After Sunday’s “Hell of the North” event which resulted to be too much for Gooalerts who suffered a tragic cardiac arrest soon after a crash on the cobbled roads midway to the finish line, now it’s turn for the final stretch before cyclists head to the WorldTour stage races.
Ardennes Classics which includes three races in total, are characterized by long hills and cobble-free roads. The one-day races are set to take place from April 15 to April 22 with each race having both a men’s and women’s WorldTour version.
First race: Amstel Gold Race (April 15)
The first race will take place in the Netherlands, in the Limburg region where the men’s part includes 35 taxing, challenging hills over the course of 260km while the women’s race has 17 hills in total. The longevity of this race is calculated to be 116.9km.
Second race: La Flèche Wallonne (April 18)
The WorldTour action goes on with Belgium-based Walloon Arrow race. It is known to be a shorter version of the first one at 198.5-km.
Unlike Amstel Gold’s WorldTour classic which features 35 climbs in total, La Flèche Wallonne only has 11. The main climb riders have to surpass is the mighty Huy, 1.3-km of 9.3% which features a famous corner where the grade tilts to 26%. Alejandro Valverde owns the current title of the race which is his fifth one so far.
Third race: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 22)
La Doyenne, also known as the Old Lady, is the oldest race from the five Monuments in total. It is also the last one to take place before the Il Lombardia which this season will start on October 13.
During Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic, riders have to manage crossing 12 climbs cover 258km.
Just like with the Amstel Gold Rac, the women’s edition was added to the Women’s WorldTour calendar for the first time in 2017.