Title: Hellingen: A Road Cyclist's Guide to Belgium's Greatest Cycling Climbs
Author: Simon Warren
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
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:
|Belgium's Greatest Cycling Climbs|
|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|
|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|
|15||Taainberg||40||Côte de Brume|
|16||Kanariberg||41||Côte de Stockeau|
|17||Boignberg||42||Côte de la Haute-Levée|
|19||Molenberg||44||Col du Rosier|
|20||Leberg||45||Col du Maquisard|
|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.
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.
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.