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TR Press UK - 13-07-2017
Spirits were high on Mur de Huy
30 Team Rynkeby teams conquered Mur de Huy within a few hours today. This created a fantastic and festive mood at the top of the legendary high hill.
Stage 5, Mur de Huy: Mur de Huy was literally covered in yellow today when more than 1,000 Team Rynkeby riders from 30 different teams put their strength to the test on the legendary high hill in Belgium.
It was just past 8:30 AM when the very first Team Rynkeby rider swung through Mur de Huy's final turn in unusually effortless style and the summit came into view – after which the riders from the different teams and countries followed like pearls on a string.
And the many yellow-clad charity cycling teams generated a fantastic spirit on the hill, explains Carl Erik Dalbøge, Director of Team Rynkeby Foundation and himself a rider with Team Rynkeby Ringe,
"The hill is really at the forefront for the cyclists, and most of them approach it with awe. The old riders have spent the last few days mythologising the hill, while new riders are trying to figure out what's true and what's not in the old riders' stories. So the sense of accomplishment is just as great when you finally get to the top," says Carl Erik Dalbøge, who was also impressed by the number of families and friends who had come to Mur de Huy.
"In recent years, Mur de Huy has become something of a destination for a lot of families on their way to Paris to see the big finish. And the hill is very well suited for getting close to the riders – while also giving spectators a sense of the magnificence of the project and that so many teams are passing by," he says.
More hills await
"The Wall", which is most famous for being the decisive trial in the spring classic La Flèche Wallonne, has a gradient of 9.8% but it is the last 800 metres in particular that are the most challenging. Here the average gradient is 13%, while the maximum gradient on a single turn reaches as high as an impressive 26%.
"The hill may not be that long, but it is quite steep. And there are a lot of riders who forget that they haven't reached the finish line once they get to the top. Many teams often have over 100 km to go from Mur de Huy to their hotels, and the hills in the Ardennes don't disappear just because we've put Mur de Huy behind us," laughs Carl Erik Dalbøge.
Team Rynkeby continues its journey towards Paris tomorrow. On Saturday, all 44 teams will arrive in the French capital.
See more pictures on Team Rynkeby's Facebook page tomorrow (13 July) at 6:00 AM (Photo: Thomas Nørremark)