Name: Katrien De Smet
Hometown: Hamme, Belgium
Which bikes and HUNT wheels do you ride? Salsa Warbird with HUNT 35 Carbon Gravel X-Wide wheelset (with Classified hub). Ridley Fenix SL Disc with HUNT 44 Aerodynamicist Carbon disc wheelset. Trek Pro Caliber 9.7.
Favourite riding experience to date? That is a tough one. Every place and race has its own highlights, but I absolutely fell in love with the people and landscapes of Rwanda last year. The eternal smiles on people's faces easily get you through the tough moments. Wherever you go, there are always people around, and I must admit that sometimes you long for some time alone on the bike.
What are your plans for 2024? Lots of racing: Malteni Bootlegger CX, ACT3, Helenic Mountain Race, Alps Divide, as well as a 3 week bike packing trip with Manu and the kids.
What does riding and ultra racing mean to you? I have a career and two kids so it is hard sometimes to manage everything. But being on the bike and training is time for myself, away from the busy day-to-day life. Racing makes me a better and happier person. It helps me to deal with stressful situations, having faith that you will always find a solution, relying on your gut feeling and common sense. It puts things in perspective and gives me confidence and it is a good way to see more, in a shorter period of time.
Favourite ride snack: Still bananas! And drink yoghurt while racing.
Soundtrack to your ride: It's hard to pick just one song. I like Liquid Drum and base but also Britpop, Indie and Rock. When I am having a hard time, I like listening to music I listened to when I was a teenager, think Incubus, Blink 182, Linkin Park, Jimmy Eat World, H2O, Less than Jake, ... Podcasts of strong women that ride bikes or go on crazy advenures are also my favourite to listen to on the bike.