Stories, information and comments from VAM Berg climbers
Story by Roland Schuyer from Dwingeloo, Nederland, submitted on 22/12/2008
On the official website of the Vuelta 2009 I saw that the first climb for the mountain jersey will be a cote of the 4th categorie. On the site they call it the Cota de Witteveen.
It’s about 30 minutes cycling from where I live and it’s locally known as the VAM-berg.
The hill (it’s not really a mountain) is artificial and made of rubbish and covered with soil. The VAM company recycles rubbish and the parts which are not recyclable were put on a pile. On the top (alt 40 m) there’s a visitors center and you have a great view over our province (Drenthe) which is mainly flat (watch the first stage of the 2009 Vuelta on TV).
The climb is about 380 m long and over that distance you climb 37 meters; so the average percentage is 9,7%. There are some steep parts, some say up to 16%, but the surface is of smooth asphalt.
Because its a short climb, you can do the climb a few times and it will take you a short while to cover the almost 400 m (by 13 km/h on 32x23 itll be 1min45).
In the northern part of the Netherlands there is no climb of this distance, maximum- and average percentage; the Posbank is longer and higher but far less steep. This climb looks a bit like those in Limburg (e.g. Keutenberg).