The Muur van Geraardsbergen wlil not be in the 2012 tour of Flanders but will appear in the E3 Prijs Harelbeke, March 23. The famous climb's exclusion had caused consternation throughout Belgium.
The Muur may not play a decisive role in the E3 Prijs, as it appears 110km into the race. But at least it will be there, says Patrick Flamez, head of sports in the town of Geraardsbergen, also called Grammont.
The E3 Prijs has never climbed the Muur before. “But from 2012 it will be different. The passage will be shown on television because the broadcast begins as the riders ride towards Grammont. When they ride on the wall it will be in the eye of the cameras,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.
One of the men behind the inclusion of the climb was Alain Corneille, owner of the Oudeberg restaurant and facility atop the climb. “The day it became known that the Muur is no longer in the Ronde, I got in touch with E3 organizer Bart Ottevaere,” he said. “I hammered the city to get the climb into another top race. The Muur is the only thing that gives Grammont an international image. Thanks to the E3 Prijs, that will still be preserved."