The Mur de Huy, the steepest finishing climb in cycling

Welcome in Wallonia, goodbye Flanders!Welcome in Wallonia, goodbye Flanders!

The Mur de Huy is one of the steepest and most spectacular finishing climbs in cycling. With its continued presence in the Flèche-Wallonne and its inclusion in the Tour de France 2015, I had to see it with my own eyes, and climb it of course :)

Since the date of moving to Portugal is only two weeks away, pretty much this was the last chance when I could go to Belgium and visit iconic cycling places like the Mur de Huy. Earlier, Barbara and me already been in Oudenaarde and we climbed the Koppenberg, also we cycled to the top of the Muur van Geraardsbergen. But, definitely the Mur de Huy was the toughest for me. First of all, I went with the bike from Geldrop till Huy, so I already had like 125km in my legs when the hills of the Ardens began.

This is steeeeeeep!This is steeeeeeep!I was desperately searching for the route to the Mur in Huy. Unlike in Geraardsbergen, where you cannot miss the route because of the signs and practically the complete town is built around the ascent and it is it's main tourist attraction also. In Huy it wasn't that easy, lucky me I saw a group of cyclist, I cought up with them than I asked where the Mur is. They were also going there, so they invited me to join them. Problem solved, now I only had to go up.

Tour de France 2015 here was the finish of the 3rd stageTour de France 2015 here was the finish of the 3rd stage

In the beginning it wasn't that bad to be honest, but when we arrived to those two curves, where the cyclist statue is, I ran out of the gears, and even in the lightest ration (34-25T) I had to push hard just not to stop and fall aside. Incredible, you certainly know that feeling, when you want to shift back, but there are no more gears, and you just have to sit on the tip of the saddle and give all the force you got, just to go up. There wasn't even a slight chance to speed up for me, just did it on the minimum speed what I could do, which turned out to be the maximum also :) Even so I arrived to the top second in the group of 10-12 cyclist, with my old Frankenstein Colnago, I was proud, after I could catch my breath :) I missed this feeling in the last few years, it felt so good, yes it was exhausting also, but I didn't care.

The last few metersThe last few metersIt was a lifetime experience. I was recording my route with Strava, and at home of course I had to see how I did on the Mur de Huy. According to Strava I have done the 1,2 km in 6:06 minutes with an average of 12,2 km/h, that was enough for the 1396th place in the ranking, from in total 4322 attempts. I have checked out the top ten, than I saw names like, Robert Gesink (3rd, 3:30min, LottoNL-Jumbo), Mike Woods (2nd, 3:23 Cannondale Pro Cycling) and Wilco Kelderman (1st, 3:23 LottoNL-Jumbo), so I'm pretty ok now with my result, also I cannot imagine that I could do any faster in my present condition. Maybe I give it a try next time if I am around, after I climbed all the big mountains of Portugal.

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