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04-06-2022 | Frank Jansen

Bauters en Van der Moeren win Les 3 Ballons

It's Belgium above today in a sun-drenched Les 3 Ballons. There was a bit of rain at the start, but luckily it didn't last long. The rest of the day, the Vosges Mountains were full of sweat. In the men's race, it was Arne Bauters (BE, who took the win. In the women's race, Ils van der Moeren (also from Belgium) triumphed. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, because there are more wonderful achievements in the Vosges.

Photo: CycloWorld admin Nicolien Luijsterburg (left) came second after Ils van Moeren (BE). Number 3 (R) is Sandra de Jonge (NL).

Low countries on top with the ladies


The complete podium in the ladies was occupied by the Low Countries. Also noteworthy: the podium consists solely of people in their forties. Ils van Moeren (BE) took the win. CycloWorld editor Nicolien Luijsterburg (NL) came in an awesome second place. The podium was completed by Sandra de Jonge (NL).

Bauters for victory, Glorieux get well-deserved second place

Arne Bauters (BE, of took the overall win in the men's race. CycloWorld friend-of-the-show Frederic Glorieux came in 2nd overall (and 1st in his M40 category) despite a dropping chain He left some other big favorites behind, including Tim Alleman (BE, 4th) and Michiel Minnaert (BE, 6th). In the men's race there was also a complete "low countries podium". Jordan Habets (NL, cat M18) finished 3rd.

Team CycloWorld didn't choque

Spain editor Pieter Frolichs (Nicolien Luijsterburg's partner) rode a very strong race and finished 14th overall and 5th in his M30 category. Gran Fondo powerhouse and CW writer Wouter Fioole finished 117th overall (and 19th in his M40 category). The shows that his earlier World Cup qualification is no coincidence. Jean-Marie Henckaerts had announced beforehand that he would be the longest in the race and he lived up to that. But in the process he grabbed a respectable spot 214 in the M50 category.

Jean-Marie Henckaerts (right) had a great day.

Like in the old days

It looks like amateur riders are finding their way to Les 3 Ballons again, thanks in part to the new course and obviously the good weather. No less than 1899 riders (m/f) managed to finish the GF. Another 698 riders rode the mediofondo. With a total number of participants of 2597, a trend break seems to be broken. To give some context, the last edition (pre-Corona, 2019) attracted "only" 2044 participants.

Les 3 Ballons 2022: it's a wrap! Full results here.

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