Monuments of Cycling, a premier cycling events producer, has partnered with Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop to host the inaugural Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) in Lawrence, Kansas for the Steve Tilford Foundation.
For the first time, Monuments of Cycling brings its iconic BWR to Kansas, where a vibrant cycling culture anxiously awaits this new spectacle, The Hell of the East, which will take place on Halloween. The BWR, which celebrates 10 years in 2021, will provide professional and amateur cyclists the opportunity to ride the most coveted roads, punctuated by dozens of off-road sectors over a 111- mile route throughout the northeast region of Kansas, giving the event its unique complexion.
Created as an extremely challenging race in the spirit of the great European one-day Spring Classics, BWR, with a Belgique theme, is truly a unique event. There will be three distances on offer in Lawrence, the longer Waffle event and the half-as-long Wafer event, plus a shorter Wanna event for those looking to get a taste of the fun without the training commitment of the Waffle or Wafer.
This inaugural BWR Kansas event, like the other BWR events in San Diego, Asheville, and Cedar City will have a deep field of professional riders and an expansive list of hungry amateur riders drawn to the unparalleled opportunity to race alongside their heroes, like World Tour rider, Peter Stetina, who won the 2019 San Diego edition and came in second to Keegan Swenson in the 2020 BWR Cedar City event. The BWR will be offering a prize purse to the top five riders, both female and male! Racers and event patrons will be treated to Belgian waffles, Belgian ales, muscles and frites, more waffles and more beer on race day.
As Steve Tilford would have wanted it, the Waffle race promises plenty of punishment for entrants and their bicycles along its dynamic course, which features 8,000 feet of undulating climbs and nearly 80-miles of off-road terrain that harken to the teeth-rattling cobblestones of Europe’s most grueling races.
Prior to the event, there will be a special VIP event at Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop on Friday, October 29. At this special event will be an auction for cycling fans in celebration of the life of Steve Tilford, the course revealed in detail, special race-related presentations riders won’t want to miss, the pros interviewed, and cyclists will rub shoulders with all the celebrities on hand for the epic weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Expo will take place In Lawrence, promising to be Kansas’ coolest cycling party of the year! Expo festivities kick off Saturday, October 30 at 10:00 a.m. and are open to the public. There will be a Road-Cross criterium for riders to compete in and fans to enjoy, and the Belgian theme will be in full force with a host of other unique entertainment features. Attendees can peruse a wide range of offerings from event sponsors and over 40 vendors!
“We are so lucky to partner with our friends at the Steve Tilford Foundation and Sunflower, who will be hosting the event,” said Michael Marckx, BWR creator. “Having known and raced with Steve, it is such a joy that we get to partner with the Foundation to support its mission to help young people of all backgrounds find and chase their passion through cycling. My grandfather grew up here and attended KU, so it’s with great joy that I get to share this unique event with this special cycling community. ”
FRIDAY OCTOBER 29TH
6 to 8pm - VIP Dinner / Tilford Foundation Fundraiser - Sunflower Outdoor and Bike
8pm - Partij van Halloween featuring a special musical guest - Free State Stage, 8th & Massachusetts
SATURDAY OCTOBER 30TH
7 to 9am - Expo vendor load in - 8th & Massachusetts
10am to 6pm - BWR Expo - 8th & Massachusetts
Noon to 6pm - Beer garden - 8th & Massachusetts
10am to 6pm - Race registration and packet pick up - Sunflower Outdoor & Bike
3pm - Rider Briefing - Free State Stage
SUNDAY OCTOBER 31ST
6am - Venue opens, coffee and waffle gorging commences
7:30am - Waffle Men start
7:40am - Waffle Women start
7:50am - Wafer and Wanna ride start
5pm - Awards ceremony - Free State Stage
6pm - Venue closes
6:30pm - Course closes
Final Routes are not announced until the final weeks leading up to the event out of respect for land owners and other areas that are permitted for the race weekend only. A series of communications will be sent periodically labelling all the details needed to choose the correct bike, gearing, tires and gear. Though this doesnt change the pain felt 3/4 through the event contemplating if this was all a bad dream or the best decision you ever made. Follow the BWR social media pages for inside info about all things BWR. For more specific equipment questions visit Sunflower Bike shop who are the professionals of all things Lawrence and gravel!
Enjoy the Waffles!
Waffle 111 miles 6350ft of Elevation gain
Wafer 77 Miles 4350ft of elevation gain
Wanna 33 Miles 1500ft elevation gain
E-BIKE Category Open to all electric bikes and will have more instructions and details as we get closer for battery/charging stations.
Tandem Catgory Grab a friend and enjoy the Wafer route and hopefully you are still friends after the event! Belgian Ale helps with that.
NEW Friday Twilight Circuit BWR style featuring pavement and miscellaneous sectors to provide between 40-60 minutes of quality entertainment of racing on Friday.
There will be plenty of very well stocked aid stations all between 20-30 miles apart. They will feature planty of water, sports electrolyte hydration, sports gels, bars and a plethora of other food to help you get to the finish line.
Lawrence, Kansas is a city happy to be what it is: a city doing things in its own way, with free thinkers not trying to be anyone else. Lawrence has continually defined itself as an open, energetic and welcoming community. The arts and foodie scene can be enjoyed through Lawrence’s many art galleriesand restaurants. You’ll find live music almost every day of the week in Lawrence’s live music venues. The walkable downtown district, known to the locals as “Mass Street” is the top destination in Kansas and offers unique shopping, coffee shops, and entertainment. Explore the history of the area at the Watkins Museum of History or with a self-guided tour. Lawrence is a college town with two universities, the University of Kansas (KU) and Haskell Indian Nations University. Explore the attractions on KU’s campus including the Natural History Museum, Dole Institute of Politics, Spencer Museum of Art, and DeBruce Center – where you can view Dr. James Naismith’s original rules of “basket ball”. Lawrence has no shortage of beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy including more than 50 public parks, Clinton State Park, and Baker Wetlands. Explore all there is to do in Lawrence, KS as you plan your Belgian Waffle Ride agenda.
BWR Survival Camps are produced by Source Endurance and serve up an incredible experience of gravel and mixed terrain in the disguise of a superb fitness camp. Typically, 40% of starters can't finish the difficult parcours. BUT over 95% of the BWR Survival Campers finish with smiles. Entry to BWR is included with the camp.