Liege-Bastogne-Liege may be in its 102nd edition, but that doesn’t mean that organisers ASO are prepared to stick to the same old route every year.
As part of a few minor alterations to the year’s fourth Monument, route planners will take the riders up a deceptively challenging cobbled climb within the last 10km.
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As if riding 253km through the rolling hills of the Ardennes wasn’t tough enough already, the Rue Naniot will test riders with 550m of cobbles, with a gradient of 10.5 per cent. And that’s just three kilometres before the final climb to Ans.
The Strava KOM currently stands at 1-19 for the climb, which will undoubtedly be beaten when the pros wind their way up the narrow street in the heat of battle. Interestingly, only two women seem to have ridden the road on Strava, so if you’re in the area in the next few months make sure to pop up Rue Naniot and get yourself an easy top-10!
Alejandro Valverde will be looking to win his fourth Liege-Bastogne-Liege title in April and will hope his outing in the Tour of Flanders a few weeks beforehand will hold him in good stead for the cobbled climb.