Video: Time trialling into a Force 9 at the Dutch Headwind Championships

A sea wall, single speed bikes & 200 masochists

They take their cycling very seriously in the Netherlands - except when they don't, as this video from the Dutch Headwind Cycling Championships shows.

It's a refreshingly mad idea: wait until the weather forecast is for Force 9 gales and then run a time trial along a windswept sea wall. To make it even more entertaining, make the riders use upright, one-speed bikes, even if they're legendary mountain bike racer Bart Brentjens.

The weather-dependence meant the race had to be organised at the last minute, but even with just two days to get the word out, it attracted 200 lunatics, er, competitors.

Brentjens eventually finished ninth. Winner Wouter Mesker took 18 minutes and six seconds to cover the 8.5km course

We're particularly impressed with the TV presenter here. How many British presenters could hop on a bike and do a piece to camera while riding and holding a microphone?

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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