Birkebeinerrittet 2011 was a wet, muddy ride for the 14000 participants.


On Aug. 27, the cyclists braved the rain and mud for the world’s largest cross-country cycling race. The course stretches 94.6 kilometers (approximately 58.8 miles) from Rena to Lillehammer, and this year’s forecast of rain prompted nearly 4000 riders to not show up for the race. Many of the participants claimed later that trail conditions were much better than expected.


The event was won by Stian Remme of Bergen in the elite class for men, with a time of two hours 54 minutes and 45 seconds, while Pia Sundstedt of Finland won the women’s elite class with a time of three hours eight minutes and 26 seconds.

Birkebeinerrittet is a physical challenge. All participants are required to carry a backpack weighting at least 3.5 kg throughout the race. The race began in the village of Rena in Åmot municipality in Hedmark, with the committed riders making their way to Lillehammer.


The Birkebeiner race is a summer version of the traditional ski race that follows roughly the same route in winter.

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