(http://www.uci.ch/mm/Photo/Photos/PhotosGeneral/18/18/67/181867_8-LG-SD.jpg)It's rare to send out such a prestigious birth announcement!
The guests invited to participate in this ground-breaking event on 23rd April are certainly testimony to its significance: 125 years after the pioneers wrote the first, hesitant pages of the history of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the monumental race is now opening its doors to a female peloton, ready to follow in the tracks of the champions. During this unprecedented event, these women will inherit the magical legacy of the accomplishments achieved on the roads of the Massif des Ardennes, cheered on by the Belgian public's indefatigable support for cycling. Entirely capable of overcoming the paradoxes of the event, the women will fight it out for a real final on this opening day. After covering 45 kilometres of the men's route (Côtes de la Redoute, Roche-aux-Faucons, Saint-Nicolas), they will finish their Ardennes week in Ans, having already tackled the Cauberg during the Amstel Race and the Mur de Huy during the Flèche Wallonne. A substantial schedule worthy of champions!
A.S.O. is proud to officially present the very first edition of the Women's Liège-Bastogne-Liège race which will take place, just like the “Old Lady of the Classics”, on 23rd April, over a 135.5-km route setting off from Bastogne. For its 91st edition, the Flèche Wallonne will finish at the summit of the Mur de Huy climb, as is customary since 1984, after 200.5 km of racing and a slightly rearranged finish. The route of Liège-Bastogne-Liège has also been changed before the final reckoning and will lead the riders over a new trio of slopes in the Walloon countryside.
The Ardennes Classics week signals both the start of spring and the culmination of a first major sequence in the cycling season, during which the classics specialists come into their own. Indeed, the most explosive riders in the pack are those who express themselves best on the Flèche Wallonne, with a tough battle on the slopes of the Mur de Huy climb. This year, the loop has been slightly rearranged in order to provide more opportunities and precipitate the cull between the pretenders to the crown: there will be an interval of only 58 kilometres between the first and third climb up the Chemin des Chapelles! Following this world cup final for punchers, an entry into history on the Oldest of the Classics will be won through attrition, all along the demanding 258-km route. As they attack the last third of the race, the riders will acquaint themselves with a new trio of climbs made up of the Côte de Pont (after 168 km), Côte de Bellevaux (after 172 km) and especially the Côte de la Ferme Libert slopes (after 180 km), the last of which boasts an average gradient of 12.1%, which will no doubt heat up the race scenario and the riders' calf muscles as they get ready for the final battle.
However, the 2017 Ardennes Classics campaign is already destined to go down in history thanks to the
welcome reserved for the women's pack, which will also be tackling the famous Amstel-Flèche-Liège racing sequence! The rebirth of the Ladies' Amstel Gold Race will provide some valuable pointers and probably desire for revenge for the pretenders to the crown taking part in the 20th edition of the Women's Flèche Wallonne. More importantly, for the very first time, they will have the opportunity to discover the prestige of La Doyenne which now boasts a younger sister. For the first edition of the Women's Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the ladies have been spared the full return journey, with starter's orders given in Bastogne. Over the 135.5- km route that they will tackle, they will be battling over the same last 45 kilometres as in the men's race, which becomes especially tough from the Côte de la Redoute slope onwards, providing a testing welcome to the women's pack.
Km 82.5 - Côte de la Vecquée6.7 kilometre-long climb at 4.9%
Km 100.0 - Côte de la Redoute2 kilometre-long climb at 8.9%
Km 116.0 - Côte de La Roche-aux-Faucons1.3 kilometre-long climb at 11%
Km 130.0 - Côte de Saint Nicolas1.2 kilometre-long climb at 8.6%
:web and info source (http://www.liege-bastogne-liege-femmes.com/indexLBF_en.html)
#LBLF2017 :twitter (https://twitter.com/LiegeBastogneL)