Rocky Trail’s Martin Wisata just completed the first stage race for the year and it proofed to be a ‘muddy diplomatic mission’ for the newly appointed owayo ambassador. The German custom-clothing specialist has appointed Wisata as one of their three Australian brand ambassadors and a three-day stage race in the Ardenne mountains of Belgium was the first event where he put warm and wet weather gear to the test. The Belgian Mountain Bike Challenge (BeMC) is known as one of Europe’s toughest mountain bike stage races with 600 participants completing more than 7,700m of elevation on 250km of race track.
It has been an amazing trip to Belgium – the Rocky Trail crew had their eyes on the Belgian Mountain Bike Challenge for some years now and it’s been a great experience to race this event. Organised by former Crocodile Trophy racer-turned General Manager Koenraad Vanschoren, it felt like a family gettogether catching up with fellow Crocodile Trophy finishers, organisers and crew.
The three stages took its racers through the amazing landscape of the Ardenne mountains.
Says Martin Wisata, “Having tried and tested – and already raced – the owayo products, they do speak for themselves when it comes to quality and comfort. However, it is owayo’s professional attitude and the entrepreneurial spirit that we share, which is why we are really proud to represent in Australia and at events world-wide.”
About the event Wisata said that it had been a great experience, especially racing and socializing with so many fellow Crocodile Trophy finishers from all over the world. “It was incredible to be at the start line chatting to the European racers I met in Queensland at the Croc over the years – you share so many memories and catching up at a bike event, especially if it’s organised by another Croc racer like Koenraad Vanschoren, makes it even more special”, Wisata said. The race track had been so well marked and the event officials and marshals had been so supportive, he added and that the landscape had been very special to race through – “There were so many little villages that we rode through and there were so many spectators cheering alongside the track – it was a completely new racing experience for me as I had actually never competed in Europe before.”
The race had been a tough one and day one was the hardest he admitted. “It took me a while to warm up my legs and get into the racing mode and day two was definitely my favourite stage, even though it had the scariest looking elevation profile with over 30 peaks and a good 3,000 m to climb”, Wisata recounted his race. Of the final day he said that the weather had impacted a lot of riders who didn’t start or finished early. Wisata persevered and said, “It’s always a shame when the weather conditions influence your race, I was well prepared – thankfully also well equipped with the new owayo gear, which really impressed me. I stayed comfortable all day and even though the gear got completely covered in mud and sweat and I brought it home soaking wet, one wash and it looks as good as new.”
Australian athletes can now draft their athletic wear using owayo’s state-of-the-art online 3D Designer or consult with their professional design team. Have a chat to the Rocky Trail crew or visit the Australian owayo online portal via www.owayo.com.au
Stage 1: 85km / 2450m elevation
Stage 2: 100km / 3000m
Stage 3: 68km / 2350m – 11 degrees and raining cats and dogs.
Photo: Igor Schifris – Day 2+3
Photos: Rocky Trail – A family holiday at the BeMC in Belgium