Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The wall of pain awaits.

The riders' pain threshold will reach dizzying heights on the wall of pain. www.velo-club.net



Tomorrow marks the midweek Belgium classic, the 72nd Flèche Walonne. The true test is the 3 climbs up the Mur de Huy(Wall of Huy or pain) that will challenge the most resolute climber. 

Riders will encounter 10 côtes(hills) along with the particular leg ripping Mur de Huy as the most feared. The Huy is a lung burner as riders heave over sections as steep as 15% with the final ascent being the race ending climb. You can be sure that the race will be decided on this dreaded hill. Three have won this great race a record 3 times;  Marcel Kint, The Cannibal, and Moreno Argentin.  Tough enough to ride it but hard as nails to win as the victor will be a climber/classic specialist. 

Fränk Schleck(CSC) has the credentials to win. Last year he came in seventh. With victory at the 2007 Giro dell'Emilia and a stage win in the 2007 Tour de Suisse. He maybe remembered for his huge mountain victory on the Gap - L'Alpe d'Huez, stage 15 - 2006 Tour de France. Another rider I have 'high' hopes for is Aussie Cadel Evans(Silence-Lotto). He can do it all, as proven in his brilliant 2nd place at the 2007  Tour. I'm glad that Jonathan Vaughter of Slipstream-Chipotle has confidence in adding young Canadian Ryder Hesjedal to the team. A former mountain biking world champion, Hesjedal knows a thing or two about climbing. 

But he'll suffer, like everyone else,  at the wall of Huy!

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