Tomorrow morning some strong pro triathletes will toe the line at Challenge Geraardsbergen, among them defending champion Pieter Heemeryck, who comes back from a difficult time, but seems to be back on track to race a strong Middle Distance again. While last week, the news was dominated by the Sub7 and Sub8 attempt, he rather sees “normal” racing, Heemeryck says: “For me a race is something like this here.”
“I saw it, and it was cool to see, but starting here with everyone and racing until the end of the race… It’s cool that they broke seven and eight hours to see what people are capable off, and what the bikes can do, but I prefer normal racing. Like this week, Jan Frodeno announced that he will race Challenge Roth again; that’s something I look forward to.”
Heemeryck, like all the athletes, expects most of the difference to be made on the “Muur” (the wall) tomorrow: “It’s a wide field, but the Muur doesn’t lie.” Over a distance of 1000 meters, athletes will battle up this famous climb that is so steep, that you would almost have to jump off your bike to walk up.
After some tough years, Heemeryck returned to his former coach a few months ago. Since then, he has been having a few relatively good races again. “Physically, I feel ready. The last two races were a step in the right direction. I’m feeling OK, but I had a little crash a few weeks again when I was riding in Germany. That is not going to be an excuse if I do not have my day tomorrow, though. I’m just very happy to be back racing here. It’s a local event and the only Challenge Family race that we have in Belgium at the moment. I did all three editions before, so I’m glad to be back for the fourth edition”, the 2019 champion says.