Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Post-Christmas Daze: Part One

Every year around Christmas the cyclocross season in Belgium reaches its peak, climaxing with a combination of World Cup and Category 1 races from the major series, and other category 2 races that aren't part of any series but want to squeeze in nonetheless and be a part of the action. Despite having ridden mountain bikes for a few years now, I've never had more than about 3 consecutive weekends of racing, even at the peak of the season. Certainly I've never had midweek races in addition to this, so my schedule of races looked to me like a lot. However it was only a selection of what was available to do and the top professionals race almost every other day during this fortnight.

I've written about the first half of it in my blog on the Spoke magazine website so I will leave the description of it there, but here I will include some more photos that didn't make it into that blog. I am very thankful to the many generous Belgian photographers who come along to all the races, take great photos and then share them with us riders. It's made my posts much more interesting to look at, and will be a great source of memories once the season has ended.

Leuven Dec 16th:
Schooled by Canadian Aaron Schooler! Photo: Jozef Cooreman

You can't beat a fist punch. Photo: Rita Thienpondt
Sint-Niklaas, Dec 19th:
Photo: Geert Van den Bossche

Lewis Rattray sneaking away. Photo: Rita Thienpondt

Single file early on. Photo: Jozef Cooreman
Namur World Cup Dec 23rd:
Photo: Jozef Cooreman

There were greasy corners a-plenty. Photo: Dirk Bruylant

My Canadian bro's Aaron and Mark. Photo: Ludo Nagels

I got some good airtime on TV when I blocked the world's view of Pauwels leading!

Biggest World Cup field so far, over 60 starters. Photo: John de Jong
Heusden-Zolder World Cup Dec 26th:
Rubbish begins to cover course. Photo: Tom Prenen

One lap down, feeling good. Photo: Jozef Cooreman
Two laps down, bad crash, not feeling good. Photo: Jozef Cooreman

Photo: Tom Prenen
 I'll put out a second part in a few days once I've come up with the words, and made my way through a ton of leftover Christmas chocolate.


  1. You are so inspiring, Alex. Keep up the great work, bro.

  2. Nice one Alex. That schedule must be very tough indeed. I hope your body's getting some chance to recover between outings. Those muddy races look incredible. And, incredibly horrible. How great it must be to be on that team!! Take care mate

  3. Great race in Sint-Niklaas! You almost made it to the finish: 8 laps out of 9. I hope you can finish at least once before the end of this winter. If not, you will surely do it next year (at least I hope you come back to Belgium?).
    Good luck at the World Championships from a fellow cyclist with moustache (but not so impressive as yours).