Belgium has given the world more than it’s fair share of fantastic stuff, for example;
- Belgian Beer
- The Smurfs
- Belgian Chocolate
- Jean-Claud Van Damme
- Frites / Mayo
- The Saxophone
- Tin Tin
- Plastic Bertrand (the singer), famous for his 1977 hit – Ca Plane Pour Moi
Less well known gifts from Belgium include several songs written for Belgian superstar, Tom Boonen, who is set to retire this year. The classic Tom Boonen song by Dickie en de Subtielloos;
Aside from the above, the most important thing Belgium has given the cycling world is the Spring Classics. Starting with Het Newsblad at the end of February, through to Liege Bastogne – Liege at the end of April, the Classics are a unique collection of historic one day races. The Classics often provide the most exciting and memorable moments in the road cycling year – in front of fanatical, partisan cycling fans.
Het Newsblad 2015
World Tour Proven
Here at Merlin, we are delighted to say Belgium also provides us with some top quality bikes too. The Merlin Nitro SL is a great example. With a frameset proven at World Tour level, and the reliable performance of either Shimano Ultegra 6800 or 6870 Di2, the Nitro SL is a great bike, produced for Merlin by our Belgian bike suppliers.
Stiff, Comfy & light
The mix of stiffness and comfort over rougher surfaces signifies that the Nitro is something special; Not merely picked from a far eastern supplier catalogue but selected based on merit from World Tour teams and rider’s comments on this frame. For example, Lotto Belisol riders chose this frame to ride the Tour of Flanders because it offered huge comfort and strength despite weighing in at only 750 grams. The low weight and stiffness was reason the same frame was regularly used in mountainous Grand Tour stages. The Nitro SL frame has been well and truly tested at the highest level.
Having recently had glowing reviews from Cycling Weekly and The Telegraph, it was time to hand the Nitro over to our tame bike racer, Dan Patten. Dan’s formative years were spent in Belgium, earning a living from winning bike races. Having raced all over the world, including the last two years at Team Wiggins, for 2017 Dan has returned to the place he loves to race – Belgium. Dan was more than happy to get to grips with the Nitro SL on the challenging terrain it was designed to excel on.
Merlin Nitro SL – Dan Patten – Made in Belgium;