Côte de la Haute-Levée re-inserted in Liège-Bastogne-Liège course

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) wins the 96th edition of Liège - Bastogne - Liège.

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) wins the 96th edition of Liège - Bastogne - Liège. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)

The Côte de la Haute-Levée will once again test the legs of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège peloton this year after a one-year absence, race organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) announced today. The ASO has made a final series of inspections to the 257.5km route of the 2011 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, taking place on April 24, and confirmed that the municipality of Stavelot had carried out the necessary road work to allow safe passage for the peloton.

In 2010, road construction forced the ASO to re-route the Belgian one-day Classic, the oldest of professional cycling's five Monuments, away from the Côte de la Haute-Levée and substituted the Col du Maquisard and Mont-Theux in its place.

The Côte de la Haute-Levée, 3.6km long with an average gradient of 5.6 percent, is third in a series of four difficult climbs (Côte de Wanne, Côte de Stockeu, Côte de la Haute-Levée and Côte du Rosier) covered in the space of 25km. With the return of the Côte de la Haute-Levée, the 97th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège will once again have 11 challenging climbs along its route.

The 2010 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège was won by Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), who bested breakaway companion Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) to win La Doyenne for the second time in his career.

La Flèche Wallonne routes same as 2010

The ASO also announced that the 198km parcours of La Flèche Wallonne, taking place April 20, will retain the changes made in last year's edition designed to toughen the finale of the event. As in 2010, the second and final ascents of the finishing Mur de Huy climb will be separated by only 30km and the Cote d’Ereffe, a 2.1km climb with a gradient of 5.9 percent, will be tackled just 11km prior to the finish atop the Mur de Huy.

The 14th edition of the women's La Flèche Wallonne, also taking place April 20 prior to the men's event, will face the same parcours as 2010, taking in a 109.5km route and two ascents of the Mur de Huy.

Australia's Cadel Evans prevailed in last year's men's event, while Great Britain's Emma Pooley put in a strong attack on the Mur de Huy to win the women's race.

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