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, 17 January 2012

War of the Roses…

Photo courtesy of Neil Hendry
Photo courtesy of JoozeD

Sounds and smells akin to a scrabbling team of liniment smeared horse’s waft through the cobbled enclave, as floundering footed racers search for grip.  The essentially simple task of hooking a stud or cleat into a greasy sett, and levering oneself inch by inch up the hill, and ahead of your nearest rival, seems insurmountable at times, and an experience I will not forget in a hurry. 

I refer to the infamous ‘Chimney’ – an approximately 100m long, near vertical (it felt like it to me at least!!) cobbled climb, which was doable for the top boys and girls, but a real test to the rest.  The gruelling course threw everything it could at the riders – I say riders, but for large sectors of the very muddy loop, terms such as joggers, walkers, sloggers or draggers may be more fitting.  It’s difficult not to use the old ‘No Man’s Land’ cliché, but I find it difficult to come by words more fitting.
To continue the War theme further, and fully expose my very limited historical knowledge, I understand Todmorden to have had a long history of battles between flamboyantly dressed Lancastrians and Yorkshire People and, judging by the turn  out the other Sunday this, now thankfully peaceful tradition, is set to continue.

Todmorden provided a brilliant course and a brilliant day out, oh and a free Duvel to boot.  Roll on next year.



  1. Great write up! Looks and sounds like a really good event.

  2. Thanks. It was a tough one but ultimately rewarding.