Snow could affect Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège as Belgian weather forecasters predict poor weather for the weekend

La Flèche Wallonne was bathed in sunshine on Wednesday, but a band of low pressure is set to bring snow and sleet to the Ardennes in time for Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The low pressure is set to sweep down from the North Sea into the Benelux region of northern Europe, which could dump a load of snow on cycling’s oldest Classic, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

Such potentially extreme weather will have cycling fans reminiscing over the 1980 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, in which just 21 of the 174 participants reached the finish line in snow and freezing temperatures.


Bernard Hinault talks about the effects of the cold at the 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège


Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault crossed the line first that day, suffering frostbite to two of his fingers, which has caused lasting damage.

>>> Ten times bad weather made bike races even tougher

Hopefully the UCI’s Extreme Weather Protocol won’t be called into action, with stages at Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico cancelled in March because of inclement weather.

Alejandro Valverde will be looking to complete his third Flèche-Liège double by winning on Sunday, having claimed the first half of it on Wednesday in a trademark fashion on the Mur de Huy.