Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


We fielded a team of 4 at Hit the North 2010 in Phillip's Park, Manchester. It was again billed as cross vs MTB, 2 hrs in length and with over 160 starters and a unique vibe.

Winks arrived with his usual laidback style (aka last minute mechanical issues), Alan and Mark were kitted up to the nines in the van and Dunc was late again. Well nearly, despite the best efforts of his dog Buddy's now legendarily unpredictable bowel movements.

Missing in action were Adam L, on duty somewhere else in the country and Rich who bizarely had decided to go ice climbing. In Italy.

Alan staked a claim at the front of the grid, Winkie in close attendance, whilst Mark and Dunc took up more considered positions midpack.

The course was engrossing and absorbing throughout, particularly so for Winkie who had a heavy altercation with a tree, forcing a DNF and necessitating a trip to A and E for professional twig removal from top lip. Mmmm.

Alan seemed to think it was a race (doesn't he always), despite the protestations of half the mountain bikers there who were clearly out for the craic and to save their legs for another day. So much so that he went off like a scalded cat and held on for 3rd overall.

Mark worked hard to pick the field off after a hampered start and came in 52nd, much improved on his race here last year.

Dunc seemed to have a philosophical contra-temps with the whole concept, and confused, stopped on a tree stump to eat a gel and 'work out what it was all about'. Having put such important questions to rights, and armed with a definitive answer (in his mind at least), he resumed his effort and plugged away to finish a little behind Mark. These artistic creative types..........

All in all, a fun way to end the cross season albeit with a mountain bike race! Further musing on the whole sticky affair here!

Eyes down for road, cobbles and classics from this point on.

1 comment:

  1. Great race loved the mud though not sure my kit or bike did!
    Good result for Alan although Dunc and I did consider claiming third as well as they did ask for the guy who came third to step forward - I'm Sparticus!!
    Ill considered grid position as we watched the front riders tear off the guys in front of us were still mulling over goodness knows what before contemplating setting off!! This lead to a rather congested first few sections and a few aggressive lines taken by myself in order to get going. Just as I did I broke a rear spoke - good old fashioned Lancashire mechanicing (rip spoke out) and I was back fighting the congestion.
    Looking forward to getting some good long rides in and hopefully some summer cross