What is the Belgian CX Project?
The Belgian CX Project (BCXP) is a route we, with the help of others are setting up to allow young cyclists to live, train and race in Belgium over the 2017/18 cyclo-cross season and beyond.
We are Fin Robertson and Thomas Mein, two young cyclists from the North East of England who are hoping to become the first young riders to go to Belgium (the heartland of cyclo-cross) to race this first full season off our own backs.
The intention is for us to gain valuable international experience, to further develop not only our own cycling aspirations, but also pave the way for others to follow in the future.
Fin leading the North East race out at Hetton in 2016
Thomas shortly after winning Koppenbergcross with young DCC rider Oliver Draffan, and father John to the right.
Where did the riders come from?
Both Fin and Thomas ride for Derwentside Cycling Club (DCC), a small Go-Ride club based in North East England, who have supported their development over the past few years. They helped both riders to develop as ‘cross riders and gave them a focus & direction that helped them become highly competitive on both a local & national level.
In 2015, and with the backing of DCC the riders enetered their first international races and began to consider chasing a dream to take on the challenge of racing a full season racing in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
Why should you support Thomas & Fin?
During the 2016/17 winter season the riders had a taste of success at the infamous Koppenbergcross.
Thomas took his first international win as a junior at Koppenbergcross and he represented Great Britain on several occasions, including the World Championships in Luxembourg.
Fin, racing as a first year Under 23 rider, raced his first world level Elite race and finished well within the top 45. The huge step up from being a junior was a difficult one, but this performance gave him the belief that he could compete at that level.
These historic performances had a massive impact in the north east cyclo-cross scene and in particular gave hope to the younger riders that they too could aspire to reach the top too.
Thomas & Fin warming up before the National Championship race in 2015
Thomas and Fin presenting awards to young riders at the Cyclo-cross North East league presentation evening, alongside long time supporter Jamie Brady.
So what’s the next step?
It was these opportunities that sparked the riders to plan a full season abroad, however, this involves more than just training ourselves and racing their bikes.
The riders are already building on their strong foundation with a focussed and targeted plan provided by a team of coaches from Velocoach NE and UrbanFit. In order to make this dream a reality, they are looking to raise money to assist with living, transport, material and racing costs.
The riders are already planning several money raising activities; including a series of summer-cross races, an auction of sorts, and a series of coaching sessions for younger riders to pass on some skills and tips to future budding stars.
How can we help them out?
Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out a blog – where you can keep up to date with what the riders have been doing – and an events calendar where you can see when they’ll be running kids sessions and other fundraising events.
You can donate to our fund via our GoFundMe page, where you’ll recieve updates as well as be able to track our funding progress.
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