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.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Bogging at Boggart

Pic: Ed Rollason - there's a lanky Belgian in there somewhere

We had a crack team of 4 out riding at Boggart Hole Clough, Manchester with Rich Allen and Mark Turner also present but sidelined due to lurgy. Jo Hanglebads was on cake-dishing out duties and surprisingly surrendered her camera to Rich too. We have yet to see the rushes...

Boggart is probably one of the best courses out there in the NW - it mixes rooty singletrack, tarmac blasts, grassy field, a little bit of bog and a brutal tarmac climb that needs to be big-ringed but hurts you if you do. We had a massive 130 starters which required a round and round the field type thing to string us all out. Nick Craig won easily, Duncan and Ric built on their previous outings and fitness for 65th and 30th respectively, and I managed to get clear of the start mayhem to ride strongly into 4th Vet and 19th overall. Spare a thought for Mark Thomson who punctured on the 2nd(?) lap. He saved his energies for the Velodrome later that day though so it wasn't a wasted trip.

And onto a little digression. Whilst we are spoilt here in the North West and Yorkshire by our own Jo's super snapping, there are some professional photographers out there too. Cheryl King has become a Belgian friend over the past few seasons, and like Jo, attends most of our races and in all weathers. Her dramatic and insightful photos have been recently collated in a book Cyclo Cross, which featured both myself and Duncan as well as other regular North West riders. This is a shameless plug really, in the sense that people like Cheryl are out there for the love of the sport and hopefully bringing it to a wider audience. I received some of her photos from a friend as a present and they were most welcome. I urge you to support her and her craft at and

Anyways, I know Jo won't mind me upstaging her pic wise this time as good though Chery's pics are, she has yet to offer me cake at the end of a race.....

Ric Knowles

Alan D


This coming Sunday brings another comedy name venue - Pignut Hill in Northwich. Also a good cross course too. Must be in the name.

Oh I almost forgot. Dunc won the gurning competition. Again. Check out his fine effort captured by Ed Rollason....


  1. Arse over teakettles last year.
    Gurning this.
    Whatever next?

  2. I will be making the annual pilgrimage back to the northwest this weekend, so'll i'll be at Pignuts on Sunday. I don't know which shirt to wear though, my HCtB or Velocake.
    Let on if you see me.

  3. wear both and have a shirt change pitstop halfway through :)