The municipality of Yaiza hosted last weekend the celebration of two handbike races offering a great sporting, inclusive and social spectacle
The south of Lanzarote was once again adorned with one of those special competitions like the Handbike Playa Blanca, an event that once again demonstrates that the island continues to be an international benchmark in adapted sports.
The island continues with the inclusive work that began decades ago. Proof of this is the wheelers modality of the Lanzarote International Marathon, or different disciplines such as open water crossings, triathlons and other popular races in which a predominant space is set aside so that there is an opportunity to bring sport closer to everyone.
The benchmark event for adapted sport on the island is the Handbike Playa Blanca, which celebrated its thirteenth edition in the Lanzarote municipality of Yaiza, which once again continues to support this competition which once again works as an attraction for the most outstanding international athletes, with a list of participants which includes several Paralympians such as the German Vico Merklein, the Dutchman Johan Reekers and the Slovenian Anej Doplihar.
An event like the XIII Handbike Playa Blanca serves to put more emphasis, if possible, on the already innate values that sport and competition have, being the perfect occasion to witness a tremendous challenge that brings together athletes from all points of Spanish geography, but whose sports offering, which is not affected by seasonal variation, is used by numerous nationalities from countries such as France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Slovenia or Finland, with special mention to the large expedition of Danish and German participants who year after year do not fail to attend the Lanzarote event.
All of them find in Yaiza the extraordinary natural Lanzarote landscape, along with which they also enjoy a competition that fills the streets of Playa Blanca with colour, but above all they are part of a challenge full of excitement that gives way to a healthy competitiveness of the highest level, to inclusive and quality sport, and to a show in which the fans join the cheering of the participants.
The possibility of continuing to ride in February is not the only incentive that the Handbike Playa Blanca has. A dream backdrop is added to the excellent temperature and climate, with landscapes that court the motivation of the athletes, who enjoy every kilometer when they find themselves immersed in a challenge with a unique panorama, difficult to find in other parts.
With the privileged southern setting of Lanzarote as a stunning backdrop, the first race kicked off on the 10th February. Las Salinas Race again left a spectacular start from the Salinas de Janubio, with the spectacular volcanoes of Timafaya bearing witness to the demanding 7.5km time trial course. Van De Steene (10:02) started in the lead from this home race. The Belgian was a regular at the southern competition until he decided to settle permanently in Lanzarote. He was closely followed by the Frenchmen Loïc Vergnaud (10:26) and Joseph Fritsch (11:09).
Denmark’s Yasemin Kilic (18:01), Germany’s Anne Vosgerau (18:57) and Birgitte Jørgensen, also from Denmark (20:31), occupied the women’s podium, while in H3 the first winners were, in order, the Germans Vico Merklein (11:17) and Johannes Herter (11:22), and the Dutch Mischa Hielkema (11:46).
On Saturday 11th February it was time for the main 2.2km race, the Vuelta a Playa Blanca, a 55-minute race in which each participant had to complete as many laps as possible. It was a sporting day in which the spectators were closer to the competitors, enjoying a spectacular atmosphere in the southern town that ended up awarding its new winners.
A sporting atmosphere that is hard to replicated, but for which we will continue to work to increase the number of editions of a Handbike Playa Blanca that has managed to remain a pioneer of adapted sport, becoming the European epicentre of inclusivity.