The history of the Eleven Cities Tour

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These days the Eleven Cities Tour is a huge national spectacle, with sponsors and broadcast teams. It was quite different in the early decades. In olden days skating was the only way for Friesians to cover longer distances in cold winters since not everyone could afford a horse.

The Eleven Cities cross

History shows that people were already trying to skate the route past all Frisian cities in a day centuries ago. It was Pim Mulier who organised a skating tour that covered the eleven cities in 1909 and designed the ‘cross’ for contestants who reach the finish.

Eleven Cities fever

Since that first tour in 1909, only 15 official Eleven Cities Tours have been organised. The last one was in 1997 and every year, as soon as the frost sets in, the Dutch suffer from the ‘Eleven Cities Fever’, hoping for one of these unique and spectacular events.