Last weekend was time again to suffer and enjoy the trails in the Belgian Ardens for the Belgian Mountain Bike Challenge (BeMC)
We know from previous editions that when Koenraad says it's gonna be hard, you better believe him.
Weather conditions are always the primary suspects, so we prayed for good weather, or at least not too much rain.
Our prayers were heard above, and so I can already say we had some very 'doable' conditions. On the road to La Roche on Thursday we weren't not spoiled btw. 😝
As usual accreditation already starts on Thursday evening, together with the riders & coaches briefings.
As it is a UCI Class 1 competition, things are well organised, and went smoothly.
Start would be given in the center of La Roche at 11pm.
Some big names were present. Olympians, National Champions, former and reigning World Champions,... And a lot of riders who wanted to experience, whether for the first time or having participated in previous editions, the hardest MTB challenge in the Benelux.
On Friday we both had bad luck with almost the same problem. Rear tire was losing pressure and not possible to repair with plugs or foam, because there was literally no hole to be found. Afterwards I've noticed that the valves were no longer functioning right.
So we both lost time and air the first day.
On Saturday the queen stage was scheduled. 100 km with 3500 altimeters, a rivercrossing, and some steep (very steep) uphills. Also the wind was playing and not in our favor.
We did a lot better without mechanical problems or flats. 😎 Sara moved up a place in the GC.
I almost forgot to say we did 4 supplementary kilometers by taking a wrong turn in a downhill behind some other bikers. But Sara was so strong she could overtake two girls who passed us when we were on the wrong track.
A lot of riders had a DNF or DSQ behind their names after two days. Were they going to fast the first day???
On Sunday was a shorter stage (74 km), but with 2500 altimeters still a big one to chew on.
I managed to catch up with Sara due to a good start this time. Quick starts are no longer my favorite dish, but sometimes (sh)it happens... 👍
We rode as a team and finished BeMC 2017 together.
Once more we survived this one.
Results could be better, but amongst such a great competitors field, it was the highest possible ranking.
Once again a great edition of this almost mythical stage race.
Next week we'll be riding in Willingen at the Bike festival.
Our partners are great and we could not be more happy about the support and the trust they give us.
Without Crankbrothers, Canyon, Endura, Overstims, Fizik, Muc Off, Absolute Black, Kogel and Schwalbe, this would not be possible.