One Man. One Climb. One Goal. The climb of Lysebotn in Norway is one of Europe's most beautiful, climbs, it's also one of Europe's best kept secrets. This is a story about one man's mission to take the Strava KOM.
Terje Selle Rundberg is a 35 year old amateur cyclist from Norway. Having turned to cycling in just 2018 as an escape from his role as VP of Treasury and Financing of an offshore drilling contractor, he quickly found a love for training hard, riding hard, and of course, climbing.
During 2018, Terje became a little obsessed with the climb of Lysebotn. It's around a 2 hour drive from his home, which made riding it often quite the challenge. He'd ridden the once before back in 2013 before he turned to cycling more seriously.
The climb itself is completely unique. To reach the climb you must first cross a beautiful fjord. In Terje's eyes, this is most beautiful climb in the world. It features 27 switchbacks, each of which offers a new view of the surrounding mountains, fjords and valleys below.
The Strava Segment is 8.73km with an elevation gain of 855 meters. The average grade is 10%, making this a true test of the legs.
In 2018 Terje had been to ride the climb and begin preparations to achieve his goal of taking the Strava KOM (King of the Mountain) His first effort was 43:46. Quite some way behind his target time of 33.20 - the current KOM.
Another several efforts attempts throughout 2018 and 2019, and he'd brought his time down to 34:31. His goal was suddenly within reach.
The Lysebotn road opened again after winter on 30 May for traffic with nice walls of snow alongside, allowing Terje the chance to ride the climb once again and finalise his training. He had now joined forces with a coach.
He made a first attempt at the KOM on 17th June, clocking a time of 33:26, around six seconds behind the leading time. With the goalposts moving all the time, Terje knew he had work to do. Conditions one the day weren't ideal, with gravel on the road due to construction and a tricky headwind higher up.
Then, only a week later, Terje set off once again on his KOM attempt. He had three riders with him including pro Fredrik Dversnes from Team Coop. Better conditions on the day and thanks to the hard work and determination of Terje and his team, the Lysebotn Crown was his, with a time of 32.53.
This is a true story of one man's goal to achieve a dream. As Terje says "Life is about choice. Free choice. Everything is up to us, to choose switchbacks"