The 22 year old Belgian started his journey on Saturday night 3.00am in his hometown Sint-Denijs-Boekel which is only 10km away from the finish of the Tour of Flanders for his own Tour of Flanders 2.0, riding the contours of the Flemish region (https://www.strava.com/activities/3260654741), a trip of 1001 km.

Maxim, how did you decide to start a 1000km training ride? 

Last year, I did a training ride of 1100km towards Albi in France where the 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships took place. As a world champion granfondo, I’m used to train very long. The only difference to a normal training was my bag that I had attached to my steer to bring my food, drinks, isotonic powder, spare tires, tools and a power bank for all my devices.

Did everything go according to plan? 

Yes and no. I had a first crash after exactly 100km along the coastline, but without too much damage. That’s the only incident in these 34 hours on the bike. I didn’t have a flat tyre so returned with the 5 spare ones I had brought with me. I had some company of a photographer in the first hours and then also a buddy who joined the ride after 400km as that’s usually the point where I get my first dip.

How about the night from Saturday to Sunday? 

With the lockdown light in Belgium, there was quite some police control on the roads and a police vehicle passed me twice before they stopped me at 2.30am in the middle of the night. They asked me what I was doing on my bike at that time and I explained them my plans. As it was very cold, they offered me some soup in their office and I could also take a shower. I also took a quick nap which wasn’t planned, but given the circumstances, it did me good. The hardest moment of such a trip is always sunrise which was around 7am on Sunday morning and gave me a mental dip, but some chewing gum with caffeine helped me through.

No physical dip in these two days? 

No, I was only getting better and better after 700km. It’s only a matter of drinking and eating enough. I had hoped for some back wind in the last 10 hours, but the wind went down on Sunday afternoon and I have to ride fast to finish before midnight. I just made it home at 11.42pm late on Sunday. After a quick shower, my bed felt so good. Time to dream about the next challenge…

Maxim completed his trip in an average speed of 29.1km/h with an average power of 190 Watt. He consumed 22865 calories… You can find his full journey in this video : https://vimeo.com/405165757 (click on cc for English subs)