The Mur de Huy, an unsurpassable wall
January 22 nd 2019 - 12:00
The implacable Mur de Huy awaits the elite. And Ans has not forgotten them. After having hosted the finishing line of Liège-Bastogne-Liège for a quarter of a century, this year Ans will welcome the riders, managers and support staff for the main mid-week event. Before tackling the Mur de Huy, the start taking place Ans, in the outskirts of Liège, presents, already on Wednesday, a wonderful opportunity to venture onto the roads usually taken at the end of the week by La Doyenne.
Rather than a tourist excursion along the banks of the Meuse River, the Flèche Wallonne is a brutal invitation for glory, an event that has imposed its timeless ideals and its unsurpassable summit. The Mur de Huy is a lane of chapels on which cycling pilgrims bust a gut so much that they almost lose their minds. “Have I won?” was the disbelieving question put by Julian Alaphilippe, following his triumph last spring, to the serial winner of La Flèche, Alejandro Valverde.
On the Mur, the lactic acid and fire that burn in the riders’ legs go to their head. Hope gives them a burst of energy for a final effort when their lungs are giving up on them or despair weighs down on them when they actually need to stamp on the pedals one last time. As ever, the descent back down to the peaceful Meuse River will be all the more exhilarating as the realisation of their achievement starts to sink in.