The Blast 1 2012 – short report
On Thursday the 5th of April, 22 riders gathered in the middle of nowhere in Belgium for the first Blast.
The Campfire was already lit when most riders arrived. After the rooms were divided, and the bikes parked in the garage it was time to get to know each other.
After several ‘Belgian Waters’ most people called it a night, as there were a few interesting days ahead.
Friday morning we kicked off with a massive breakfast buffet, and a quick briefing on how the day was planned out. Because giving numbers to people is boring, so we decided to go with nicknames instead.
Maps were handed out to navigate the riders to the specials, On today’s menu were 3 specials, varying from short and techy to long and painful.
Things went down smoothly on day one with no major injuries. Several riders missed some of the turns on the specials, too psyched up to see the limited signs on the trail. In the end, all made it back to Les Etables in time for dinner.
After dessert, people gathered to watch some of the footage of the day on the big screen, before hanging out at the campfire.
Day 2 started with breakfast, and announcing the ‘race leader’. The honours were for ‘Jack Tequilla’ also known as Jeroen Bloemers to most people. As leaders jerseys are too mainstream, he had the honours to wear the ‘Leader Mustache’.
With better signposting on the specials, all the riders found their way to the three timed stages. Passing the village of Achouffre on the way, famous for its Belgian beers.
Some people sprinted back to the accommodation, to get dibs on a spot in the Jaccuzi!
Before another great meal, stories of close calls and high speed action were shared over a ‘Jupi’ on the terrace.
Weather prediction for Sunday was cold and wet with occasional snowfall. The weather god Zeuss was kind however, only giving us the cold temperatures. Stage 1 was a repetition of a Special from Day 1. If it’s good, do it again!
Special 2 was shortly interrupted with a group of horse riders coming down the trail. We were lucky they didn’t leave any donations!
This tricky little singletrail was a worthy finish of an awesome weekend, flowing along a little stream towards the Ourthe River.
With all riders finished and back at the accommodation, it was BBQ time!
Mr Jack Tequilla kept the lead until the end, with Never Ending Story hero ‘Atreyu’ (Arno de Ruyver) breathing down his neck in second spot.
Third overall was the monstrous entity of Chtulhu, embodied by UpDown magazine’s Bas Rotgans.
By the looks of it, all riders had a Blast! Some already booked immediately for the Blast #2, others can’t make that date and have to wait for number 3 or 4.
The Blast #2 will be held from 28th June – 1 st July in the French Vosges.
You will find a report of The Blast #1 in future issues of Updown Magazine, Bikefreak magazine and Mountainbike Rider magazine.