Mur de Huy a triple threat for 24 women's teams at La Flèche Wallonne
Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling surprise absence on invitation list for final pair of Ardennes Classics
Race organisers ASO announced revised courses for the women’s peloton at La Flèche Wallonne Feminine and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes today, with riders having to climb Mur de Huy three times during the mid-week Flèche Wallonne on April 20. In the final installment of the Ardennes Classics on April 24, the riders will tackle Côte de Mont-le-Soie for the first time en route to Liège.
Team SD Worx took both titles last year, Anna van der Breggen winning for a seventh time on the Huy and Demi Vollering claiming the title in Liège. Van der Breggen has since retired from competition, leaving the top step of the podium open for the 24 teams named to the start line for Flèche Wallonne Femmes. The same roster of teams make up the invitees for Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
All 14 teams on the Women’s WorldTour have been confirmed for both Belgian races, along with 10 Continental teams receiving invitations. Missing from the Continental list was Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling, who finished 2021 as one of the top three Continental teams in the world rankings, 12th overall.
The two Continental squads with automatic bids - Valcar-Travel & Service and Parkhotel Valkenburg - were listed by organisers as confirmed selections.
For the 25th edition of Flèche Wallonne, the first of three passes over the Mur de Huy will come 27.5 kilometres earlier than last year, now after 70km of the 133.4km course. It is preceded on each pass on the circuit by the Côte de Cherave and Côte d’Ereffe will now be tackled twice. The combination of climbs in the final two circuits of 31.2km each do not include the Côte du Chemin des Gueuses this year, and now match to the men’s course.
Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège has added nearly six kilometres for its extended 142.1km length of steep climbs and cobbles. After 55.3km the peloton will face for the first time the 1.7-kilometre, 7.9 per cent climb of Mont-Le-Soie, and then return to the familiar ascents of the Côte de Wanne and Côte de la Haute-Levée.
The series of climbs in the final 30km of the race - Côte de La Redoute and Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons are now preceded by two new leg burners - Col du Rosier and Côte de Desiné.
This will be the fifth edition for the women’s race into Liège. Last year, Parkhotel Valkenburg and Team DSM did not make the start line of Liège-Bastogne-Liège due to positive COVID-19 tests within the organisation prior to race day.
Teams for La Flèche Wallonne Féminine and Liège-Bastogne-Liège
- Canyon-SRAM Racing
- EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
- FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
- Human Powered Health
- Liv Racing Xstra
- Movistar Team Women
- Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
- Team BikeExchange - Jayco
- Team DSM
- Team Jumbo-Visma
- Team SD Worx
- Trek - Segafredo
- UAE Team ADQ
- Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
- Valcar - Travel & Service*
- Parkhotel Valkenburg*
- Andy Schleck - CP NVST - Immo Losh^
- Arkea Pro Cycling^
- Bingoal Casino - Chevalmeire - Van Eyck Sport^
- Cofidis Women^
- Le Col Wahoo^
- Lotto Soudal Ladies^
* - obligatory Continental invitation under UCI rules
^ - wildcard invitation
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Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).