Team BikeRadar rider/manager Will Longden reports from Belgium

4X racing - it's not a tickling contest

Well the gate has officially dropped on my race season, with a quick jaunt across the pond, through the neighbours’ garden (well ok, France) and into Belgium, where round one of the World Cup Cross Country also had a 4X exhibition race.

The small village of Houffalize has become well renowned as a great season opener for the cross country guys, all down to a brutal course and a 20,000+ enthusiastic crowd.

What better way then to start my year than a massive floodlit 4X track built by Phil Saxena, rent-a-crowd (all ready on site the night before the cross country race) and a few of the world’s top 4X riders thrown in for good measure! It was great to be back in action and I cruised into the semi finals without too much bother.

In the semi some numpty decided to wipe me out of first place and take us both down before a big double jump, this gifted a place in the final to the other two riders, as you might imagine I wasn't right impressed!

I think he got the picture, maybe I was a little harsh and maybe two wrongs don't make a right, but sending him over the top of the next berm after we got going again seemed like the only way to make him think twice in the future!

All good fun, it's not a tickling contest after all. 

All good fun, it's not a tickling contest after all. The night ended with a great final, won by Joost Wichman and a proper firework display! The serious stuff starts in two weeks time, in MariborSlovenia, where the whole team heads out for round on of the World Cup DH and 4X series.

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