ALTERNATIVE RACE CALENDaR Coureur
To inspire. To ride. To share. Our Alternative Race Calendar is an insight in what we do on bikes throughout the year. From multiple day ultra races to single stage criteriums, on- and offroad. Generally this calendar will consist out of some main goals and several fun stuff in between. Possibly and probably changing throughout the year. A collective of people working and not working at the shop and/or just being supported because of a mind like approach to cycling. This is #ARCC.
current 2023 calendar
17th until 27th of March 2023 : Granguanche Gravel Audax
10th o f April : La Hallonienne
16th of April 2023 : BXL Crit
29th of April 2023 : The Traka
14th of May : Hard'n Marathon
18th until 21th of May 2023 : BeMC (Belgian Mountainbike Challenge)
18th of June 2023 : BXL Tour
26th of August 2023 : Houffa Gravel UCI World Series
9th of September 2023 : L'Esperit del Bikepacking
10th of September : Belgian Championship MTB Marathon
1st of October : UCI World Cup Gravel
October 2023 : Start CX Season
Felix - Gehan
Felix - Tom
Gehan - Nisse
Felix - Tom
Felix - Gehan
Gehan - Felix - Nisse - Xavier
Gehan - Felix - Idriss
Felix - Gehan - Idriss
Felix - Gehan - Tom - Nisse - Jaani - Barbara - Xavier
After we went watching last year's BXL CRIT first edition, we could not let this second one pass by without participating. Both Gehan and Nisse subscribed for the road series and had no clue where they would end up after the qualifications. Nisse got into the A-final with a P15 and finishing within the first half of the bunch of his heat. Gehan joined a two man breakaway in his heat and got a P2.
The final was another level with the BCT boys (Brussels Cycling Team) and some other guys with more race experience hitting it hard. Nisse got lapped halfway the race but was nonetheless more than happy with this performance. Gehan followed Felix his tip to race in the front since a criterium is hard whatever position you're in. He managed to get in the breakaway and stay out front of the peloton resulting in a P8 finish. Just keeping up was already a thing. Both Nisse's and Gehan's race faces say enough.
A big up for BXL CRIT for organizing several races for several categories and promoting diversity on the course. We're very happy to see real racing finally lifting off in Brussels and can't wait for more. See you next year!
*Photos by Marnix Van Strydonck
This year's ultra was once more in Spain, but we left the peninsula and went for the Canary Islands participating the Granguanche Gravel Audax. A fixed one stage route covering five of the the seven main Islands. A big part of this bikepacking event, or let us call it factor, are the ferries needed to get from one to the other Islands and of course the according timetables.
Briefly, we saw only three of the five islands because of our scheduled timing and race pace from now to then. Lanzarote and El Hierro are probably beautiful but the ferries do not wait and a top 10 spot does not come for free. For us this ultra was easier then last year's Iberica Traversa. The ferries result in mandatory breaks and relatively short stages and the route was more accessible compared to Iberica Traversa. Aiming for the Audax pace on the other hand is very challenging and requires a lot of night rinding. We believe the bikepacking pace set by the organization is an achievable goal for people with good physics and thinking about giving ultra/bikepacking events a first try.
A full blog and documentary with video footage will still follow, but let's say we've got our hands pretty full with the shop since we're back.
*Photos by Matteo Minelli and ourselves.