Friend of ESSKA | Library | Print Page | Sign In | Join Us
Cycle for Science
Share |


ESSKA, a group of orthopaedic surgeons and members of the Ankle Platform rode from the 2014 ESSKA hosting city, Amsterdam, to the 17th biennial ESSKA Congress in Barcelona. As organised by Prof. C. Niek van Dijk and his AMC faculty, the tour had a two-fold task — to raise awareness about the importance of exercise, and to raise money for the ESSKA Foundation to support research.

The tour consisted of six stages in four countries combined with four scientific symposia. The route included two classic “Tour de France-climbs” — the Alpe d’Huez and the Mont Ventoux.


A few statistics:
Kilometres: 893
Number of stages: Six stages and a prologue
Number of participants: 60
Number of punctures: 36
Number of crashes: 16
Raised for ESSKA Foundation: EUR 58,000
Number of injuries: thankfully none, except for bruises and scratches

Why such a Tour?

Prof C. Niek van Dijk explained: "Every two years ESSKA holds its Congress, which moves from city to city. In 2014 it was Amsterdam, where I was Congress President, and this year it was Barcelona. I had the idea of conveying something symbolic from one venue to the next, as they do for the Olympics with the Olympic torch. Maybe, by carrying the Congress Sceptre, we could create another tradition for ESSKA. And what better way, than by cycling with a group of international surgeons?!

At the same time we wanted to emphasise the universal importance of exercise to prevent disease. Think of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, COPD, obesity, also osteoarthritis. Physical activity is one of the best treatments for OA, and it keeps joints healthy in the first place. Moderately intense exercise, five times a week, helps joints stay limber and strengthens the muscles that support and stabilise ankles, knees and hips. Exercise is also a key factor in weight control."

What did this first Tour achieve?

Prof. van Dijk continued: "The overall aim of the cycling was to raise money for the ESSKA Foundation, which supports research in orthopaedic sports medicine, emphasising prevention. To this end the symposia, the charity dinners and the auctions were all ancillary. All the cycling-surgeons have their own patients, sometimes world famous athletes and they asked them for autographed items, which were then auctioned. I myself obtained a jersey autographed by Messi, which I’ll hang in my office, next to Ronaldo’s jersey!"

Details on how you can participate in or support the 2018 tour from Barcelona to Glasgow will be available here closer to the date.


ESSKA Executive Office Luxembourg
Centre Médical - FNM
76, rue d'Eich | L-1460 Luxembourg
Phone: +352 4411 7026 | Fax: +352 4411 7678

Support us

The ESSKA Foundation supports ESSKA education and both national and international research projects in the field of orthopaedic and sports medicine and surgery.