A pilgrimage according to the Cambridge dictionary is a visit to a place is considered special. Since 2010 I’ve visited the Ardennes most years for a bike race! This obsession started when I raced the final ever Houffalize round of the UCI World Cup Cross Country Series, then a few years later in 2014 I […]
The race takes over the town of La Roche en Ardenne which is overlooked by the medieval castle and surrounding Ardenne hills. The spectacular surroundings add to the drama of the race and buzz around the town during race week.
My love affair with the Belgian Ardennes continues, it hasn’t always been a kind relationship, so many times this place has inspired and then demolished dreams. Each May we make our pilgrimage to the area to battle around these beautiful hills, it’s a trip I’ve been making for around six years for marathon races and […]
Belgian Mountainbike Challenge has become a yearly highlight for me and many other enthusiastic racers. The Ardennes are undeniably beautiful, a rolling range of green wooded hills hold a plethora of rooty and rocky descents. Whilst spectacular it can be a cruel place for a bike race with super steep climbs, the worst being the […]
Tomorrow the fifth edition of the Belgian Mountain Bike Challenge, in short the BeMC, will kick off in La Roche-en-Ardenne. During three days and 260 km covering 7800 meters of climbing over 500 participants from almost 20 different countries will fight for the final victory. I’m currently sat in our accommodation with 2 nervous Brits, […]
Rachel’s takeStage 2 was tough, but we all knew stage 3 would be tougher. Taking in the same distance at around 100km, but with 500m more ascent. So I decided that for stage 3 I would just ride. No chasing down the wheel in front, no worrying about places, just riding. I chatted to the […]
Today went something like: Hours 1-2: Smashy, smashy along some lovely fast fire roads. “Oh this is fun – I like going fast” Hours 3-4: Slog up rocky, lumpy hills. Plod along muddy singletrack trying not to fall into the odd lake that the off camber trail heads towards. Go up a hill, then straight […]
Well that was a shock to the system! The first stage of the BeMC Cup turned out to be every bit as tough as I thought it was going to be and more. The field on the start list was a bit stacked and then as we were having a coffee in town prior […]