Daily Archives: 06/11/2018

Koopmans Wins 3 Nations Cup!

XCO Erezee

Erezee is a little village in the Belgian Ardennes. The course was about 4.5km with 195hm and lots of rocks and roots. Although nowadays most of the cross-country courses are handmade by track builders, in Erezee the track was 100% made by mother nature herself.

Since Lotte is combining her medical studies with cycling, there was no time to explore the course earlier than on the race day itself. She was only able to do one lap on the course before the sound of the start shot echoed through the fields.

After a little start climb, Lotte was the third into the forest. First, there came a descent and she tried to stay close to the top to riders in the field. On the first very slippery climb she managed to overtake both riders in front of her and start her solo race. Every lap the gap grew wider and wider. In the meantime, the sun was starting to shine and the course dried up a bit. Both the climbs and descent went faster and after 1.5hr race she crossed the finish line more than five minutes ahead of the second place finisher! Nicknamed, “climbing goat Koopmans” by the Dutch press, Lotte and the team are very happy and satisfied with the result.

Lotte races on the Kona Honzo CR Race, which she loves. Her bike is very light and because the geometry is also a bit like a trail bike, she can attack the downhills too.

Marathon Rhens

Every year the Kona LTD Teams travel to Germany to participate in the Marathon of Rhens. It is about 80km and 2400 meters of elevation.

Laura and Dave just came from the wedding of Laura’s younger brother. They stayed in a hotel near Rhens, since Laura won the marathon last year and they got one night in a very luxury hotel, with a sauna and golf course. Lucky for them, the hotel owner is Mister Haribo… so lots of Haribo candy everywhere!

Laura had a solid start but after 25km she felt that her legs needed their own pace and she decided to just enjoy the race and the beautiful German views. After almost 4 hours of racing and a caffeine gel her legs finally found strength and she was able to race an amazing final. She finished third in her category.

For Dave, in contrast, the sugar of the candies in the hotel seemed to power his legs and he had a great race!

Roy loves this kind of marathon with a lot of gravel roads and long climbs. He gave it his all on both climbs and descents. He ended 12th overall in a very strong and big field of elite men!

Even Karin enjoyed the trails. In the beginning, she was struggling a bit with the legs but in the end, she overtook a lot of riders, both men and women!

 

Kristien Achten Wins Belgian Ardennes Marathon Series

BAMS, een kampioenschap dat de mooiste marathons van de Belgische Ardennen verenigt. Ieder event staat gekend als een klassieker in de mountainbikewereld of als een beloftevolle nieuwe organisatie. De verschillende races worden gekenmerkt door hun technische en zware parcours, waar iedereen zich amuseert, zowel competitief als amateur.

Op dit moment zijn we bijna halfweg in het kampioenschap.

De eerste race, la Hallonienne, werd meer dan ooit een modderpoel. Nog nooit mocht ik zoveel ploeteren, schuiven, duwen, … om de finish te halen. Ieder paadje werd herleid tot dezelfde moddergeul, maar dat maakte de rit niet minder leuk. In de opener van het kampioenschap kon ik meteen op de hoogste tree van het podium en dus de roze leiderstrui bemachtigen.

De tweede race stond ik dan ook fier in mijn roze plunje aan de start. Cimes de Waimes staat gekend als het wortelparadijs en die naam deden ze alle eer aan. Een knap en technisch parcours maakte het plezier des te groter. Waar vinden ze al die paadjes toch? Opnieuw kon ik als eerste over de streep rijden en mocht het roze dus nog wat langer houden.

Ardennes Trophy stond als derde in de rij. Het was alweer een aantal jaar geleden dat ik startte, maar één ding herinnerde ik me nog: het einde is genadeloos. De hoogtemeters worden opgespaard voor het tweede deel van de rit, wanneer de krampen de kop opsteken en het tempo zakt. Gelukkig niet enkel voor mij. Het parcours is wederom subliem. Dit is terecht een klassieker. Na meer dan vijf uur word ik eerste dame. Drie op drie en nog een roze truitje erbij.

Op naar de volgende.

Connor Crushes in Leogang!

Connor Fearon has had his best finish of the World Cup season with a 7th place scorcher in Leogang. This season has shown incredibly tight racing and Leogang was no exception. Always a dramatic race, Connor was able to keep his focus and take his Operator to the line with killer speed. Connor now moves up to 11th overall with goals to get even higher in the standings as the season progresses.

“Finals went down today! I was actually really nervous for racing. I had two good practice runs in the morning (maybe its a bit of superstition but my 3rd run is always the charm) and chilled out for racing. The format this year is pretty cool. I can stay down and watch the women and juniors all race which is especially helpful if the track changes a lot. You can see on the big screens whats going on with the track. It’s cool qualifying in the top 10 because that late in the day there aren’t many riders or spectators hanging around the top anymore. It’s eerily quiet actually and I like it. I prefer to have fewer people watching me ride!

My run was sweet I think I could have pushed it a bit harder in some sections but still stoked for 7th place. The World Cups this year seem like a different level. 1st place to 20th is packed with fast guys so it’s good to be towards the front. I’m sitting 11th now overall and I’m hoping to chip that number down some more over the next couple races! I’m heading home now for a couple weeks to get stuck into some training and riding. I find it a lot more useful being home then traveling around the world without a real schedule for training etc.. So yeah, overall good weekend and looking forward to Val Di Sole!” – Connor Fearon