungen Gravelride five years ago. The event is now so well known that well over 200 gravel cyclists appeared this year.
The gravel weekend started on Friday with a welcome ride over 40 flat kilometers. The track took the 20 attending gravel cyclists to unknown places that even the locals didn’t know about.
As befits the anniversary, 5 different routes (80 / 100 / 120 / 150 / 200 km) were offered. From a simple 80-kilometer beginner’s route to a 200-kilometer ultra-gravel route for the pros with almost 3,500 meters in altitude. Well over 200 gravel cyclist showed up in time for the start, which commended at 7 a.m., on Saturday. Many international participants were also at the start in Worms on the river Rhine. Cyclists from the USA, Luxembourg, Sweden, Mexico and Portugal came to the Nibelungen city on the Rhine.
According to the old German legend, the Nibelungen had their hunting grounds in the Odenwald, this time the routes led to this picturesque corner of the world. Along the river Rhine, where, according to legend, the bad Hagen is said to have sunk the treasure of the Nibelung – we first went over beautiful gravel slopes in the direction of the mountains. Then the track followed the small river Weschnitz. After 45 kilometers the route became challenging. With a gradient of up to 15%, the path led up to the vantage point at 517 meters above sea level. From here, the riders had a fantastic view of the Rhine plain. It then became more demanding for anyone riding the longer distances. A long, fast downhill into the valley was followed by ascent after ascent. The riders of the 200-kilometer route encountered a special highlight along the way. They came to the well-known Siegfriedsquelle, where Hagen stabbed the hero Siegfried from behind with a spear.
In the Nibelungen saga it says: “And Siegfried went to the spring to refresh himself, Hagen followed him. And when Siegfried bent over the spring, Hagen thrust his spear into his back. He did not miss the spot on which the cross was sewn. Blood spurted out and Siegfried cried out loudly.”
The 200km route pushed many to their limits, particularly the last ascent at 19% back up to the Melibokus caused some to swear violently! The fastest riders finished the 200km route in under 10 hours, the last riders arrived after 15 hours in the dark at 11 p.m. But in the end everyone was satisfied with their performance and enjoyed the delicious flamed salmon and a cold beer. To everyone’s delight, after a refreshing shower, there was a relaxing massage from the physio department of the Worms hospital.
On Sunday, at the brunch ride, some riders rolled out easy to get the lactate out of their muscles. So ended a special gravel weekend, which every participant will remember for a long time. But the social aspect was not neglected either. The event’s income of 4,550 euros was donated to the children’s clinic of the Worms hospital. Now everyone is really hoping that there will be another Nibelungen Gravelride next year!
Article by Timo Rokitta
- Timo Rokitta
- Andreas Rausch
- Vadim Schober