This year we are excited to add a new category prize to the awards mix - the Attaqeur Award.
The Belgian Waffle Ride has many prizes available, as it isn't all about the Yellow Jersey (GC)! There is also the Green (Sprint), Polka-Dot (Mountains), Brown (Dirt), and White (Juniors) jerseys, Blue (Hardpersons), and Orange (kUDOs/spirit). Now a Red Jersey is up for grabs as well for the most aggressive rider, the Attaqeur.
The Attaqeur Awardis a prize given for the most combative rider overall during the race. In the past at the Le Tour de France, this competition favored constant attackers as it was based on the distance spent in a breakaway, included winning checkpoints and outright stage wins. Today, the winner of the red jersey of the Le Tour is chosen by a jury, and the BWR will follow the same format. We’re looking for those that truly animate the race.
In bike racing, there is nothing more romantic than a small breakaway of attacking underdogs staving off the chasing peloton for those rarest of victories… the kind that reaffirm our love of the sport. Last year in the men’s race, this would have been second place finisher, Sandy Floren, who spent most of the day in a two man break before venturing out on his own, only to be caught by Peter Stetina on the final climb.
The breakaway is not only the brave group who make the first few hours of every race more than a relaxing ride through the countryside, they make it worthy of watching. As fans, we instinctively root for these underdogs to cross the finish line before the big, bad peloton swallows them up. It’s a feat that very rarely comes off and when it does the French have a term for it; Le Bon Wagon, “The Good Wagon.”
Whether successful or not, breakaways are what keep cyclists— racers and fans alike—on the edge of our seats (and saddles) for the majority of a race. While inevitable—and more often than not fruitless—they also give us all an underdog to root for. We want the break to be Le Bon Wagon… to win!
It should be acknowledged some of the greatest cyclists of all time have won the Red Jersey - Peter Sagan, Eddy Merckx (four times), Bernard Hinault, Claudio Chiappucci, Richard Virenque, Laurent Jalabert, Dan Martin, and more recently, Julian Alaphillippe.
We know adding this category will create an exciting dynamic to the race and make the Live Stream and/or Social Media streaming all the more compelling. This award will go to both the male and female riders who exhibit the most combative approach to racing each of the BWRs that comprise the Quadrupel Crown of Gravel this year. Who knows, maybe the Yellow Jersey will also go to the Red Jersey winner.