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June 20, 2019 at 12:00 PM EDT

June 13 to 15, 2019, the annual Grossglockner Challenge took place in Austria. Some 200 riders from around the world gathered in Altmünster with their Spyder and new Ryker vehicles to experience Upper Austria at its most picturesque and climb its highest mountain, the Grossglockner.

Last Thursday, old and new friends met at Schloss Ebenzweier on Lake Traunsee to register and receive their badges and welcome packages.

The adventure continued on Friday, when participants gathered at the Rotax parking lot, while another group enjoyed a relaxed excursion ride through the area. In the morning, 140 enthusiastic Can-Am Spyder drivers took a tour of the factory to become better acquainted with the company behind the Spyder engine and the source of their driving pleasure. In the afternoon, they drove from checkpoint to checkpoint on romantic streets to qualify for the grand prize to be awarded at the gala dinner.

On Saturday, the program included a trip to the Grossglockner summit along the famed alpine road that leads directly into the heart of the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern. Here, 48 kilometers of superb panoramic roads, 36 bends, and 2,504 meters of ascent demanded much from the drivers, in turn rewarding them with stunning views of the alpine landscape featuring meadows, forests, rocks, and the nearly-eternal glacier ice. Arriving back at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, everyone celebrated a successful ride, posed for group photos and selfies, and enjoyed the unique ambience of the locale. During the descent, participants expressed joy and pride, as well as a little sadness because it would be a full year before the next Grossglockner challenge.

The crowning event was the gala dinner held in the event tent, where winners received prizes and recognition. Everyone had a reason to celebrate, though, with the focus on the unique Spyder driving experience and the camaraderie between Spyder owners that extends beyond borders and connects people in the months between each Grossglockner event. Long live the Spyder!