Brian McCulloch landed arguably the most prestigious win of his career thus far, by besting Ted King in a two-up sprint to win the 2018 Belgian Waffle Ride. Touted as the “Hell of North County” and the one Spring Classic of US cycling, the Belgian Waffle Ride is a one of a kind mixed terrain event. Covering 212k and over 11,oooft of climbing, the course traversed 14 dirt/rock/gravel sectors, 13 water crossings, and many other obstacles. With over 1,200 entrants, the San Diego event lived up to its reputation as being one of the highlight events across the country.
McCulloch selected to race his KHS Bicycles Flite 900 race bike with 28c Maxxis Padrone-TR tires which he converted to tubeless. Running the tires both front and rear proved to be the winning combination to ensure he avoided punctures on the rough terrain but also was able to throw down the throttle on the many open pavement sections.
Much transpired over the 6 hour 34 minutes of racing and the lead group was whittled down from 50, to 30, to 14 and eventually 5. A tangle with another rider left McCulloch on the ground and as they began their chase, they were sure their 3 companions were rapidly making up time on the duo. Unbeknownst to them, the trio had briefly gone off course, thus the cat and mouse game ensued. As the kilometers ticked by, Brian dislodged his partner and continued to ramp up the pace in hopes of “catching” what he thought were the podium positions of the day. As his motivation grew stronger, the gap began to grow, and he had distanced himself from the animated chasers by close to 2 minutes.
Neutral support finally convinced him that he was in fact leading the event, and with under 10 miles remaining, the victory was within his grasp. Not to be complacent however, as racer extraordinaire Ted King was in hot pursuit, Brian continued his assault on the final climb – Double Peak – with everything he could muster. King eventually joined him as they flew through the final miles.
In what has gone down as the closest win in BWR history, the two entered the final turns together, using every bit of strategy and technique they could summon in order to seal the victory. Brian narrowly entered the final turn first, unleashing one final attack with all his fatigued body could conjure up, to fend of King by a mere half second. McCulloch was in disbelief to have put all the pieces together to solidify the win on what stacked up to be an epic day of racing.
Photo Credit: Danny Munson of DMunsonphoto.com
There is a plethora of media coverage of the event, with more to come. Click through the following links for a deeper look into Brian’s fantastic ride:
GCN Show Coverage at minute 11:20
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