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http://www.eurosport.com/cycling/ronde-van-vlaanderen/2006/sport_sto860085.shtml

Cycling Ronde van Vlaanderen
Killer Koppenberg proves unclimable

Eurosport - François Picard 31/03/2006

No litter pleaseBig name riders like Paolo Bettini and Filippo Pozzato (picture) staking out the Tour of Flanders have been unable to climb the Koppenberg (maximum gradient 25%). "We couldn't do it," said Philippe Gilbert. "If it rains Sunday, 10 or 20 riders will maybe do it. The others will finish on foot."

click on link to read the rest.
 

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This is why they took it out until it was resurfaced a few years ago. It must be starting to get slimey and broken up already after just a few years. They haven't had any trouble when it's been dry the last few years.
 

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When they did the restoration did they make the gutters narrower? It looks like they might have. If that's the case and it rains then they're walkin'. It's like the Fear Factor of cycling... :)

The cobbled Koppenberg - one of 17 climbs in Sunday's race - was so steep that one year (1975) the great Eddy Merckx himself had to walk it, and so did the rest of the pack. In 1987, Jesper Skibby skidded, fell and got hit by a car. The 550m climb was reintroduced in 2002 after being restored.

Every year since, the weather was dry... until now.
 

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Surfaces make all the difference

They're is a .4K hill right by my house in LA that is a 17%. (See the photo) That street has been baking in the SoCal sun for at least 15 years and it's totally corroded. The surface is very loose and pebbly so it's like riding on ball bearings. Even on a dry day it's hard to keep the back wheel tracking. You've got to keep your butt and your balance as far back as you can. That being said, I can't imagine getting over the Koppenburg when it's wet much less when it's dry.

Maybe we'll see guys using CX shoes this year. Then again, maybe this is a ploy by QS to psych the competition.


Sorry I forgot the pic. oops....
 

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I think Lance is going to show up and outclimb everyone to the top. Man, 25%? I thought I was going to die this morning at my hill to my house, and it just averages 10% for .4miles.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
This is why they took it out until it was resurfaced a few years ago. It must be starting to get slimey and broken up already after just a few ........

they just don't make 15th century cobbled roads like they used to!:rolleyes:
 

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They let people park on that street?! damn..


rocco said:
They're is a .4K hill right by my house in LA that is a 17%. (See the photo) That street has been baking in the SoCal sun for at least 15 years and it's totally corroded. The surface is very loose and pebbly so it's like riding on ball bearings. Even on a dry day it's hard to keep the back wheel tracking. You've got to keep your butt and your balance as far back as you can. That being said, I can't imagine getting over the Koppenburg when it's wet much less when it's dry.

Maybe we'll see guys using CX shoes this year. Then again, maybe this is a ploy by QS to psych the competition.


Sorry I forgot the pic. oops....
 

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bas said:
They let people park on that street?! damn..

Point the front wheels toward the curb. That one way down at the bottom touching the roofline in the foreground almost looks like it's doing an endo. When you go up that hill you can't stop because you'll fall over before you even unclip a foot to stand on. That's just 17% imagine 25!
 

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curb those wheels dammit

that looks like Loring Street here in SD. OUCH!
LA did a heckofajob last year trying to bridge GH up cause they missed the break because it went earlier than most expected. HEY GEORGE FIND BOONEN AND STICK TO HIM!!!!!!!
 

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atpjunkie said:
that looks like Loring Street here in SD. OUCH!
LA did a heckofajob last year trying to bridge GH up cause they missed the break because it went earlier than most expected. HEY GEORGE FIND BOONEN AND STICK TO HIM!!!!!!!

I throw that one in along with a few others when I'm feeling extra sadomasochistic.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, isnt the Koppenberg the climb Paul Sherwin talks about on the "Crash" DVD?

He said team objective would be to get their leader to the front of the peloton before reaching the base of the climb. Then when their leader was clear and away up the hill, the domestiques would intentionally fall down to obstruct the other teams.

Great team tactics!
 

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Squeegy200 said:
If I'm not mistaken, isnt the Koppenberg the climb Paul Sherwin talks about on the "Crash" DVD?

He said team objective would be to get their leader to the front of the peloton before reaching the base of the climb. Then when their leader was clear and away up the hill, the domestiques would intentionally fall down to obstruct the other teams.

Great team tactics!

It looks like they were practicing that maneuver today. I wonder if anyone ever "accidentally" drops a water bottle or two at the top of the hill like depth charges?
 

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I would love to see the carnage if it is wet. I can only imagine how hard it will be to fight for position before that narrow climb. I have seen this climb in person and have been over it in a car. It feels like you are in a building sight pit in some places and it is as if the mud banks on either side could cave in on you at any second. It is probably the mud the washes off the hill side in the rain that makes it even more difficult. But also remember the Koppenberg is 25% in one section. I believe the entire average gradient is in the 9% range. I've got a hill near my home that is 20% for almost the entire hill. We also have a cobled hill in town that is 17% and we used to have a nasty cobled one that was everybit as steep with huge cobles that were uneven with a few missing. Unfortunately for us sadists, it was repaved:-(
 
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