Liege-Bastogne-Liege Route Moves Final Climb Featured Since 1992
A new finish for the classic
The Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day cycling race, which closes the spring classics series, has been stripped of its hilltop finish with the end switched to the center of town, organizers revealed on Tuesday.
Known in cycling circles as ‘The Old Lady’, or La Doyenne, the 256 kilometer race is the oldest and perhaps toughest of the five so-called monuments, and was first staged in 1892.
The main switch of the race which winds through narrow Ardennes forest roads strips two 1.5 kilometer climbs of nine percent and 11 percent gradient from the final kilometers that have featured since 1992, with the final hill now 15 kilometers from home.
“The tough aspects are all in the second part of the race, with nine hills concentrated in the final 100km,” organizers ASO said of a race which traditionally saw a final settling of accounts on the last climb.
Staged this year on April 28, the finish line will also be in the centre ofthe former industrial town close to the Dutch border.
Eddy Merckx won the prestigious race five times between 1969-1975 while current world champion Alejandro Valverde has won it four times.
Road cycling’s five monument races are the Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which are all in April, and the Tour of Lombardy in October.