Brought to you by Monuments of Cycling, the same organizers as the iconic Belgium Waffle Ride California, Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Utah debuted in 2020 to rave reviews at an elevation of 5,800 feet in the beautiful and rugged West desert of Southern Utah.
The Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) has carved a unique space for itself in the American cycling calendar, capturing the essence of Euro-style Spring Classics on American soil. Known affectionately as the BWR, it represents a meeting point for the best cyclists across road, gravel, mountain, and triathlon domains. This year’s event promises to be more scenic, thrilling, and waffle-rich than ever before. It’s an impeccable blend of challenging terrain and natural beauty.
The Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Utah edition, aka “the Hell Of The SouthWest”, boasts a unique juxtaposition when compared to its Californian counterpart. Instead of being a road race punctuated with dirt sections, BWR Utah is an ‘Unroad Race’. The event is designed around a challenging 128-mile course, with more than 92% covering unroad sectors – a melange of gravel, sand, rock, and dirt. This year, riders will navigate through a captivating long forest sector and finish at Main Street Park. The event is part of the famed Quadrupel Crown of Gravel Series and is considered by our team to be one of the Best Gravel Cycling Events in the Southwest.
Event & Course Info
The Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Utah offers professionals and amateurs very challenging routes on the expansive region’s most coveted gravel and off-road sectors. The 2023 event offers three distinct cycling courses for riders. The signature and most challenging course, the Waffle course, stretches over 128.1 miles with approximately 7,500 feet of climbing. It is characterized by 92% “Unroad” terrain, where cyclists will navigate through sand, rocks, dirt, and more. This course also boasts nine road sectors, numerous cattle crossings, water crossings, foot bridges, and five feed zones spaced roughly every 20 miles. Additionally, it incorporates multiple competitive segments, including three each of Queen/King of the Mountain, Dirt, and Sprint.
The Wafer course is a slightly shorter option at 81 miles with about 3,700 feet of climbing and 80% Unroad terrains. Starting simultaneously with the Waffle ride at 7:00 am, the Wafer covers the first 59 miles of the Waffle route and converges with it again for the last eight miles. Riders will find three feed zones along this course.
Lastly, the Wanna Ride course offers a 43.4-mile journey with the same climb as the Wafer course. It follows the first four miles of the Waffle route and the last 28 miles of the Wafer route, with two feed zones available for riders.
All courses begin from Main Street Park in Cedar City, initially traveling in a neutral roll-out. However, the competition begins in earnest at mile four. All riders are cautioned about the varied terrain and challenges ahead, particularly the strong headwinds between miles 42 to 94. Given the rugged conditions, participants are advised to equip their bikes with tires of at least 40mm in width and to prepare adequately.
Participants can look forward to the BWR Unroad Expo, teeming with live music, a beer garden, ample waffles, and the festive spirit of Utah. Additionally, With the support of Cedar City, a pre-race party on Friday night sets the mood for the race, and the post-race celebrations include revealing the winner of the Canyon Bike /OpiCure bike giveaway and loads of Rouleur’s signature Badass Ale. Also, equal prize money is awarded across three categories (M/W/Gender Diverse), with top three (or in some races, top five) from each category receiving prize money. The event will be extensively covered on Instagram Stories for fans worldwide.
The Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Utah is not just another race. It’s an experience, a challenge, a metaphor for life. Be sure to check out the official 2023 Race Bijbel for all of the nitty gritty details of this epic event, and don’t forget to connect with FasCat for all of your training needs.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
The official host hotels for the Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Utah in Cedar City include the Courtyard, SpringHill Suites, Holiday Inn Express, and Hampton Inn. However, if you prefer a more homelike experience, there are vacation rentals to suit anyone’s needs from smart homes to downtown cottages. If you prefer to camp, there are a few convenient options including Cedar City RV Resort, Cedar Canyon Retreat RV Park and Campground, and Pyramid Ridge in addition to one-of-a-kind camping locations.
Cedar City’s culinary scene is a delightful blend of traditional American fare and diverse international influences, all enriched by the town’s unique southwestern heritage and locally-sourced ingredients. From cozy diners to upscale eateries, the city offers gastronomic experiences that resonate with both its small-town charm and the vast natural landscapes surrounding it. Local favorites include Lighthouse Seafood & Grill, Centro Pizzeria, and Bunnisa’s Thai Cuisine.
Cedar City is a vibrant hub for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Not only is it nestled amidst iconic natural wonders like Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, but the city itself offers an eclectic downtown filled with history, fantastic dining options, and much more.
Bryce Canyon beckons with over 14 diverse hiking trails, catering to adventurers of all levels. Here, you can indulge in horseback riding, camping, or simply marvel at the unique canyon views. Just a stone’s throw away, Zion National Park stands as one of the country’s premier national parks. Beyond its famed hiking and camping, thrill-seekers can revel in rock climbing and canyoneering, while those seeking a more serene experience can enjoy leisurely tours, picnics, and river excursions.
But don’t stop there. The enchanting Kanarra Falls is nearby, providing a slightly challenging yet rewarding hiking experience leading to a mesmerizing waterfall set within a slot canyon. Safety first, though – inexperienced hikers are advised to venture in groups and come prepared.
In proximity to Cedar City, there are nearly 20 National Parks, Monuments, and Recreation Areas all within a half-day’s journey. A mere 30-minute drive will lead you to the stunning Cedar Breaks National Monument. And for the cycling aficionados, the region boasts terrains suitable for all, from gravel and mountain trails to smooth paved roads.
In essence, Cedar City provides an intimate small-town charm paired with grand recreational opportunities which are perfect reasons to add Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Utah to your cycling calendar.
Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Utah is part of the Belgian Waffle Ride Series which kicks off with BWR CA San Diego in April/May, followed by Belgian Waffle Ride BC in May, BWR Asheville (North Carolina) in June, Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Utah in August, BWR Kansas in October, and BWR Mexico in November.
All events are part of the Quadrupel Crown of Gravel Series – In 2023, the world’s largest gravel series, the Quadrupel Crown of Gravel, will be featuring seven global events. Open to both Waffle and Wafer participants, the series boasts a hefty $25,000 prize purse for the top five Waffle male and female riders, with additional prizes for the top five overall Wafer riders. Each age category for both Waffle and Wafer divisions will also have awards for its winners. Key events in the series include mandatory participation in BWR CA and BWR KS, with other events spanning from Scottsdale, AZ to Queretaro, Mexico. Each race spotlights a uniquely challenging multi-surface route, exploiting the distinctive terrains of their respective venues, with Waffle courses varying from 110 to 144 miles, and Wafer courses between 68 and 84 miles. The Quadrupel Crown will use a points-based omnium format, where riders aiming for the top honors will accumulate points from their best four races, ensuring participation in both BWR CA and BWR KS.
However, there are even more premier gravel events taking place in Utah each year, including Crusher in the Tushar which is produced by Life Time Events and is part of the Life Time Grand Prix Series, the Desert Gravel Co2Ut from Team Evergreen Cycling, and the True Grit Gravel Epic from GRO Races.
For multi-sport endurance athletes looking for other events in the state of Utah and broader Southwest region, be sure to check out our full list of Strambecco Best in Class road, mountain biking and trail running events.