Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons returns in the oldest Classic of the season
The route of the 100th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège will evoke the rich history of the 'Doyenne' – cycling's oldest Classic, with the 10 steep côtes along the Belgian race route again expected to create what is arguably the hardest day of racing of the season.
Race organiser ASO has revealed that the finale of the 263km race will include all the climbs that have forged the history of the race. The sequence of the Wanne, Stockeu and Haute-Levee climbs has been changed, while the Côte des Forges and Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons return this year. There will also be a special sprint in Bastogne, at the 100km point in the race, with a €5000 prize going to the winner.
The 263km race heads south from Liège to Bastogne via the Ardennes countryside and then turns north after the passing through the town.
The Wanne, Stockeu and Haute-Levee triptych comes between kilometres 167 and 179, and often spark the first real selection in the race. The Côte de La Redoute (after 218km) often sees the first major attacks, with the false flat and descent into the woods helping a small group escape from the peloton.
The Côte des Forges (1.9km at 5.9%) comes after 231km of racing, followed by the Côte de La Roche-aux-Faucons (1.5km at 9.3% at km. 243.5) and then the Côte de Saint-Nicolas (1.2km at 8.6% at km. 257.5).
The Côte de Saint-Nicolas climbs through the Italian quarter of Liège, with the decisive selection often made on its slopes as riders attack and chase each other.
There will be ten climbs during the 263km race route, with the finish again in Ans after the slight climb toward the last left turn onto Rue Jean Jaures.
Last year Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) added his name to the impressive name of Liège-Bastogne-Liège winners, beating Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) after the two broke away a kilometre from the finish.
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