260 Km Belgian Mountainbike Challenge – 600 Riders

260 Km Belgian Mountainbike Challenge – 600 Riders

10/04/2017
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10/04/2017

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BeMC is the one of biggest International Cycling Federation / Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) stage races for individual mountainbikers in the world.  2017 will see 600 professional and serious amateur riders from around 20 countries taking part.   In addition, world champions participating include Tiago Ferreira, UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Champion, Mathieu Van der Poel, the 2015 Cyclocross world champion, and Sally Bigham European Mountain Bike Marathon Champion.  The BeMC stands out because of it’s great atmosphere, combined with a tough and demanding course. This makes it one of the most popular mountain bike events in Europe as a result it has doubled in size since it started six years ago.

Belgian Mountainbike Challenge (BeMC) 2016 full report from Motomediateam.be on Vimeo.

BeMC is one of the hardest mountainbike races in Europe.  As a UCI XCS class 1 status it is one of only four similar races around the world. Over three days, from the 12th to the 14th May, it will cover 260 Km / 8,000 altitude metres in La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium.”

BeMC UCI is part of the international UCI calendar as a XCS S1 race which and is only accessible for Elite Men (or U23) and Elite Women (or U23). The BeMC Open is open to all other UCI-license holders as well as non-license holders. The minimum age to enter is 19 (born before 01/01/1999).

The BeMC distinguishes itself from other multiple day events in the Benelux by the difficulty of the stages and the quality of the field. Finishing the BeMC is something everybody, whether you are a professional or a recreational racer, can be proud of.

The race consists of three marathon stages (XCM).

  1. Stage 1 : La Roche-en-Ardenne – Tenneville – La Roche-en-Ardenne – 87 km – 2450 m+
  2. Stage 2: La Roche-en-Ardenne – Houffalize – La Roche-en-Ardenne – 100 km – 3050 m+
  3. Stage 3: La Roche-en-Ardenne – La Roche-en-Ardenne – 75 km – 25250 m+

The start and finish of each stage is in La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium. The race office and the finish of each stage will be situated in the garden of hotel Floreal.

List of countries taking part

There are riders from 16 countries which are as follows:

  1. Belgium
  2. Netherlands
  3. Germany
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Denmark
  6. France
  7. Switzerland
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Italy
  10. Ireland
  11. Finland
  12. Australia
  13. Portugal
  14. Slovenia
  15. Greece
  16. Luxembourg

Top riders

Surname

First name

Sex

Nationality

Club

Achievement

CLAES

Frans

M

BEL

LOVING HUT MTB TEAM

2* National Champion XCM (2015, 2016)

CARABIN

Sébastien

M

BEL

MERIDA-WALLONIE MTB TEAM

Winner BeMC 2014; National Champion XCM 2014

VAN HOOVELS

Kevin

M

BEL

MTB TEAM LANGDORP

National Champion XCO 2010 and XCM 2011; Olympian 2012

MICHIELS

Githa

F

BEL

LINGIER VERSLUYS BEACHBIKERS VZW

Winner BeMC 2014, 2015; 1* National Champion XCM (2008); 6* National Champion XCO (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016); Olympian 2016

ALLEMAN

Wout

M

BEL

GOEMAN SCOTT CYCLING TEAM

2nd BeMC 2016; National Junior Champion XCO (2014)

PIRARD

Alice

F

BEL

MERIDA-WALLONIE MTB TEAM

4* National Champion XCM (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016); winner Crocodile Trophy 2016

NOVAK

Jiri

M

CZE

DMT RACING TEAM

National Champion XCM (2012)

NISSEN

Sören

M

DEN

STEVENS – iHUS RACING TEAM

Winner BeMC 2015; 2* National Champion XCM (2014, 2015)

THOMAS

Ben

M

GBR

MOUNTAIN TRAX – VAUXHALL CYCLING

2* National Champion XCM (2015, 2016)

BIGHAM

Sally

F

GBR

TOPPEAK-ERGON

European Champion XCM (2016); 5* National Champion XCM; 4* 2nd European Championship XCM; 2$ 2nd World Championship XCM

PERIKLIS

Ilias

M

GRC

DMT RACING TEAM

World Champion XCM 201; National Champion XCO (2012, 2013, 2014); National Champion XCM (2015)

MALACARNE

Davide

M

ITA

DMT RACING TEAM

Professional road racer for ASTANA (until 2016)

SCHAUS

Fabienne

F

LUX

LC TETANGE

Multiple national champion XCO

VAN DER POEL

Mathieu

M

NED

BEOBANK-CORENDON CT

World Champion CX 2015

BECKING

Hans

M

NED

CST BRENTJENS MTB RACING TEAM

2* National Champion XC0 (2012, 2016)

TIAGO

Ferreira

M

POR

DMT RACING TEAM

Winner BeMC 2016; World Champion XCM 2016; Olympian 2016

PINTO

Luis

POR

5* National Champion XCM

Entrant categories

  1. BeMC UCI
  • Elite Men (included U23 Men)
  • Elite Women (included U23 Women)
  1. BeMC OPEN
  • Open 20 (non-elite men < 30)
  • Open 30 (non-elite men from 3 and < 40)
  • Open 40 (non-elite men from 40 and < 50)
  • Open 50 (non-elite men > 50)
  • Open Women (non-elite women)

