Chaudfontaine marked the second stop of the Belgian Enduro Cup, offering steep downhill tracks and challenging terrain for a great enduro race weekend.

The second round of the Belgian Enduro Cup was held in Chaudfontaine. Its seven stages were generally quite short, but also very steep and technical, wildly dropping into the slopes of the Vesdre and Ourthe valleys. Thanks to the lead of the organization being one of the best Belgian enduro rider, the selected trails were more than highly appreciated by the 250 riders. Overall this latest round of the Belgian Enduro Cup was a real hit, just like the previous one. Bertrand Gilles took the win – his strong downhill background certainly paid off!

After the first round which took place at Mont de l’Enclus, the Belgian Enduro Cup was held in a particularly famous Belgian spot: Chaudfontaine. Very well known for its downhill track and steep slopes, this small thermal city was all about enduro for the time of a weekend. Nicolas Casteels, head of the organization (largely helped by a great team of volunteers, namely the staff from Enduro de l’Amblèe, Cyclone Bikers Club, and Gravity Bike Development), had prepared a very nice mix of both new lines and more classical ones, in both cases providing some intense and engaging ride.

Raceday consisted of 7 stages, all of them being quite short (between 1 to 2 minutes), but just as challenging with an impressive combination of steep rocky sections, natural sections, and even some freeride or downhill oriented lines. Some riders (and spectators) still certainly remember the crazy rock garden in SP1, which was directly setting the pace and engagement level. The liaisons were also very steep, but luckily often made of tarmac which made things easier…

After a 5th place on the very physical tracks of Mont de l’Enclus, Bertrand Gilles really let his downhill skills do the talking in Chaudfontaine (let’s recall he’s a multiple former Belgian downhill champions). He was fastest on 5 out of 7 stages, taking 2nd place on last stage and suffering from a puncture around mid-stage 4. Overall the Devinci rider was very satisfied of his race, but also a bit surprised he managed to secure the win. Bertrand led by 8 seconds over Olivier Bruwiere, who performed a very good comeback race. Julien Soussigne, who won the first round of Belgian Enduro Cup, managed a 3rd place although the track didn’t suit him so much. This 3rd place allows him to keep the overall lead after 2 rounds. Frenchman Robin Lechevallier finished 4th in front of Nicolas Daniels, who also made the best out of the very technical tracks beside his more physical oriented riding background. Justin Legros, barely 20 years old, also performed remarkably, with a 6th place.

Next round is set in one month time on the 24th April for the “Papa’s Trails” of Rendeux, organized by the enduro and downhill rider Laurent George with the help of his Red Bikers MTB club!

More information and full results can be found on the Belgian Enduro Cup Website.

Words & Photos: Olivier Béart (Vojo Magazine)

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.