Hellingen, by Simon Warren

Having exhausted Great Britain's classic climbs Simon Warren now turns his eyes eastward, to Belgium.

Helling, by Simon WarrenTitle: Hellingen: A Road Cyclist's Guide to Belgium's Greatest Cycling Climbs
Author: Simon Warren
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
Year: 2013
Pages: 143
Order: Frances Lincoln
What it is: Fifty climbs in Flanders and Wallonia
Strengths: Pocket-sized format with bite-sized profiles.
Weaknesses: More about giving directions to the climbs, the reasons to want to ride them are taken as a given.

Simon Warren's 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs and Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs are probably familiar to most of you, even those who didn't realise that there were two hundred great cycling climbs in the UK. Now Warren has turned his attention to the cobbled bergs of Belgium, tackling climbs made famous by the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne, Gent-Wevelgem and other one-day Classics.

For Hellingen: A Road Cyclist's Guide to Belgium's Greatest Cycling Climbs Warren splits his selection between twenty-five climbs in Flanders and twenty-five in Wallonia:

Helling, by Simon Warren
Helling, by Simon Warren

Belgium's Greatest Cycling Climbs
Flanders Wallonia
1 Kemmelberg 26 Côte de Haute-Bois
2 Rodeberg + Banberg 27 Côte de Groynne
3 Nokerberg 28 Côte de Peu d'Eau
4 Kluisberg 29 Côte de Bohisseau
5 Knoktberg / Côte de Trieu 30 Côte de Ereffe
6 Oude Kwaremont 31 Mur de Huy
7 Paterberg 32 Les Enclaves
8 Kortekeer 33 Vielle Route de France
9 Koppenberg 34 Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne
10 Oude Kruisberg 35 Col de Haussire
11 Ladeuze 36 Côte se Saint-Roche
12 Kattenberg 37 Côte de la Vecquée
13 Volkegemberg 38 Côte de Wane
14 Eikenberg 39 Côte d'Aisômont
15 Taainberg 40 Côte de Brume
16 Kanariberg 41 Côte de Stockeau
17 Boignberg 42 Côte de la Haute-Levée
18 Forrest 43 Mont Rigi
19 Molenberg 44 Col du Rosier
20 Leberg 45 Col du Maquisard
21 Valkenberg 46 Mont Theux
22 Tenbosse 47 Côte de la Redoute
23 Berendries 48 Côte de la Roche aux Faucons
24 Muur-Kapelmuur 49 Côte de Saint-Nicolas
25 Bosberg 50 Côte de Ans

Each climb is given two pages, one for a photograph which gives some indication of the character of the climb and the other offering a description of the climb and directions for finding your way to its top, along with a basic map and gradient profile.

Helling, by Simon Warren

In addition to the fifty climbs Warren offers a couple of pages on how to ride cobbles ("Relax, pedal smoothly, distribute your weight and keep your eyes open."), little bits about Flanders and Wallonia (which are more about Warren's own trips there writing the book than the regions themselves) and a brief explanation of the different kinds of cobbles.

Hellingen04_medium

Hellingen - Dutch for hills, often used in reference to steep cobbled ones - is less a book for curling up and reading and more a guide for getting out on your bike and doing, even going so far as to provide the user a tick-list at the back of the book where they can cross off the hills as they do them.

Warren's little guide is one of those functional little books that there's not really a lot to say about other than that it does what it says on the tin (even if some may disagree with the climbs selected as Belgian's greatest). If you're thinking about tackling some of these hills at some stage you could do worse than stick a copy of Hellingen in your back pocket.

Hellingen05_medium

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