BeMC programme

  1. Thursday 11 MAY 2017
    1. 19:00 Registration opens
    2. 20:00 Race briefing
    3. 21:00 Registration closes
  1. Friday 12 MAY 2017
    1. 09:00 Registration opens
    2. 10:30 Registration closes
    3. 11:00 Start stage one
    4. 14:30 Finish first riders
    5. 16:00 Podium ceremony
    6. 18:00 Finish last riders
    7. 20:00 Race briefing
  1. Saturday 13 MAY 2017
    1. 10:00 Start stage two
    2. 14:30 Finish first riders
    3. 16:00 Podium ceremony
    4. 18:00 Finish last riders
    5. 20:00 Race briefing
  1. Sunday 14 MAY 2017
    1. 10:00 Start stage three
    2. 13:30 Finish first riders
    3. 13:30 Pasta party
    4. 16:00 Podium ceremony
    5. 16:30 Finish last riders

General description of BEMC stages

Stage 1 La Roche – Tenneville – La Roche (87 KM – 2,450 M+)

The first stage no longer consists of two laps but is mainly inspired by stage two in 2016. The start takes the riders straight to the Parc à Gibier and is, to avoid traffic jams, completely on asphalt. The first off road climb comes after 4 km. The first 17 kilometers are mainly on wide forest roads, but contain some technical difficulties that make it very hard. When they first get a chance to fill up their bottles the riders already climbed 650 vertical meters, but the next 23 km until feedstation two in Wyompont are by far the easiest of the three days and allow you to recuperate a bit before entering a difficult loop in the forest near Wyompont.

On the way back from Wyompont to Buisson you have to overcome some technical parts near the river Ourthe and some steep climbs. The forth feedstation is again on the same spot in Buisson. The final will be one to talk about with two extreme hard climbs and dito technical descends. The long classic descend to the finish will be a relieve for most riders. The finish along the Ourthe in the beautiful garden of hotel Floreal awaits…

Stage 2 La Roche – Houffalize – La Roche (100 KM – 3050 M+)

The queen stage of the BeMC is now on Saturday. The first 20 km are almost identical to those in 2016. In Houffalize we reach some new trails and ride other roads in opposite direction. The descend and climb on the former worldcup course is still present but will be about 10 km further in the stage, making it feel even harder. Just after Bonnerue we’ll join the “classic” course with among others the descend of the steep “wall of death”. Between Engreux and the last feedstation close to the barrage of Nisramont, it gets a little easier. The final with the legendary crossing of the Ourthe became a little easier as opposed to the previous editions but remains with 38 meters of climbing per kilometer for from simple.

Stage 3 LA ROCHE – LA ROCHE (75 KM – 2525 M+)

The final stage may well be the shortest, but with an average of 33 meters of climbing per kilometer, a lot harder than the two previous stages. This stage consists of the laps north-east of La Roche. The famous wall of Borzée must be tackled twice. The second accent will be the final climb of the race and may be decisive for the overall win.

There are some new technical parts in this stage – one of which is a very spectacular decent to the castle – which can still make a difference close to the finish. This stage is perfect for spectators to see the riders several times and then enjoy the pasta party / BBQ with the riders after the race.

There is more technical detail on the BeMC website http://www.bemc.be/?lang=en

2016 BeMC results

Winner UCI Men: Tiago Ferreira

Winner UCI Women: Sally Bigham

Winner Masters 1: Bart Van Hecke

Winner Masters 2: Arne Daelmans

Winner FUN B Mannen: Cedric Himpe

Winner FUN B Vrouwen: Ellen Blome

About the BeMC organiser

The organizer of BeMC is Koenraad Vanschoren. He was born on 13 May 1977 and is married with Lynn who helps him organise BeMC.  He has one daughter Jill (5y). They live in Brussels. He studied law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and has a master LL.M. in international and comparative law.

Koenraad was / is a hobby mountainbiker and have been working for several smaller MTB organisations since 2002. Back in 2011 he had the feeling Belgium needed a real MTB stage race and decided to organise one, together with a good friend of his in 2012.  Now he mainly organises BeMC and the new BeMC Marathon, but also helps out at other UCCI MTB races including Alpentour Trophy in Austria and Crocodile Trophy in Australia. Together with a friend of his, he also organises the classification between the races for Sebamed MTB Series, a series of 9 MTB Marathons in Germany.

About Stefam Maertens

Born 2 september 1982. Lives in Ghent, Belgium. He is a truck driver and unsupported bike packer.

Past results:

  • Tour Divide (Banff, Canada) – Indian Wells, border US-Mexico) / 4.400 km/ 2,700 miles and 65.000 vertical meters. Finisher 2014 and 2016 (6th overall in 2016 in 16 days, 13 hours, 24 min)
  • Navad 1000 (1000km), Switzerland) – 4th in 2015
  • Highlandtrail, Scotland – twice finisher (2014 and 2015)

He will try to win this year’s Tour Divide.

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