I embarked on a grand desert escapade to Arizona,
all in the name of kick starting my season with a bang at the Belgian Waffle Ride.

The course was a tantalizing blend of treacherous terrain, featuring undulating hills, specially designed MTB trails, rugged sand washes, and bumpy 4×4 roads.
And all of this set against a picturesque backdrop of the stunning desert rock and prickly cacti.
The course, spanning 122-miles, was a perfect medley, making it the ideal prelude to a long season ahead.

With the 7am start fast approaching, I found myself at the front of the start line, flanked by ex-world tour pros, national champions, Olympians, conti riders, and weekend warriors.
The atmosphere was electric, and everyone was eager to prove their worth after months of grueling winter training.

As we set off on a neutral roll out, we were almost immediately faced with a long, grueling climb.
At first, it was a peaceful ascent with friendly chatter, but soon after, the pace intensified, Pete Stetina led the charge up the steep inclines.

Despite my best efforts, I found myself in the second chasing group, struggling to keep up with the lead pack.
However, as soon as we hit the first off-road sector, I kicked into high gear, determined to make up lost ground and tackle the challenging terrain with all my might.

The race was not without its obstacles, but I dug deep and persevered, never giving up.
And as I crossed the finish line, I was elated to have secured a top 30 overall finish and a top 20 spot in my age category.

It was a grueling yet rewarding experience, and I can’t wait for more of it this season.

See you out there!