A little update from the UCI cat S1 “Belgian Mountainbike Challenge” (BeMC) 2017: 3days - 260km - 8000m+ Meters of climbing.
One of the very highlights of my season was to go back to “La Roche-en-Ardenne” (Belgium Ardennes) to fight for glory in this super nice event.
This year the race took the highest ranking in MTB stage racing, categorized as an UCI S1 event. Most of the world’s best XCM riders have signed up for the event, among them the current world champion Tiago Ferreira from Portugal and former cyclo cross world champion and off-road superstar Mathieu Van Der Poel from the Netherlands. Especially due to the participation of Van Der Poel, this year’s event had huge interest from the international media. Both Dutch and Belgian TV and Eurosport Benelux were following the event. Eurosport will transmit a report from the event on Wednesday 17th of May (just before the Giro d`Italia” transmission) –So check it out!
Knowing from the beginning that this year’s edition would be very, very difficult with all the BIG names on the start list, I managed to do well.
On stage 1 I was the only one to follow Van Der Poel for the most of the race. Only in the very end of the race he got me off his wheel and won the stage 40 sec. in front of me. Against a guy like Van Der Poel I can only be happy with that!!
Stage 2 was more difficult for me with some smaller technical problems. I ended up in 5th position, still hanging on to overall podium.
Stage 3 was all or nothing for me! I felt really good and stayed in the front group all day. With only 30 seconds of advantage to the world champion Ferreira I knew that I had to fight like a crazy to hold on to my 2nd place in the over all. As the stage went on, we were fewer and fewer in the front group. With 30 km to go even world champion Ferreira had to drop from the high pace. So now we were only 3 guys left in the front: Van Der Poel, the Dutch Champion Hans Becking and me. I tried all I could to get them of my wheel and put a crazy pace for about 15 km. Becking was dropped at a point, but I simply could not get Van Der Poel of my wheel. We slowed a little down in the front and Becking came back. We raced like this more or less until the end of the stage where I had to let the two guys go on in a technical downhill. The two came into the finish together with Becking as winner. I followed shortly after in 3rdposition. The most important for me was that I managed to secure my overall 2nd place after Mathieu Van Der Poel. Current XCM champion Tiago Ferreira took the 3rd place.
Here a link to the full report of the Belgian Mountainbike Challenge (BeMC) 2017 powered by Specialized made by Motomediateam. Super nice video by the way.