Simon Warren's marvelous series of tiny gazetteers ... school-boy geography might not alert you to the considerable undulations of Flanders and Wallonia. Anyone with a taste for cycling's spring classics, however, will know that the country's hills might be short - but they are famously brutal. Warren guides readers through 50 côtes and kops, providing detailed instructions for finding them and notes on the road surfaces and steepness. Along the way he provides a potted guide to beer, cobbles and the fractious Kingdom's painfully split identity.
It is a brilliant addition to his little franchise and had me reaching for the Harwich ferry timetable long before the half-way point.'
'Cycle jerseys come with three rear pockets, and if they've half a brain cell between them, the UCI ought to issue a compulsory edict that makes it mandatory to place a copy of hellingen in the centre pocket of each and every jersey sold. owning a copy isn't an option, it's imperative.'
"Although I have ridden many of these climbs already, 'Hellingen' makes me want to get out the maps and plan to cover the remaining ones on the list. Irresistible fun, with or without the excellent beer.'
About the Author
SIMON WARREN has lived and breathed bikes and cycling for over 20 years. He's won a few races, held a first category racing licence and competed - and struggled - at the highest level in the UK, but most of all he loves to ride his bike uphill. He spent seven years working as a designer at Cycling Weekly before leaving to broaden his horizons in 2003, although he still regularly contributes event reports to the magazine. He works in publishing and lives with his wife and daughter in London N16. His other titles for Frances Lincoln are 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs (9780711231207) and Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs (9780711232655)