On 18–20 January, the Tacx team set up their exhibitor booth at Velofollies in Kortrijk, Belgium. Similar to previous years, the booth was divided into two parts, with the latest and newest trainers on one side and the opportunity to race and win amazing prizes on the other. The 13th edition of the expo was a true cycling Walhalla with over 40,000 m2 of space. This provided plenty of opportunity to check out the latest products, ask questions about your materials and score a signature from one of the world’s best riders. After Eurobike, where we presented the NEO Bike and the FLUX 2 at our booth, we were able to extend the set-up with two more trainers: the NEO 2 and the FLUX S.
On the Friday and Saturday, Tacx brought to life the cooperation with the Catalan Tourist Board. A number of routes in this beautiful region were added to the Tacx software this month. At Velofollies, contestants had the opportunity to set a time over a few challenging kilometers on one of these tracks and take home the prize of a three-day trip to the Spanish region. Many visitors tried to master the mountains of the Barcelona region to set the best time and take home the prize. The routes were about 1000 meters long and were not easy to conquer. They had all of the contestants working up a sweat, but they gave it their all. Per day we had about fifty challenges with each three participants, so 150 in total! On the Friday, they rode the Girona Costa Brava coastline. The fastest man set a time of 1.57 and the fastest woman 2.26. On the Saturday, they were challenged to climb the Turó de l’Home. The fastest man put 2.00 on the clocks and the fastest woman 3.16. All four of them won a trip to Catalonia.
Velofollies works hard to provide a casual atmosphere and set a stage for many top riders to visit and meet with the fans up close and personal. Even though their schedule was jam-packed, the Tacx team welcomed several friends and partners at their booth, who all participated and contributed to the Tacx community in their own ways. The men of the Lotto-Soudal (Tiesj Benoot and Jelle Wallays), Deceuninck-Quick-Step (Philippe Gilbert, Tim Declerq, Pieter Serry and Iljo Keisse) and Marlux-Bingoal (Gianni Meersman and Mario De Clercq) cycling teams made time to sit down, answer a few questions and sign the new team bottles for the visitors. The Doltcini ladies needed some encouragement from their team mates and the crowd, but in the end they took part in the Catalonia challenge to see who was best. The Vondelmolen cycling team champions also came to the booth to show off their skills. The team of Pauwels sauzen – Vastgoed service sent over 10 riders to give a demonstration on the Tacx Magnum trainer. Whether it was on Tacx software, on Zwift or even giving an interview while riding, these guys provided great entertainment at the booth.
We closed the expo with the traditional ‘King of the Muur’ race competition, which is held in collaboration with Grinta! and Zanatta. Registration opened one month before the race and gave contestants the opportunity to prepare themselves for the race. A course of 900 meters up the Oudenbenberg was created and over 50 participants took part in the contest. Between 10.30 and 15.30, the booth visitors where entertained by the competitiveness of the riders who wanted to beat each other for the best time on this climb, which has an average gradient of 9.1% and a maximum of 20%. In the end, the fastest time for the women was set at 4 minutes, which took an 11 second lead on the runner-up. The men’s race was a bit closer, where the best time in the morning was set at 2:30, but had to make way for two men who came sailing past with 2:25 and 2:23. The winners took home a brand new Zanatta bike and the runners up and third place winners went home with shiny new Tacx trainers.
With 40,996 visitors attending the 2019 event, the organizing committee set a new visitor record proving that this is still a top consumer trade show. Tacx was happy to be present once again among 350 other exhibitors and hopes to see you again next year.