Only a week after the Cauberg climb was removed from the finale of the Amstel Gold Race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège has also been given a shake-up, with three new climbs added in the final 90km of the race.
There are three new climbs that will appear in the 2017 route: the Côte de Pont, Côte de Bellevaux and the Côte de la Ferme Libert. This trio will replace the Côte de Wanne and the Côte de la Haute-Levée, and will come in quick succession with between 90km and 78km to go.
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The change shouldn’t affect the race in quite the same way as the removal of the Cauberg from the finale of Amstel Gold Race could do, but the Côte de la Ferme Libert especially is a tough climb, with an average gradient of more than 12 per cent over its 1.2km length.
Race organisers have also introduced a women’s version of the race for the first time, meaning that all three of the Ardennes Classics now have women’s races, following on from the decision to re-introduce the women’s Amstel Gold Race in 2017 after a 14-year absence.
The race will immediately take up a place in the UCI Women’s WorldTour, with riders racing 135.5km starting in Bastogne, with the final 45km being the same as the men’s race, meaning the inclusion of the iconic Côte de la Redoute.
The women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège will take place on April 23, the same day as the men’s race.