BELGIAN WAFFLE RIDE PHOTO GALLERY

Photos: Zap & BWR

Just over a decade ago it started out as an after work  duel among friends.  Then it became the once-a-year Belgian Waffle Ride.  Now it’s a four event series stretching from coast to coast with plans to get even bigger. The kick-off 2022 event returned to the host city of  San Marcos, in the hometown region where it all began.

RBA has been attending the BWR for years and it’s for good reason that we hold it especially close because back in 2013 then RBA editor Neil Shirley won the event!  Take a tour of the 2021 BWR EXPO – Video.

New for this year was the event being split in two with the longer Waffle ride going off on Saturday and the shorter Wafer and Wanna events pedaling off on Sunday. Here’s just a sampling of what we saw over the BWR weekend.

THE BELGIAN WAFFLE RIDE GALLERY

All the suffering, pain, nightmares and broken bikes can be laid at the feet of BWR founder Michael Marckx. Yeah, blame him…and then thank him profusely for creating such a fabulous two-wheeled challenge!

 

What better way to start a long grueling waffle ride than with some friends and waffles?!

 

This year the men and women shared a combined start and with moments to go before the horn blew both Tiffany Cromwell and Alex Howes had their game face on. Tiffany would finish third  in the women’s race with Howes finishing in fourth in the men’s race.

 

As serious an affair as the BWR is, thankfully, there was time for a morning burrito and afternoon ice cream social ride on Friday.

 

That moment when other-worldly athletes prove they can be (just a little) like us mortals. Tiffany Cromwell and Formula One star Valtteri Bottas indulged on the ice cream ride.  Bottas impressed everyone with a 2nd place finish in the 40 mile Wanna race (first in class) just one week before he and his factory  Alfa Romeo would line up for the Formula One race in Miami.

 

Victor Sheldon is a SoCal legend as both a multi-time jet ski and cyclocross national champion. The “Slasher” is now a mountain bike race promoter and he rode moto support at BWR.

 

In short, Moriah Wilson slaughtered the women’s field winning by over 25 minutes. Photo: BWR

 

3T Q+M rider Garret Jenema soldiered in for a 47th place finish.

 

PETER STETINA & HIS BIKE

With a family steeped in American cycling history, Peter Stetina is as polished as they come…and thankfully he eschews white shoes!

 

Even with flared handlebars, Stetina runs his Shimano GRX levers angled pretty far in…and yes, he was running road pedals.

 

Following his years on the Pro Tour, Stetina has become used to hi-cadence pedaling and so he always runs a 2x Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain to maximize his (taller) gear options.

 

If the rocks and steep climbs weren’t enough of a challenge, the sandy corners played havoc on more than a few riders.

 

Long, long ago team Trek-VW mountain biker Jeremiah Bishop was his usual happy self before the race and would go on to finish 16th.

 

This is the lead group getting cheered on just over an hour in…a few hours later there was but one rider off the front.

 

Despite a hard day with a crash that put her back for an 11th place finish on Saturday, Amity Rockwell proved herself quite the trooper by coming back on Sunday to ride in the 70 mile Wafer ride for a combined total of just over 12 hours of racing. Kudos!

 

Despite its renown as a really hard gravel event (it is) the Belgian Waffle Ride is really a hard road race with some dirt sections thrown in.

 

BWR tip #1: Run tubeless and still know how to fix a flat as fast as possible. Photo BWR

 

BWR ride tip #2: Practice your dirt skills and learn to bunny-hop/jump. Photo BWR

 

Back in 2018 Brian McCulloch showed up at the BWR on his road bike – and won. In the years since much has changed as the professional cycling coach is now a Bianchi ambassador. Brian finished in 24th at 7:26.

 

Abus Pro Gravel/Ventum rider John Borstelmann rode well for an 8th place finish.

 

Matthew Beers led Griffin Easter back down the Double Peak climb after the IRC tire turn-around for the runner-up finish spots to winner Alexey Vermeulen.

 

Ethan Villaneda worked hard for a 12th place finish.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, may we present the men’s winner – Alexey Vermeulen who came in four minutes clear of  2nd place. Photo BWR

 

Over 4000 riders signed-up for the 2022 Belgian Waffle Ride – see you there next year?! Photo BWR

 

BWR< Belgian waffle rideShimanogravel bikesPeter StetinaMichael MarckxBrian Mccullochgravel racing