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, 21 July 2010

Le Tour de Staveley

Whilst other Belgians hammered themselves at HtN I had chosen the Tour of Stavely as my event to air my new summer kit.
Starting at the Wheelbase yard I had endured the typical Lakeland tourist driver down from Keswick - slowing down to 10mph to view the Lakes then speeding to the dizzying 20mph, so my planned,arrive with plenty of time, ended up a mad dash to sign on and be ready to roll.
I opted for the second start time for the long route instead of trying to chase the Wheelbase riders off the start and then wished I hadn't, as the rain steadily got heavier over the 15 minute gap.
the first 20 minutes the heavens opened and we were treated to what the Lakes does well - heavy rain!! nothing like a good soaking to focus the mind and to add insult to injury the only flat part of the course was into a strong headwind.
Nice to meet a fellow Belgian on route and have a brief chat before hitting the 20% climb which was littered with fallen twigs and leaves making traction difficult. Note to self if doing this next year put the 27 block on!!
The route was well signed and well marshaled and the lanes offered some stunning cycling with the bianca strada creating a few worries for riders with expensive carbon steeds. with my limited cross riding and cobble forays with Al the strada was straight forward and I made good progress up the 2 miles and short work of the drop back to tarmac.
Cramp reduced my climbing speed over the last 8 miles which was a first for me - I think a lack of fluids was the cause.
Wilf's provided a good feed at the end and beer was available if you wanted (abstained as I had to drive back).
As sportifs seem to get more expensive this at £18 including your meal was great value and I would certainly do it again.

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