Nieuws - 13 juni 2013

'Madhouse at the finish'

Who? Etske Bijl, Dairy Science & Technology PhD student
What? Cycled up the Alpe d'Huez with Animal Breeding and Genetics colleagues
Why? To collect money for the 'Alpe D'Huzes' campaign and to talk about her father

How much did your team collect?
''Nearly 46 thousand euros! A large part of that came from Wageningen. Animal Sciences paid 2500 euros in entrance fees and we raised 7000 euros with climbing stairs, a lottery, talks and silly games in Forum. Wageningen UR donated 10,000 euros: we were allowed to spend a maximum number of annual leave hours. Of course then we called on the high salaries - the professors never use up their leave allowance anyway!'
And was it bedlam on the mountain?
'Yes and no. We set off at five in the morning, in the dark. After the first bend left, it became steep. Then there were eight of us cycling in silence together. You saw people with a photo on the handlebar or an empty child's seat. But it became a madhouse a bit later. At the last village there were so many people along the roadside that you could no longer cycle three abreast; that gave a real Tour-de-France feeling.'
You also took along a photo.
'My father died from cancer of the colon ten years ago. I was only young, twenty, and it had a huge impact on me and my sisters. We never talked about it much, until last week. I had his photo with me and held it up when I crossed the finish line. My mother was taking photos with tears in her eyes.'