This is Belgium
images by Isaiah Jay and Luke Batten
Our internet fanzine, Tenspeed Hero, sponsors a Junior team in Belgium and their name is KSC DENDERSTREEK LABIEKESVRIENDEN. It cost us 500 Euros of hard earned sock money to get our name on the sleeve, but it has been worth every euro. Our two belgian compadres are Dean and Nicolas and when we make it to Belgium we get to watch them race, talk bikes, and have dinner with their families.
On our last trip to Belgie we ventured down to Estaimpuis in Wallonia to watch the boys ride in the wind on a chilly day. Belgian Junior race distances near 85k early in the early season to about 100k+ as the weather warms up. It is a solid 2 + hours of racing.
Dean and Nicolas
After each race Jan Goessens, Dean’s Father, washes the boys legs, gets them fresh drinks and then motor paces them back home for 30-40K. Watching Dean and Nicholas ride 30-36 miles an hour behind Jan’s Citroen Berlingo provides a better understanding of what makes a Belgian professional.
For a Junior racer you can figure on racing around 50 races per year. Your two week spring vacation will include some Wednesday racing in addition to the typical Saturday races. You rarely have to drive more than an hour distance for any race. Motor pacing home is part of the deal. And lastly you will be asked to go lightly on the frites during the season but you get to eat cakes befor the race!