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The Koppenberg’s legend is founded not by its length—barely 600 meters—but by the steep, narrow road that ascends what is really little more than a bluff. Its uneven surface and pitches of more than 20 percent can be treacherous and virtually insurmountable if the cobbles are slickened by the slightest degree of moisture that can collect on the grass and moss growing around the cobblestones.
The Koppenberg in fact is so difficult to navigate that it was actually erased for years from the Tour of Flanders course after the race director’s car literally rode over the bike of Danish rider Jesper Skibby, who was leading the classic race in 1987 as he faltered on the steepest cobbled pitch. But while the climb remained absent from the legendary Ronde Van Vlaanderen, its deadly reputation only increased. After all, a climb that is too tough for the Tour of Flanders must be one mother of defections! But it returned with proper fanfare on the Ronde’s modern circuit in 2012—and it has been celebrated ever since.
Read Part Three here: https://trek.flanders.pelotonmagazine.com/trek-flanders-part-three