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Belgian Waffle Ride Mexico 2024

November 23 - November 24

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Riders on tough section of BWR Mexico Course

BWR Mexico:  Hell of the South

Bienvenidos, gravel cycling enthusiasts, the second annual Belgian Waffle Ride Mexico is the grand finale of the Belgian Waffle Ride Series.   Monuments of Cycling (MoC), a premier cycling events producer best known for its iconic Belgian Waffle Ride California (San Diego), brought its popular format to Mexico last November for the first time to rave reviews.  What sets the BWR Mexico apart is not only its rich tapestry of culture and history, set in the heart of Mexico, but also its promise of the largest prize purse of the series at a whopping $10,000. Riders are beckoned to traverse the cobblestone streets, rural terrains, and the architectural marvels of a bygone era, all under the perfect climate that November offers to this enchanting location. Cheapest lodging and direct flights are the cherry on top, making this event a practical choice for international competitors.

Belgian Waffle Ride Series

The Belgian Waffle Ride Series is a North American series offering some of the world’s most highly respected and well-organized gravel events/races.  The idea of the Series was conceived initially with the advent of Belgian Waffle Ride California (San Diego), well-known among cycling enthusiasts and pros alike as one of the most unique and difficult bicycle races in the US at 140-ish miles, 40 of which are off-road sectors, and 10,000+ feet in elevation gain.

BWR events are unique because they are classic, long bicycle races that feature various off-road sectors emulating the pave or cobblestones of Europe, making the varied terrain a challenge for riders’ technical skills, equipment, endurance, luck, and versatility. While none of the events intentionally feature mountains, they utilize a never-ending collection of punchy climbs that offer extreme physical challenges.  These are not for the faint of heart.   They are designed to challenge riders of all stripes and sizes, which is part of the allure of BWR events:  Extreme challenges that require extensive preparation, training, the right equipment, tenacity, and karma.

Each BWR venue showcases a challenging ‘unroad’ multi-surface course that takes advantage of each beautiful location’s unique topography.  Each route is uniquely designed to include a multitude of technically challenging sectors. Waffle courses range from 120-144 miles, Wafer courses between roughly 68-84 miles, and Wanna Rides, typically around 40 miles. Elevation gain will range from 6,500 feet to 14,000 feet for the various Waffle courses.  The current roster of BWR events in 2024 includes BWR AZ (March 1-2), BWR UT (April 5-6), BWR CA (27-28), BWR NC (June 21-22)BWR BC (Sept 21-22), BWR Mexico (Queretaro - Nov 23-24)Monuments are also close to finalizing details of several new events for 2024, including another special event in Mexico.

The Tripel Crown of Gravel Series

The Tripel Crown of Gravel Series is a special competition within the full Belgian Waffle Ride Series lineup that involves participation in BWR Arizona, BWR Utah, and BWR California over 7 weeks.   It has been recreated to give riders, both professional and amateur alike, a chance to compete in three very different environments over a short period, offering the perfect blend of recovery and fitness gains for the early-season competition. The 2024 Tripel Crown will be contested for both Waffle and Wafer distances at BWR AZ (March 1-2), BWR UT (April 5-6), and BWR CA (April 27-28).  The competition will be a points-based omnium format for professionals and age-group riders. Riders competing for the Tripel Crown honors and prize purse (for pros only) will be scored based on the points achieved over the three races. The BWR CA will carry extra weighted points to complete the series.  There will be prize purses and prizes for the Male, Female, and Gender Diverse categories.

Event & Course Info

The Belgian Waffle Ride BWR Mexico routes are a cyclist's riddle, combining elevation, terrain, and distance to test endurance and willpower. The flagship Waffle route extends 180 kilometers, and a gauntlet is thrown down for those seeking to claim a share of the lucrative cash prize. With a mix of terrain, from smooth hacienda paths to rugged inroads, the profile challenges riders with significant elevation gains, ensuring that only the most resolute waffles emerge victorious.  The Wafer route offers a slightly less daunting yet still challenging 100 kilometers through the natural and urban landscapes of Querétaro, with elevation gains that require tenacity and resolve yet are still accessible for riders of varying capabilities.  Lastly, the Wanna route is a 50-kilometer journey, perfect for those wanting a taste of the BWR experience without the full day's commitment but still through a picturesque and challenging course.

The Belgian Waffle Ride México venue is at The Ex-Hacienda del Lobo, also known as The Hacienda del Lobo.  The hacienda has been beautifully restored and now serves as a hotel and event venue, offering visitors a glimpse into the region's rich history and colonial architecture. The main building of the hacienda is a grand, two-story structure made of stone and adorned with traditional red tile roofs. The property also features several smaller buildings, such as guesthouses, stables, and a chapel, that are beautifully restored.   It is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including lush forests, hills and rivers, cobblestones, and unroads, which the BWR course will cover.

