Floaty Cross (Belgian CXNATS) Course Preview

Wednesday started with an Alpha Bicycle/Groove Subaru CX field trip to Antwerp to visit team sponsor Lazer helmets. After a stop for possibly the best falafel ever, it was off to Lazer HQ.

Beni Falafel. Don’t miss it, next time you’re in Antwerpen.
Brannan Fix inspects a 3D printed model of the G1 helmet at Lazer headquarters.

After a tour of the facility and a look at the bounty of vintage helmets and world champion jerseys housed within, we made the snap decision to make a small detour on the way out of town to visit the Belgian Cyclocross National Championship venue.

The Alpha Bikes crew (with new friends) checking out the groms on the track.

With good reason, Floaty Cross ™️ has grabbed the headlines for België CX Nats. The out-and-back feature takes a gangplank down the beach onto a four-turn pontoon-supported track that floats on the Scheldt, sends riders over a mini-flyover before exiting on an abutting gangplank. It is a spectacle that will include a VIP party boat sidled up to the track. If it adds nothing to the race, strategically, it’s guaranteed to be an all-out party zone.

Floaty Cross as viewed from the beach. You can see the mini-flyover with staircase about 2/3rd of the way from the left in the photo.
Floaty Cross from the front. Sadly, it was not open for riding so we didn’t get a good look at the lines. We did get a great look at the heavy machinery arch, similar to what we saw at Gullegem. Get a heavy machinery sponsor, race organizer friends. The creative possibilities are endless.

As much as Floaty Cross is the main attraction, there is a lot more to the track, including a significant amount of sand, some slimy off-camber muddy bits and a monster two-story flyover.

Off-camber deep sand sections with big ruts.
Long straight sand sections. One after another and another.
Big 180s in the sand and an industrial background to set the mood.

Geographically, the track is a long panorama that uses the berm of the beach as the main feature.

If you’re looking at the water, to the left is the muddy off-cambers, like this one, to the right is the long sand stretches, and a relatively small flyover.
Toon Aerts, testing the ribs on one of the many off-cambers.

Away from the beach sectors is another section of muddy off-cambers, the mega-flyover, and the start/finish.

Big ruts and more muddy off-cambers. This is a track built for power and handling. It’s going to be a tough one.
A two story staircase gets you to the top floor. From there, it’s a left and right turn on the flyover before heading back to earth.

Not sure if we’ll be back for Saturday’s or Sunday’s fields but it was great to get a sneak peek at the track before the racing begins and the crowds take over the venue. No predictions on who will win, but I’ve got my hunches. Who you got?


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