New-look route for Liege-Bastogne-Liege as debut women's parcours unveiled

Routes for Fleche Wallonne revealed along with participating teams

The ASO has announced a new-look route for Liege-Bastogne-Liege as well as the course for the inaugural women’s race and both Fleche Wallonne races.

Team line-ups for all four races have also been announced, with Boels Dolmans, Wiggle-High 5, WM3 Pro Cycling and Orica-Scott among those that will headline the women’s race. Aqua Blue, Direct Energie and Cofidis have all been offered wild cards for both the men’s races as well as a selection of Belgian and Dutch squads.

Roadworks in Stavelot have forced the organisers to change things up in the men’s event, with the Cote de Wanne and the Cote de Haute-Levée disappearing, while the Cote de Stockeu is also missing for another year. Replacing them will be the punchy Cote de Pont, which is just one kilometre long but averages over 10 per cent in gradient, the Cote de Bellevaux – 1.1km long with a 6.8 per cent gradient – and, finally the Cote de la Ferme Libert. The ascent is a 1.2-kilometre grind at a 12.1 per cent average gradient.

After passing through Burneville for the second feed zone, the remainder of the route is roughly the same as it was last year. However, there is one striking difference. The Cote de la Rue Naniot, which saw the winning move made last year, has been removed from the finale in favour of a more traditional run to the line. Wout Poels (Team Sky) took victory last year after beating Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) in a four-man sprint.

The women’s race will begin in Bastogne and takes the peloton 135km to the finish in Ans. It heads through Houffalize before veering away from the men’s course and missing the Cote de Saint Roch. The 6.7km Cote de La Vecquée is the first climb on the route just after the 75km mark, and a trip through Hautregard brings the riders to the finishing set of ascents in the Cote de La Redoute, Cote de La Roche-aux-Faucons and the Cote de Saint-Nicolas, ahead of the unclassified climb into Ans.

For Fleche Wallonne, the route of the men’s race will begin in Binche, after switching to Marche-en-Femenne last year. Only nine climbs will feature instead of the 11 that faced the riders in 2016, the first of which will be the Cote d’Amay after 127km. The peloton will pass through the finish line on the Mur de Huy twice before the real dash to the line after 200km.

The women’s offering is 120km and starts in Huy with a total of seven climbs, including two ascents of the Mur de Huy. Anna van der Breggen has dominated Fleche Wallonne with two victories in the las two years, while Alejandro Valverde continued his chokehold on the men’s event.

The full team line-ups for each event were all announced, including wildcards.

Teams for women’s Fleche Wallonne: Alé Cipollini, Astana Women’s Team, Bepink Cogeas, Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam, BTC City Ljubljana, Canyon Sram Racing, Cervélo-Bigla Pro Cycling Team, Cylance Pro Cycling, FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope, Hitec Products, Lares Waowdeals Women Cycling Team, Lensworld Kuota, Lotto Soudal Ladies, Orica Scott, Servetto Giusta, Team Sunweb, Team Veloconcept Women, Wiggle High5, WM3 Pro Cycling Team, Bizkaia Durango, Drops, France, S.C Michela Fanini, Sport Vlaanderen Etixx.

Teams for the men’s Fleche Wallonne: AG2R La Mondiale, Astana Pro Team, Bahrain Merida, BMC Racing Team, Bora Hansgrohe, Cannondale Drapac Pro Cycling Team, FDJ, Lotto Soudal, Movistar Team, Orica Scott, Quick-Step Floors, Team Dimension Data, Team Katusha-Alpecin, Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, Team Sky, Team Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo, UAE Abu Dhabi, Aqua Blue Sport, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits, Direct Energie, Fortuneo - Vital Concept, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, WB Veranclassic Aqua Project.

Teams for Women’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege: Alé Cipollini, Astana Women’s Team, Bepink Cogeas, Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam, BTC City Ljubljana, Canyon Sram Racing, Cervélo-Bigla Pro Cycling Team, Cylance Pro Cycling, FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope, Hitec Products, Lares Waowdeals Women Cycling Team, Lensworld Kuota, Lotto Soudal Ladies, Orica Scott, Servetto Giusta, Team Sunweb, Team Veloconcept Women, Wiggle High5, WM3 Pro Cycling Team, Bizkaia Durango, Drops, SAS Macogep, S.C Michela Fanini, Sport Vlaanderen Etixx.

Teams for men’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege: AG2R La Mondiale, Astana Pro Team, Bahrain Merida, BMC Racing Team, Bora Hansgrohe, Cannondale Drapac Pro Cycling Team, FDJ, Lotto Soudal, Movistar Team, Orica Scott, Quick-Step Floors, Team Dimension Data, Team Katusha-Alpecin, Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, Team Sky, Team Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo, UAE Abu Dhabi, Aqua Blue Sport, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits, Direct Energie, Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, WB Veranclassic Aqua Project.

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