Event Preparation & Training

To prepare for the challenges of a BWR experience, Monuments of Cycling has partnered with FasCat Coaching to create a customized Belgian Waffle Ride North Carolina training plan.  It is a comprehensive six-week training plan starting on January 22. Tailored to various skill levels and time commitments, the Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced plans cater to participants taking on the 35-mile Wanna, 70-mile Wafer, or 130ish-mile Waffle courses. The centerpiece of each week is a progressively extended gravel simulation ride, mirroring the race's demands. The plan includes nutrition and hydration tips practiced during these rides, ensuring holistic preparation. Starting with a field test to set training zones using the Optimize app, the program incorporates Sweet Spot and Tempo intervals, group rides, recovery techniques, rest days, yoga, and foundational exercises. As the event approaches, spicy intervals and a proper taper are integrated for peak performance on race day. For a personalized coaching experience and a waived start-up fee, consider hiring a FasCat Coach for a customized training solution.

Monuments of Cycling has also created the BWR Guide to Eating Like a Semi-Pro.  It covers all aspects of cycling nutrition, including hydration, supplementation, gut training, carb-loading, recovery, on-bike feeding, and more. It's not intended as a specific plan. Rather, it gives you the tools and knowledge to figure out what personally works for you as an athlete–and what doesn’t.  The guide is available here.  Also, note that The Feed, the largest online sports nutrition marketplace, is the official high-performance fuel sponsor of BWR events.  As a part of the BWR community, you can get a special discount.  You can find the details here.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

Querétaro is a central Mexican state celebrated for its deep historical roots, splendid colonial architecture, and stunning landscapes, making it an ideal spot for cyclists and tourists alike. Its capital city boasts UNESCO World Heritage status, inexpensive accommodations, and accessible travel connections. Cyclists are particularly drawn to the challenging and scenic gravel routes through the Sierra Gorda national parks and quaint villages. Additionally, Querétaro's rich culinary offerings range from traditional local dishes to international cuisine, enhancing its appeal as a top-notch destination for the Belgian Waffle Ride event.

The host venue for Belgian Waffle Ride BWR Mexico, Hotel Ex Hacienda del Lobo, is right where the event Expo, start and finish line will be, so this is a great lodging option for those looking to be right where the action is. Other recommended hotel options include the Fairfield Inn & Suites Querétaro Juriquilla and Four Points by Sheraton Queretaro Norte. If you prefer a more home-like experience, many vacation rentals are available that will suit a variety of needs, from contemporary homes to Historic Center digs.

Querétaro, Mexico, boasts a diverse culinary scene that marries traditional Mexican cuisine with various international flavors, all served amid the region's rich cultural and historical backdrop. Visitors can enjoy everything from savory street food to gourmet dining experiences in the state's charming colonial settings.

As November ushers in mild weather and clear skies, Querétaro, Mexico, becomes a playground for outdoor athletes seeking adventure and challenge. It's the perfect time to explore the Sierra Gorda, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, on two wheels. Cyclists can tackle the rugged terrain on the gravel routes that cut through the heart of the mountains. These paths are not only physically demanding, with elevations that test even seasoned riders, but they also offer stunning vistas of the lush Mexican wilderness. The Reserve is home to an extensive network of trails, where athletes can immerse themselves in the rich biodiversity and potentially clock in anywhere from a challenging 50-kilometer ride to an epic 100-kilometer journey, depending on their experience and endurance levels.

Querétaro is home to the third-largest monolith in the world, Peña de Bernal. Outdoor runners looking for a high-altitude experience can embark on a trail running adventure starting from the quaint town of Bernal. The trails around Peña de Bernal offer varying degrees of difficulty, with some leading to the monolith's base while others wrap around the imposing rock formation. The changing elevations and terrain types make for a thrilling run that combines physical exertion with some of the most breathtaking views in central Mexico.

After pushing their limits, athletes can find restoration and relaxation in the natural hot springs near the small town of San Juan del Río, located on the outskirts of Querétaro. The thermal waters, renowned for their restorative properties, are a welcome respite for sore muscles. Visiting these springs offers a dual benefit – a serene environment to unwind and a natural therapy session. The La Laja springs, for instance, feature a series of pools with different temperatures, surrounded by nature, offering a tranquil setting to reflect on the day’s achievements.

Related Events

Monuments of Cycling is a purveyor of classic one-day bicycle races in the United States.  They are best known for the Belgian Waffle Quadrupel Series, challenging races in the spirit of the great European one-day Spring Classics, all with a Belgique theme. Belgian Waffle Ride BWR Mexico offers diverse and challenging courses and serves as a required race for those vying for the Quadruple Crown of Gravel Series. The Quadrupel Crown, comprised of all the BWRs, is billed as the largest gravel series in the world, which will be contested in a points-based omnium format across all the 2023 BWRs.  Riders competing for the Quadrupel honors and prize purse can take the points of their top four (Quad) races to vie for the win. The series will recognize professional riders and age groupers alike. Their namesake event, Belgian Waffle Ride Californiastarted ten years ago. These events are unique because they are classic, long bicycle races featuring various off-road sectors emulating the pave or cobblestones of Europe, making the varied terrain challenging for riders’ technical skills, equipment, endurance, luck, and versatility.

Like other BWR Series events in Kansas (also part of the Gran Fondo World Tour Gravel), CaliforniaN. Carolina,  Utah,  Canada,  Michigan,  Mexico, and Arizona, you can expect a deep field of professional riders and an expansive list of hungry amateur riders drawn to the unparalleled opportunity to race alongside some of the best. Each event consistently makes it into our list of the Best Gravel Cycling Events in California, the NorthwestSouthwest, and the Southeast.

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