CHALLENGE Geraardsbergen Gears Up for Great Race Weekend

Friday 09 June 2023

This coming weekend a great battle awaits at Challenge Geraardsbergen. Dutch defending champion Diede Diederiks returns hoping to win again and in the men's race Joe Skipper, Ruben Zepuntke and Menno Koolhaas are ready for a head-to-head.

Challenge Geraardsbergen is not only a beautiful, but also a very challenging race. Athletes will cycle twice over the world-famous Muur van Geraardsbergen, a short but steep climb that is featured in several cycling classics and is notorious for its cobblestones. It is not unfamiliar territory for favourite Joe Skipper, as the British athlete has previously competed in Geraardsbergen and knows the course well. Yet the course may seem even better suited to Ruben Zepuntke: the former cycling pro is known for his rock-solid cycling ability.

Dutchman Menno Koolhaas is also seen as a serious contender. The Dutchman recently made the switch to middle and long distance and has already won several major races since. Last weekend, he won another important race in his home country, setting him up well for Challenge Geraardsbergen, plus a late addition to the field is Baptiste Neveu following a mechanical at Challenge Salou which resulted in a DNF. There are also local favourites: Pamphiel Pareyn and Jonathan Wayaffe, who won Challenge Peguera-Mallorca last year. Wayaffe is recovering from a crash during Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria, but will want to perform at his best again at Geraardsbergen.

Among the women, defending champion Diede Diederiks returns to Challenge Geraardsbergen. Last year, the Dutchwoman surprised herself with her victory, but more top performances followed, and she recently became World Champion Cross Duathlon at Ibiza. With Diederiks' form in good shape, the battle for victory at Challenge Geraardsbergen will be interesting with Emma Bilham and Marta Bernardi seen as two of the biggest competitors for Diederiks, although local favorites Katrien Verstuyft and Alexandra Tondeur can also be expected to do well. The two Belgian women are in their element in Geraardsbergen for sure and can undoubtedly count on a little extra support from the thousands of Belgian spectators lining the course.

Challenge Geraardsbergen will take place on Sunday 11 June with the start gun for the pro men going off at 11:00am CEST. Follow live update at www.challenge-family.live and for further information, visit www.challenge-geraardsbergen.com.

MALE PRO:
Siebe De Winter BEL
Tom Vander Hoogerstraete BEL
Timo Van Houtem BEL
Jesse Vondracek USA
Brecht Van Vooren BEL
Cameron MacNair ZAF
Sven Altermatt SUI
Antony Costes FRA
Kieran Storch AUS
Toon Marien BEL
Jonathan Wayaffe BEL
Menno Koolhaas NLD
Simon De Cuyper BEL
Dieter Comhair BEL
Ruben Zepuntke DEU
Dries Matthys BEL
Matthew De Vroet NLD
Dehan Louw ZAF
Nils Huckschlag DEU
Sander Heemeryck BEL
Quentin De Vos BEL
Pamphiel Pareyn BEL
Tom Vaelen BEL
Ognjen Stojanovic SRB
Joe Skipper GBR

FEMALE PRO:
Alexandra Tondeur BEL
Katrien Verstuyft BEL
Melanie Baumann SUI
Valeria Kleiner DEU
Valentina d'Angeli ITA
Jonie Vanhoutte BEL
Margie Santimaria ITA
Marion Tuin NLD
Astrid Van Cauwelaert BEL
Emma Bilham SUI
Eloise du Luart FRA
Jana Uderstadt DEU
Bernadette Goethals BEL
Maja Betz DEU
Nicole Valentine USA
Marta Bernardi ITA
Diede Diederiks NLD
Liesbeth Verbiest BEL

CHALLENGE Family


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