The Challenge Family race series has very little exposure in North America (Challenge North America is now Clash-USA), but over in Europe the race series is very popular. This weekend’s Challenge Geraardsbergen featured a strong pro field that took on one of cycling’s most prestigious climbs, “Le Muur,” which is often one of the key climbs in the Tour of Flanders and other major Belgium cycling races.
The exciting day of racing saw France’s Antony Costes and The Netherlands’ Diede Diederiks take the wins. We look back at the exciting weekend of racing through these great photos by Jose-Luis Hourcade.
“From the start in the swim it was a hectic race, the pace was very high,” said Costes after his win. “With the heat I knew there was going to be some trouble for some at the end of the race, so I tried to save some energy, but it was very difficult because the Muur, it was all out whatever you do just to get to the top! You don’t feel the effort during the climb as there is so much energy and screaming, but afterwards, you struggle to recover! It was a nice battle with Pieter (Heemeryck) on the run and on the second uphill I managed to put in some time and keep the gas on to the finish. I really loved it!”
“It was a really tough day,” said Diederiks of her win. “And it seemed like sort of an Xterra as there were some off-road parts in the run and of course the cobblestones on the Muur and a lot of climbing, so it was harder than I thought. But, it was a great race. I chose this race as I’ve wanted to race here for three years and it’s great to win!”
For full results, click here.