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Monday, 14 May 2018

One of Europe's top UCI MTB events taking place in Belgium

The Open race of one of the hardest mountainbike races in Europe and top MTB event in the Benelux the Belgian Mountainbike Challenge (BeMC) 2018 is full already. Registration opened last week (1 November 2017) and the BeMC Open was sold out in 11 hours. Entries for BeMC UCI for Elite and U23 riders are still open! 


BeMC is an International Cycling Federation / Union Cycliste Internationale (UCIXCS class 1 status event where 600 riders from over 20 countries race over three days, from the 11th to the 13th May, covering 260 Km / 8,000 altitude metres in La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium. Next year even riders from as far as Australia, Brazil and South-Africa will join the race.

BeMC stands out from similar events with its great atmosphere, tough and demanding course and very reasonable cost - approx. €400 including accommodation. 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. It is one of the biggest UCI stage race for individual mountainbikers in the world.  The route of the BeMC 2018 contains some course changes. There is a completely new first stage towards Erezée and also the second stage is largely redesigned. The last stage stays more or less the same as this year. The double ascent of the "Wall of Borzée” in stage 3 has become a classic in the BeMC for several years now. Because riders can't seem to get enough of it, it has been added for a third time for 2018, albeit in the opposite direction this time! Here are the details:

Stage 1 : La Roche - Erezée - La Roche : 84 km (2.450 m+)
Stage 2 : La Roche - Bertogne - La Roche : 100 km (3.050 m+)
Stage 3 : La Roche - La Roche : 75 km (2.525 m+)

BeMC organiser, Koenraad Vanschoren is a serious amateur mountain biker but by day a government lawyer.  Being a lawyer he focuses on rules, regulations and detail. As a result he has become an expert in all things UCI MTB - rules, courses, equipment and how competitors can prepare. In fact he organises other UCI MTB and road cycling events in Germany, Austria and Australia and the Middle East because of his expertise. Talking about the event said “We are proud to be able to organize such a top-level event. Worldwide, there are only two other similar races for individual riders ranked like this! When entries opened, at midnight, after less than 10 minutes already 100 riders signed up for the race. We reached the 200 riders mark early in the morning (around 6 a.m.) and from that point on it went really fast. Around 11 a.m. the BeMC Open was sold out and were almost a quarter of the tickets in BeMC UCI gone". Speaking about making a cycling event successful he believes "it is very important as an organiser to have a feeling with the racecourse. That's why I never organise a race without having seen the whole course myself often on my bike." He also said "I don't want to organise just any race, I want to organise the best race possible and always continue to improve or find other challenges." 

Some media coverage

Bicycling /nl
https://www.bicycling.nl/guide/de-belgian-mountainbike-challenge-afzien-tot-in-je-tenen

TV Luxemburg
https://www.tvlux.be/video/cyclisme-vtt/belgian-mountainbike-challenge-250-km-autour-de-la-roche_29134.html

Le Meuse 
http://www.lameuse.be/229800/article/2018-05-11/la-roche-un-challenge-vtt-hors-norme-ce-week-end

Marathon MTB 
https://www.bicycling.nl/guide/de-belgian-mountainbike-challenge-afzien-tot-in-je-tenen

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