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Contador to ride La Flèche Wallonne

Alberto Contador (Astana)

Alberto Contador (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Amaury Sport Organisation confirmed today that Tour de France champion Alberto Contador will take part in the 74th running of La Flèche Wallonne on April 21.

The route for La Flèche Wallonne will cover 198km on the way from Charleroi to Huy, with the Mur de Huy providing the primary difficulty in the event. Riders pass the climb three times, the final time en route to the finish line.

The Spaniard is no stranger to the Ardennes Classics, having done both La Flèche Wallonne and Liège - Bastogne - Liège in 2006 and 2007. His highest place in a one-day Classic was 26th in the 2007 Liège - Bastogne - Liège.

It is expected that he will also compete in Liège on April 25, which will cover some of the same roads as those in stage 2 of this year's Tour de France.

Contador added the Ardennes Classics to his calendar after winning Paris-Nice. He dropped the Spanish stage races Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta a Pais Vasco in favor of Critérium International and the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, then added the one-day races "to gain experience".

Slight route change for Liège - Bastogne - Liège

An alteration to the route of Liège - Bastogne - Liège was also announced today. The 96th running of 'la Doyenne' will be slightly shorter than previous editions, with 258 km and 10 climbs, one fewer than last year.

"The course was redesigned near the Côte de la Haute-Levée, which we will not use," the organizers said. "Road improvements on the descent made the route dangerous for the riders."

2010 Liège - Bastogne - Liège climbs:
Km 69 - Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne - 2.8 km climb to 4.9 %
Km 116 - Côte de Saint Roch - 0.8 km climb to 12 %
Km 159 - Côte de Wanne - 2.7 km climb to 7 %
Km 166 - Côte de Stockeu (Stèle Eddy Merckx) - 1.1 km climb to 10.5 %
Km 186 - Col du Rosier - 6.4 km climb to 4 %
Km 198 - Col du Maquisard - 2.8 km climb to 4.5 %
Km 209 - Mont-Theux - 2.7 km climb to 5.2 %
Km 223 - Côte de la Redoute - 2.1 km climb to 8.4 %
Km 238 - Côte de la Roche aux Faucons - 1.5 km climb to 9.9 %
Km 252 - Côte de Saint-Nicolas - 1.0 km climb to 11.1 %