Last year’s BWR course tackled an impressive 146 miles, 40 of which were dirt/gravel/mud, boasting a leg searing 13,000 feet of elevation gain through North County San Diego. Although the 2018 course will feature much of the same dirt sectors, there will be some new features over a slightly shorter course.
Not a true mountain climbing specialists route, the BWR strings together a seemingly never ending route of ups and downs similar to the European Ardennes Classic hills. Single track dirt climbs, sandy descents and roughly paved roads are defining factors of the BWR course that help separate the strongest riders from the bunch at the finish.
Topical Edge Ambassadors are planning an onslaught at San Diego's Belgian Waffle Ride this upcoming weekend, looking for crowns on both the men's and women's sides. The squad features a mix of riders from mountain bike, road, cyclocross and triathlon backgrounds that will clearly be forces to be reckoned with come race day.
Ryan Steers finished on the podium just two years ago and is looking to move up a couple steps after months of hard training this winter. We've been riding with him recently and it's clear his fitness is high, along with a serious stoke level about spending hours suffering with friends in the heat that is hard to replicate in this all-around dirt specialist, that is a Giant Bicycles ambassador as well.
Karen Jarchow is a professional mountain biker riding Team Topeak-Ergon that focuses mainly on endurance mountain bike events so she should be well suited for a long day of gravel grinding. Her experience training at elevation and in brutal conditions will play to her strengths when the going gets tough at the BWR this weekend.
Jeff Kerkove, also of the Topeak team, brings his years of professional mountain biking experience to the hot hills of San Diego. Just last month Jeff secured a top-10 finish in the master's category at the Land Run 100 in Oklahoma and hopes to improve upon that aboard his Canyon gravel bike in a few days.
Adam Mills' true talent comes with his ability to combine his vast experience with his knowledge of sport. He is indeed a student of science, sport, athletic performance, strategy and tactics. He continuously educates himself by keeping up to date with current trends and methods in sport and his clients at Source Endurance have reaped the benefits from this work with over 13 national championships in 8 disciplines - he's a pretty stout gravel grinder himself.
Kristin Mayer is the founder and creator of the triathlon apparel company Betty Designs and is quite the accomplished endurance athlete herself. She'll be lining up at BWR with quite the block of training under her belt, coming off a 250 mile week with 15,000 feet of climbing just last month in her preparations to tackle the BWR beast.
The Southern California based master's team Monster Media Racing is sending several riders to the Belgian Waffle Ride this year and although traditionally a force in the road/criterium scene, many of their riders have been focused on mixed terrain events the past few years and they'll look to be riding at the front with the leaders.
Brian McCulloch races professionally on the road Elevate KHS Pro Cycling Team, but has been known to tackle challenging events, no matter the terrain or surface type, with a grit and determination second to none. In the 2017 edition of BWR, Brian finished in 9th and is looking to elevate himself onto the podium in 2018.
Neil Shirley is a former Gravel World Champion and professional road cyclist turned gravel connoisseur. He's currently training hard for the Dirty Kanza 200 and using BWR as tune up for the 200 miler just six weeks away in Emporia, Kansas. Look for Neil at the front of the pack, displaying an impressive mix of climbing abilities with technical skills that may just lead him onto the BWR podium by day's end.
Find Topical Edge PR Lotion at the BWR Expo at Canyon Bicycles, 5600 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008 to learn more and try out a sample for yourself.