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The Climbs of the Legendary Liege Bastogne Liege.

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

The oldest of the renowned 'Monuments of Cycling' the 'Old Lady' dates back to 1892, but with its gruelling length and infamous succession of steep, demanding climbs, the Liege- Bastogne- Liege, is not a ride to be taken on lightly.



Last year, the 'Old Lady' of Belgium was given somewhat of a facelift, by the duo of Christian Prudhomme and Thierry Gouvenou. The aim was to make the race "more exciting." The finish was moved into the center of Liège, to flat ground, and the new route brought the mythical La Redoute closer to the end of the race. As of 2019, the final three obstacles on the route are drawn up as follows: La Redoute (37 km from the finish line), Côte des Forges(25 km from the finish line), and Roche-aux-Faucons (15 km from the finish line). Although this new course sets aside the traditional final climb of Côte de Saint-Nicolas, which has featured on the Liege-Bastogne Liege since 1992, and has, in the past proved a decisive site for the race, Prudhomme, among others, believe that this iconic climb has often had a sedative effect on the racers, before the last ten kilometres.


He believes that the change of course will give the race more movement, and that the route modifications could expand the pool of potential winners. Although he was quick to add that;


"Having said that, we are convinced that the Liège-Bastogne-Liège with its copious inclines will still go to the best climber-puncher of the bunch.”


At the Pro- race, in 2019, it was Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang who took victory in this, the oldest of the famous 'Monuments of Cycling.' The pre race favourite, Fuglsang delivered under pressure, attacking in the final stages of the race and dropping everyone. Despite coming close to crashing just 3 kilometres from the end of the race, Fuglsang pulled off a tremendous save, and held out to claim the title. This win sealed the Danes' first win in a monument classics race.


For more information on the 2020 Liege- Bastogne- Liege including VIP and Hospitality package options VISIT or, for options including entry into the 2020 Liege Bastogne Liege Challenge see HERE

Profile of the 2019 Liege - Bastogne- Liege Route

THE CLIMBS

*Info taken from 219 Liege- Bastogne- Liege route.


Côte de la Roche en Ardenne:

Distance: 2.8 km

Average Gradient: 5.6%

Max Gradient: 8.5%

Elevation Gain: 165m

The Côte de La Roche-en-Ardenne is traditionally the opening climb of the Liege Bastogne Liege. After a relatively flat start, it comes at around 70 kilometres into the race, and prepares rides well for the onslaught that is to come.


Côte de Saint Roch:


Distance: 1 km

Average Gradient:11.7 %

Max Gradient: 17.6 %

Elevation Gain: 127 m


This climb, the Côte de Saint Roch, comes in at approximately 116.5 km into the ride. It is a fairly touch climb in places with a max close to 18%, but fairly short at just 1 km in length.


Côte de Mont- le - Soie:


Distance: 1.7 km

Average Gradient: 8 %

Max Gradient: 15 %

Elevation Gain: 136 m


Coming in at kilometre 161, the Côte de Mont- le - Soie, begins a quick succession of punishing climbs on the route. With 9 noteworthy ascents spanning less than 100 km, it will be important to pace yourself right on this testing climb.


Côte de Wanne:


Distance: 2.6 km

Average Gradient: 7.5 %

Max Gradient: 13.8 %

Elevation Gain: 187 m


The Côte de Wanne, at approximately 169 km, is a longer, draining climb. Over 2 1/2 kilometres in length, it features an average gradient of 7.5 %, with some sections as steep as 13.8 %.


Côte de Stockeu:


Distance:1 km

Average Gradient: 10.5 %

Max Gradient:21.6 %

Elevation Gain: 116 m


Perhaps one of the most iconic sections on the entire Liege- Bastogne- Liege is the Côte de Stockeu. Also known as the Stèle Eddy Merckx, although fairly far from the finish line, this legendary hill was used by the Belgian cycling hero as a launching pad for numerous victories at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. 176 km in to the ride, with a dizzying maximum gradient of 21.6, this is a hill to be wary of, as it will test even the most experienced of cyclists.


Côte de la Haute Levée:


Distance: 3.6 km

Average Gradient: 5.7 %

Max Gradient:12.2 %

Elevation Gain:202 m


At Km 181 comes a much longer, although significantly less severe climb, to the Stockeu; the Côte de la Haute Levée. This climb is 3.6 kilometres long with an average of 5.7%.


Col du Rosier:


Distance: 4.6 km

Average Gradient: 5.6 %

Max Gradient: 15.2 %

Elevation Gain: 278 m


At 194 km comes another long climb. Over 4 and a half kilometres in length the Col du Rosier is the longest climb on the route. Although it is not the most severe, in terms of gradient, with an average gradient of just 5.6 %, it features some challenging steeper sections, lots of sharp bends,and sudden kicks upwards. All in all it proves a very tough climb.


Col du Maquisard:


Distance: 2.4 km

Average Gradient: 5.4 %

Max Gradient:7 %

Elevation Gain:137 m


One of the less challenging climbs on the route comes at 207 km in. The Col du Maquisard offers a fairly steady climb, with a maximum gradient of just 7 %, and fairly good road surfaces. However with less than 50 kms left on the route, and plenty of road width to play with, this could still be the site of a strategic attack.


Côte de la Redoute:


Distance: 1.7 km

Average Gradient: 9.7 %

Max Gradient: 22 %

Elevation Gain: 150 m


The region that produced World Champion cyclist Philippe Gilbert is also home to one of the iconic climbs of the Liege- Bastogne- Liege. The Côte de la Redoute has featured on the race since 1974 and is a popular rallying point for crowds. The revamped course brings this mythical climb closer to the end of the race, heightening its significance at 219 km.


Côte des Forges:


Distance: 2.6 km

Average Gradient: 5.1 %

Max Gradient: 22%

Elevation Gain: 83m




Côte des Forges was first climbed in 1960, and became very crucial in the 1980s editions of the race, when it was the final hill on the route, as a place of attacks and regroupings. Now, after the 2019 route revamp, the penultimate hill on the course, Côte des Forges could once again become a sight of high drama.


Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons:


Distance:1.5 km

Average Gradient: 9.3 %

Max Gradient: 16 %

Elevation Gain:149 m


Just 15 km away from the finish line, and 241 km into the race, the final climb Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons is most famous in recent years perhaps, for proving decisive in Andy Schleck’s 2009 victory. A short sharp climb of less than a mile, this will prove a worthy final test for riders taking on the full Liege- Bastogne- Liege challenge.

For more information on the Liege- Bastogne- Liege, cycling events in Belgium, and the other prestigious Monuments of Cycling VISIT

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