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Successful opening season for the Stoneman Arduenna

Published on 29.09.2020

Number of participants exceeds expectations - track closed since 15 September

On 15 September 2020, the first season of the MTB adventure tour Stoneman Arduenna ended in East Belgium. With a total of over 2,000 starters, the expectations of the East Belgium Tourist Agency (EBTA) and the Challenge Network Stoneman International were exceeded by far.

"We are highly satisfied with the result, because at the beginning we had expected about 1,000 starters. The Corona measures delayed the start, but then the Stoneman Arduenna was almost the only MTB event that could take place in the Greater Region and therefore received an enormous response," said EBTA project manager Dany Heck.

"My congratulations and respect to the region for this fantastic first season with over 2,000 starters! Under the difficult conditions that Corona has meant for everyone, everyone involved in the realization of the Stoneman Arduenna has done an exceptional job. The new Belgian Stoneman was thus able to celebrate this great debut in the international network and to exceed expectations by far," congratulates Tilman Sobek of Stoneman International.

The start was originally planned for the month of June, but the bikers could only start at the beginning of July due to hygiene regulations. Although conditions were ideal in September, the track had to be closed on 15 September as planned.

Respect the end of the season

"The end of the season on 15 September was decided together with the forestry offices to avoid any overlap with the hunting dates in the forests," explained Dany Heck. Most of the route signage has been removed and registration via the website www.stoneman-arduenna.com will only be possible again from December 2020. "We ask all cyclists to comply with the regulations and to stop using the course from mid-September onwards, so that the course profile can remain as attractive as it is in the years to come," said Heck.

The first Stoneman season of the Stoneman Arduenna was very well received not only by the organisers but also by the users and the accommodation and service partners. "The Stoneman Arduenna was a huge success for us. The guests were delighted with the route and returned with a smile on their faces. Many said that they would visit the holiday region of East Belgium again," said Claudia Melchior from the Tourist Info Bütgenbach, where a distribution point for starter packages had been set up.

A lot of fun on social media

And the Stoneman lodging partners also drew a positive conclusion: "In my opinion, the Stoneman Arduenna is a good tourist offer in East Belgium. Because of the Corona travel regulations, we had considerably more bookings than in the previous year, to which the Stoneman customers also contributed. The guests were consistently satisfied and enthusiastic about the route," said Angie Schaus from Bed & Bike Berliner Hof in Sankt Vith.

Comments on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/StonemanArduenna coincide: "Hot trails, great nature and perfect weather" according to Karl & Michael from Germany. "We had a lot of fun and had an incredible experience in this area" said another team. "It's a pity that it's already over, 3 days is short, we wanted to ride again" according to another team of mountain bikers. "The scenery and landscapes were incredible! The castles, the animals, the churches... Unforgettable" concluded Maik & Hubertus.

Planning is underway

Due to the positive experiences from the first season, the EBTA is optimistic about the planning for the coming season from 16 April to 15 September 2021: "We are already preparing for the next season and will try to further optimise the service", Dany Heck commented. Suggestions for improvement in the coming year include optimised opening hours of the distribution points, improved information on supply points, beverage catering and an optimisation of signage. Next year, the number of users will hopefully continue to rise, which does not seem illusory given the meanwhile very high level of awareness of this tourist offer in East Belgium.

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