|Title:||Course de Côte de Felenne|
|Tracklength:||3280 metres (until 2013: 2950 metres)|
|Elevation change:||156 metres (5%)|
|Altitude finishline:||315 metres|
|GPS coordinates:||50° 5′ 53.16″ – 4° 51′ 29.16″|
|Average Speed:||151,06 km/h|
|Short Facts||In 2013 the startline was moved downhill. This increased the racelength with 330 metres and added 14 metres of extra elevation.|
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|02/06/1991||Hervé Bayard||Ralt RT30||3:08,37||Results|
|07/06/1992||Hervé Bayard||Ralt RT30||3:12,59||Results|
|06/05/2001||Jean Schmits||Ralt F3000||2:31,09||Results|
|26/05/2002||Jacques Marchal||Norma M17||2:55,24||Results|
|11/05/2003||Jean Schmits||Ralt F3000||2:36,12||Results|
|09/05/2004||Jean Schmits||Ralt F3000||1:13,08||Results|
|29/05/2005||Jean Schmits||Ralt F3000||2:22,96||Results|
|07/05/2006||Jean Schmits||Ralt F3000||2:25,73||Results|
|03/06/2007||Jean Schmits||Ralt F3000||2:24,45||Results|
|01/06/2008||Jean Schmits||Ralt F3000||1:12,91||Results|
|14/06/2009||Jean Schmits||Ralt F3000||1:12,27||Results|
|05/06/2010||Jacques Marchal||Norma M17||1:13,20||Results|
|15/05/2011||Jacques Marchal||Norma M20F||1:11,50||Results|
|10/06/2012||Georges Hubert||Norma M20||1:12,02||Results|
|09/06/2013||Jelle de Coninck||Norma M20F||1:26,77||Results|
|18/05/2014||Jelle de Coninck||Norma M20F||1:18,17||Results|
|07/06/2015||Anthony Loeuilleux||Tatuus Master||1:21,58||Results|
|05/06/2016||Jacques Marchal||Norma M20F||1:26,32||Results|
|11/06/2017||Anthony Loeuilleux||Tatuus Master||1:21,07||Results|
The Namur Ardennes in southern Belgium hold three hillclimbs within 30 kilometres of eachother. They are Felenne, Houyet and Vencimont. Although close to eachother they all lie in different muncipalities, Felenne being part of Beauraing. The area around Beauraing is not nearly as forested as that around Vencimont, although Felenne itself is surrounded by them.
Beauraing is wellknown for being a place for Catholic pilgrimage. In 1932 and 1933 five children saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary. In 1949 the Church recognized the visions as authentic. Since then a large sanctuary has been build celebrating the Virgin of the Golden Heart, or simply Our Lady of Beauraing.
The Felenne Hillclimb starts right up to the border with France. You would expect that to be a southern border, but it is actually a western. This is because France owns a large part of the Meuse Valley. On a map it looks like a large tentacle is reaching into the Belgium. The most northern part of this French ‘peninsula’ is at Givet. This town came into French possesion in 1678. The new rulers immediately set about to renovate the 16th century Fort de Charlemont which held a strategic place in the region. Today the Fort still exists, but the skyline is actually dominated by a large nuclear plant.
Felenne is located some 30 kilometres to the southeast of Dinant. This fortified town was a centre point in many wars. Dinant is currently situated near the French border, but in medieval times it had a fierce rivalry with Namur. In the First World War there was also heavy fighting in the small city. When the Germans finally captured the town they shot 674 citizens. The major landmarks of the city include the citadelle, build by the Dutch in the 1820s, and the Notre Dame Church. Another curious landmark in Dinant is the Bayard. This is a tall pointy rock, literally in the middle of a road. It is part of the legend of the Four Sons of Aymon. This centuries old tale describes the adventures of four brothers who come into conflict with Charlemagne. The brothers have to flee and aided by their magical horse Bayard they embark on a series of adventures. The story of The Four Sons of Aymon still plays an important role in the folklore of the Ardennes. There can still be found many statues, monuments, parades and traditions relating to the legend in the whole region. For example, as you might have noticed the organizing club is called Ecurie Bayard. The Bayard Rock in Dinant is said to have been created when the magical horse Bayard jumped the Meuse River. He used the rockformations to launch off, thereby splitting them in two.