The Ardennes Classics are the three prestigious one-day races held primarily in the Ardennes of Belgium and in the Dutch Limburg region.
The three races, Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, all come within one week in mid-April and suited to puncheurs and climbers because of their hilly profile, in contrast to the Cobbled Classics which take place shortly before.
As of 2017, all three races is accompanied by a women’s version – and since their introduction, all three have been part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour.
The week of racing traditionally ends with Liège, the only monument of the three, nicknamed ‘La Doyenne’ (‘The Oldest’) having first run in 1892.
All three are UCI WorldTour races, with Tour de France organisers ASO arranging Flèche on the Wednesday of the Ardennes week and Liége on the Sunday, while the Amstel Gold Race Foundation puts on its race in Limburg on the first Sunday to kick it all off.
A rider winning all three races in the same week is extremely rare, happening only twice in 2004 with Davide Rebellin and with Philippe Gilbert more recently in 2011. Only four other riders, including Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault, have won all three races within their careers.