Fenix SL Disc Classics

The 'Muur van Geraardsbergen'
Flanders. Cobbles. Steep slopes. Cycling champions. Few can use the "Made in Belgium" or "Made for cobbles" quality mark. We can. To celebrate that, we headed for the Flemish Ardennes with our Fenix SL Disc. We took a Lotto Soudal pro with us and drummed a "regional de l’étape" for a day of devouring cobblestones.
Muur van Geraardsbergen
The ‘Muur van Geraardsbergen’, perhaps the most famous climb in the Tour of Flanders.

This climb contains so much history, we don't really know where to start. In those early years, they climbed the Kloosterstraat, behind the town center. Some say the race wasn’t important enough back then and therefore not allowed to pass through the center. The Kloosterstraat was the alternative. Was that the truth? Who knows ...?

Certainly a fact, though: the Kloosterstraat was horribly heavy. Long, straight ahead and steep up slippery cobblestones. In its first appearance, the combination Kloosterstraat/Muur was so decisive it disappeared again two years later. They eliminated the Muur again and only did the Kloosterstraat.
If you want to climb the Muur, you ride the Kloosterstraat (now Abdijstraat) back down. You immediately feel how steep it is. They even turned it into a priority street, because too many cars stalled (although that's just a rumor).

Do you know who’s still climbing the Kloosterstraat? The U23 Tour of Flanders!
– Belgian Cycling Factory Knowledge
The Muur was back in 1970, as the Kloosterstraat got paved. 13 years later the Kapelmuur was added to the course. Over the years, the Tour of Flanders gained a central spot in Geraardsbergen and the race was allowed to pass through the center, with the Vesten as a well-known run-up.

When the riders enter, you see all the people on the Central Square. A entire square full of people. Rows lining up along the Vesten, the Muur and the Kapelmuur. The first row gets a unique view of the riders. They can sniff the smell of sweat. The first ones at high pace, but the last ones crawling.
Crowds arrive hours in advance. In the past with small TV’s and radios. Today, the smartphone takes over. That moment the riders pass is the absolute highlight for anyone standing there for half a day. Cycling’s running through their veins. 

Feel that emotion. Can you imagine the national anger when the Tour of Flanders announced the relocation of the finish line from Ninove to Oudenaarde in 2012, thereby eliminating the Muur from the course? Belgium was turned upside down for days. Mayors, pro riders, politicians, everyone gave their opinion. Praise the lord, in the meantime he’s added back.
Do you climb the Muur from the town center? Don’t be tempted to attack on the 'Vesten'. That still rides smoothly, but once it gets steeper you’ll be happy with some saved energy.
– Belgian Cycling Factory Knowledge
Making some inquiries about the most legendary moments on the Muur, one situation will always return. The winner who gives the final blow to his competitors.

The Muur is such an indicator, it’s almost impossible to imagine. Did you know that when the decision fell on the Muur, the winner kept sprinting and the defeated were left crawling? Literally!
In 1995 Museeuw starts climbing the Muur together with Baldato. Museeuw looks around, sparks an attack and creates the gap. Just from the first position, standing on his pedals, pure power and he was gone. Bartoli does exactly the same one year later. From a chasing group he starts a sprint (really, watch those images again) to the rider in the front, leaving him behind and pushing on to Meerbeke.

Van Petegem leaves everyone, including Frank Vandenbroucke, behind. They sprinted, the rest crawled. Ballan again in 2007, Hoste tried running on the pedals, but without the same panache.

There’s one exception in 20 years: Fabian Cancellara. He accelerated while remaining seated. Boonen seemed to sprint, but loosing cm by cm. Exceptions confirm the rule, don't they?
With the disc brakes of the Fenix SL Disc you can even descent like a pro after the Muur. The first 100 meters after the top of the Kapelmuur are very winding. Especially in wet weather disc brakes are more than welcome.
– Belgian Cycling Factory Knowledge