At last, from the darkness of winter comes the bright light of a new racing season. Yes, there have been skirmishes in deserts, in southern Europe. and a few clashes down under but this Saturday marks the start of the season proper with the 73rd running of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and our first chance to see the peloton do battle up the infamous Hellingen. The small, viciously steep and predominantly cobbled climbs that punctuate the Flanders landscape are as famous as the riders who do battle on them and known to cyclists the whole world over. They are the building blocks, the beating heart of these mighty races and like the mountains of the grand tours they are also there for us all to ride 365 days of the year.
Inspired by seeing our heroes fight it out over their jagged stones we have always been compelled to follow in their tyre tracks, to experience the drama of these notorious roads for ourselves. From the savage slopes of the Paterberg via the sheer chaos of the Molenberg to the insanity of the Koppenberg we flock to these climbs to get an insight into what the professionals endure. So whether you’re heading off with mates to bag some ‘bergs’ or to chase round the lanes following one of the myriad of early season races there’s one tool you need to act as your guide, the Hellingen App.
Directing you to 25 famous Flanders Hellingen (and another 25 in Wallonia) you’ll never again get lost as you rush from the Eikenberg to the Oude Kwaremont. With the races criss crossing a small area it’s often possible, with good planning to catch the action four, maybe five times on different climbs and if you take your bike you can also bag them for yourselves.
So what are you waiting for, book a trip to Belgium, take the bike, see a race and conquer some Hellingen in your quest to ‘Ride them all’.
This week, between the 19th and 25th of Feb, to mark the start of the Belgian season the price of the APP has been slashed and is now £2.99 for iOS world wide. £2.59 on android in UK and Eurozone Only.
Download for Apple here
Download for Android here