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Stage 1 - An inclusive first ride

Deloitte Partners Cycling 2023

Ben Vandeweyer

Hard data of the day


Day: Thursday 8 June 2023
From: Vaals
To: Vaals# kilometers: 92

# altimeters: 1,350
# flat tyres: 1 (Koen VD)
# bananas consumed: 17
# hours on the bike (shortest): 4
# hours on the bike (longest): 4

Hero of the day

Although Dirk H applied to be nominated as Hero of the Day, it was not granted to him. The fact that he opted to join the ride despite having torn ligaments in the shoulder after a crash last week, was valued lower than the great team spirit we felt today. Therefore, I believe the whole team deserves the title heroes of the day.

The group of 21 partners, of which six were first time joiners, is an inclusive group as it represents all offices, all service lines, different languages and genders. Although some were feeling stronger on the uphill sections, the group collectively decided to stay together and not to split up in a fast and faster group. It was beautiful to witness the strong team spirit and that everybody felt proud we made the whole ride as one group. 

Trivia of the day


We are staying in a hotel in Vaals. Vaals is located at the edge of an old volcano whereas the nearby city Aken is located in the actual volcanic crater, explaining the existence of thermal sources.

Story of the day

Before the ride some partners went to the bike doctor—thank you to Kortweg!—to make sure that their bikes were in better condition than before. At least nobody could blame it on the “machine” when some of us might have struggled during the ride… it was clearly because of the pilot.

In the morning 21 partners turned up generously in advance, and after the briefing by Jurgen F, the group left exactly on time. It remains surprising that despite heavy business agendas, the group manages to respect the start time, whereas this appears to be somewhat of a challenge in other (business) meetings. 

Given the limited distance, some expected today’s ride to be an easy one, but as from the first kilometre, it became clear that it was continuously up and down. With up to 1,350 altimeters some of us now better understand that what goes down, must go up again. I have been told that Johan V is still searching for a 100-metre flat road so he can deliver his promise to lead the pack. 

After leaving the hotel in the Netherlands, the day took us via two loops exploring the area around Voeren/Fourons. The environment and the views were stunning, which could not always be said about the quality of the Belgian road. We were lucky to have fantastic weather. With a warm and sunny day, some cycling jerseys became almost white from the sweat, showing that for most of us it was a nice but somewhat challenging day. 

“Haal die grijns van je gezicht” was a statement made by David R in reaction to Stijn DM when the latter was doing the first climbs twice to show he was the one to beat. Our best guess is that Stijn was trying to smile, hiding he had severe cramps, and was struggling to reach the top.

Help our good cause

If you want to support the partners in their journey and help then raise funds, please find the necessary information below:

• Organisation: vzw Athletes for Hope Revalidatie Weide
• Address: Achterbrug 21 - 2990 Wuustwezel
• Account: BE05 7360 7415 7675  
• Reference: Deloitte sponsoring 2023