"Safer" Kemmelberg still in Gent-Wevelgem

Yowza! That's got to hurt!

Yowza! That's got to hurt! (Image credit: Sirotti)

By Susan Westemeyer

Gent-Wevelgem race organizers are doing their best to prevent a repeat of the "Slaughter on Kemmelberg" from 2007, when numerous riders went down on the cobbled descent, resulting in many serious injuries.

The Kemmelberg remains in the race, but the descent will this year be on a paved road instead of the treacherous cobblestones.

"It was never an option to remove the Kemmelberg from the parcours," race director Hans de Clercq said, according to the "Belga" press agency. "Gent-Wevelgem is the Kemmelberg. But we had to make it safer."

This year the race will approach it from the other direction. The descent is longer but not as steep, and the speed is expected to be lower.

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