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The Muur

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“All I remember about the Muur is you usually go into it with the fear of God in you.” Roger Hammond reflects on the legend of the Muur Van Geraardsbergen

Photographs: Balint Hamvas & Offside/l'Equipe

 


Roger. The Muur, yes?

 

Whenever anyone talked to me about it in Belgium, it was always ‘The Muur.’

 

Did you retire before it was taken out of the Flanders route?

 

Yes, it was the first year after I retired that the new circuit was introduced. It was a pity, because I was looking forward to sitting down in the armchair and watching them battle up there. I’m pretty gutted, really.

 

Is the race poorer for the Muur’s exclusion?

 

The Classics are given the name for a reason: because of the iconic moments that have built up over the years. Even when I rode them, I was thinking about Eddy Bosberg [as Edwig van Hooydonck became known having twice won following attacks on the climb following The Muur] and remembering all the little tales – most of them probably fictitious – about how he counted down the telegraph poles on the Bosberg, which ones he could ride the big ring from at the top – all of these little stories that divide the Classics from a ‘big race’.

The Muur, 1952, and Rik Van Steenburgen resorts to pushing
The Muur, 1952, and Rik Van Steenburgen resorts to pushing

There’s plenty of races with loads of prize money and all the best riders in the world, but they don’t have the same history as the Classics.

 

For me, Adri van der Poel on the Arenberg and the Carrefour are childhood memories. Remove those and all you have got is another big race, with no history and no story. It’s a big step to give up 100 years of memories. And for what gain? I don’t feel it has progressed as a race.

 

Which is the best edition you ever watched?

 

We all remember the one [2010] where Cancellara rode away from Boonen and made him look an amateur. It was an impressive attack on the Muur with the two biggest riders of their Classics generation going head-to-head. The climb completely dominated the race.

"Oy oy oy oy oy oy... Balen, we have a problem."
“Oy oy oy oy oy oy… Balen, we have a problem.”

And then Van Petegem on the Muur [1999], when he attacked and then you had the three-way fight between himself, Vandenbroucke and Museeuw. But almost every year was spectacular.

 

It is a pretty simplistic race. It has been run so many times on the same course, you have all of the background knowledge you need to predict what will happen in the race.

 

Compare it to the World Championships: a different course every year, no one knows how to race it and it produces a really cautious race. Milan-Sanremo or Flanders, it is always exciting, because everybody knows exactly what they can or can’t do. Nobody starts those races dreaming of winning them unless they are one of the big stars.

 

You have the best guys smashing each other on one of the best climbs of Flanders, which is perfect.

 

Have you ever started with that dream of winning?

 

No. Well, that’s why we go out training every day, isn’t it? That dream that the wind will blow in the right direction, it would be the day of our lives, and that everyone else would puncture or fall off, which is what happened when I finished third at Roubaix.

 

How many times did you ride Flanders?

 

It was the World Cup race I rode the most, actually, so every year between 1998 to 2011.

 

Any Muur memories, good or bad, for you?

 

I was with Cervélo TestTeam in 2009 and had raced the week before and had a shocker. In the team meeting, they were looking for someone to go in the early break, so I put my hand up for that. Eventually, it ended up with four of us [from the team] left: Andreas [Klier], Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler and me.

 

 

On the Muur, we had got back on at the foot, immediately got dropped, then chased back on with Lance and got on at the foot of the Bosberg. Got dropped again, then back on again before the finish. Then we were sprinting for fourth place, I think.

 

All I remember about the Muur is you usually go into it with the fear of God in you. It is not one of those climbs where you can find your own tempo and get to the top: it is so steep, so slippery, and so late on in the race. It’s purgatory.

 

Originally published in issue 52 of Rouleur. 

 



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    The Jewish people deny Jesus as their Messiah and have stated that their Messiah has been identified and is waiting to be revealed. They say this man will rule the world under a one world religion called “spiritualism”.

    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple.

    The Bible says this false Messiah who seats himself in the Third Temple will be thee antichrist that will bring about the Great Tribulation, though the Jewish people believe he will bring about world peace. It will be a false peace for a period of time. You can watch interviews of Jewish Rabbi’s in Israel speaking of these things. They have their plans set in place. It is only years away!

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18:

    He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

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    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the captial of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

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    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple.

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically in Revelation 13:16-18:

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. This Mark couldn’t be spiritual because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual it would just say in the forehead. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we needed two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

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