The Ardennes Classics: All Eyes on No 100!


© Presse Sports

The elite men's and women's packs are in the process of preparing for Wednesday 23rd April and the Flèche Wallonne. At the end of the week, on 27th April, victory on Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the 'Old Lady' of the classics, will be sought by pretenders more motivated than ever for its 100th edition.

At the conclusion to the season of the spring classics, the cycling world will now be looking towards Huy, where the year's biggest competition of cycling pugilists will take place on the Flèche Wallonne. Whilst retaining its own specific characteristics, the 78th edition will be giving a nod to its neighbour on the cycling calendar by starting out from Bastogne. However, the outcome of this unique race will be decided much later on, perhaps following an unfamiliar script, since the distance between the two ascents of the Mur de Huy has been reduced to 23.5 kilometres, with the climb up the Côte d'Ereffe slope in between.

At the same place, the riders taking part in the Women's Flèche Wallonne will also have to tackle the Mur de Huy. The result of this 17th edition will be known on completion of a loop revitalised by the re-introduction of the Côte d'Ahin slope, whose summit is located 11 km from the finishing line.

However, this year pride of place will be given to the Old Lady of the classics, which will be welcoming the most prestigious of pretenders for its 100th edition. This exceptional anniversary has already won over King Philippe of Belgium, who will be present at the start to encourage the riders before their 263-km expedition, the route of which has been slightly altered to pay tribute to the slopes that have marked the history of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. As a result, the sequence of the Wanne, Stockeu and Haute-Levée slopes has been reformed. On the run-in to the finish, the Côte des Forges and Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons slopes will be making a re-appearance on the race. Exceptionally, the Bastogne sprint, at the 100-km point, will be worth 5,000 euros to its winner…

The race in pictures


© Presse Sports

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