Sunday, 12 October 2008

Frederik in Grib Forest mountain bike marathon

Crown Prince Frederik participated in the Grib Forest cycling marathon (103 km) on Sunday October 5th, the same day Mary returned from Uganda. Frederik participated as Frederik Hansen in the MTB Marathon. Frederik's PET security detail rode with him and he was also accompanied by Henrik Henriksen, a 14-year veteran of the event and chairman of the club which runs the mountain bike marathon. Although the mud provided some pretty good camouflage, Frederik was recognised along the way and greeted warmly by other competitors and spectators. A previous race organiser, Per Øbro, was impressed saying "Some people can only endure for about three hours, while others make it for seven. It's beautiful." Frederik said, "It's nice to have finished and fulfilled my personal sporting goal for the autumn. I had a good bicycle. It helped to get me through, and it was nice to cram bananas and energy bars at the depots out on the route. Then I could last a bit more." He has not ruled out competing in the marathon again in the future. The race finished in Hillerød, where pasta and meat sauce and a cup of tea warmed the Crown Prince after more than seven hours in the saddle, most of the time in rain and cold wind on a very slushy and soft (=hard going) forest floor.

Photos © Frederiksborg Amts Avis, Ekstra Bladet/Photomotion

Dagbladet Online 'På forhjul af kronprinsen' - Crown Prince on front wheels
Henrik Henriksen, chairman of Club MTB-Marathon, followed Crown Prince Frederik on all 103 kilometres through the whole Gribs Forest. "It was fun and a good experience," he reports.

Henrik Henriksen has ridden all the MTB-Marathons in Gribskov since the popular mountain bike race started 14 years ago. But Sunday's Merida MTB will always stand out for him as a special experience after having completed the 103 tough kilometres.

By request from Politiets Efterretningstjeneste (PET, the secret service), who also competed with the Crown Prince while "on the job", he rode the whole route together with Crown Prince Frederik. "In the week up to the race, PET studied the whole route and on Saturday they asked whether I'd ride alongside with the Crown Prince and be a kind of guide, because it isn't always quite so easy to drive in the forest. I know the whole route and could suggest on the way when we had to be extra cautious with stumps in the forest floor or with any other hindrances along the way," Henrik Henriksen reports.

The Crown Prince's participation in the race was secret and he provided the name "Frederik Hansen" with number 401 on the handlebars of his mountainbike.

The participation didn't stay secret however because Frederik Hansen was recognised in various spots along the route despite the disguise of the soft forest floor and lots of mud in the face.

"It was "extra experience" - I think that the participants who discovered the Crown Prince took it as something special, while there were also many who didn't see him at all. I saw that there those who just completely spontaneously shook hands with the Crown Prince," Henrik Henriksen reports.

"I had pleasure in also managing to talk to Crown Prince Frederik on the way about everything from the technology of mountainbikes to how to train and the very bad weather on Sunday. But there also was space to talk a little about private life, Crown Princess Mary's journey to Uganda (she came home on Sunday) and little jokes to keep spirits up during the last kilometres. I'll put it this way, we talked together about the same subjects I'm also used to talking about with the people I train with all the time," Henrik Henriksen says. "And it was talk just as long as a normal working day, 7 hours, 25 minutes and 36 seconds."

"That was impressive. That is what I said to him. It isn't just any Sunday trip to ride in the forest for 103 kilometres. That calls for lots of strength and he was also prepared to sign up for that," laughs Henrik Henriksen.

Billed Bladet 'Frederiks hemmelige cykelløb'

Frederiksborg Amts Avis photo slide show

Thanks cph!



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