Challenge Geraardsbergen ready to take place on original date with some modifications

Pieter Heemeryck took the win at the 2019-edition of Challenge Geraardsbergen. (Picture: Challenge Family)

In a year where everything is different, the organization of Challenge Geraardsbergen is doing its utmost to have the iconic race in Belgium go ahead. A number of necessary adjustments have been made, including changes to the course and a new finish location, to ensure that athletes can look forward to June 6, the scheduled date Challenge Geraardsbergen is to take place, with some confidence.

“We – as an organization – have the best intentions of keeping our race as planned on June 6, 2021,” said Race Director Tim Vidts. “Currently we are working very hard to offer our athletes a nice and, above all, safe race. Of course, our race will look different than previous editions, but we are committed to provide a COVID-proof event. We will work together with stewards who will only have the task to assist our organization in organizing the COVID-proof event. Due to all the COVID-measures, we will focus on our main race: all side events will be cancelled. There will be no ‘Womens Run,’ ‘Walk the Muur,’ ‘Challenge Swim,’ or ‘3uur De Muur’ on Saturday. This year we will only organize the Middle Distance for individuals and teams. During this race, spectators will be excluded at the start, transition areas and finish area if necessary according to the COVID-measures.”

While some aspects of the race are changing, the swim remains the same as in previous years, taking place in the waters of Provincial Domain De Gavers. “We’ll use a rolling start, whereby we are paying particular attention this year to the safety distance when lining up on the beach.” The bike course also remains largely unchanged, although the athletes will not finish in the center of Geraardsbergen, but in the transition are. Both transitions will take place in De Gavers. The run course, will be mostly different to previous years. “The run will consists of two laps in a nature reserve. The finish will be at De Gavers, on closed terrain.”

Measures will also be taken after the race to ensure everything is safe. “In this way we hope to offer you a perspective for further training towards our race. Of course, we hope to be able to count on the necessary discipline from all our participants so that together we can ensure a safe happening of our race,” Vidts concludes.