Over 1,200 participants took to the start of the 83 km course in the Ardennes. The race was open both licensed and unlicensed riders. The start of the UCI mountainbike marathon for licensed women was held at 8:15, followed by the men’s race at 9:00. They were followed by three mass starts for unlicensed participants.
Following torrential rains in the south of Belgium, the mountainbikers had to conquer an extremely tough and muddy course, even though the event itself was held in dry conditions.
In the men’s race, Norway’s Soren Nissen (Racing Team STE) escaped from a small group to take the victory. He finished with a time of 3:51:51, 20 minutes more than last year’s winner, which only shows the toughness of the course. Sacha Weber (BQ Cycling Team) was second, two minutes behind Nissen. That was quite the performance, as the German had to tackle a part of the race without his saddle. His compatriot Tim Böhme (Team Bulls) finished in third.