Things To Do in 2022: No 13, La Doyenne

THIS MAY BE A LOT BETTER THAN YOU REALISE …..

It is our perception that a lot of British riders get excited by the spectacle and legend of Paris-Roubaix and Ronde Van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) which have those iconic cobbles, but somehow overlook the third of the Northern European Monuments, Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

This writer has ridden all three of the above and, you may be surprised to hear that the favourite was Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Like the other two, there are packages available to go and ride the route on the Saturday, and watch the professional race on the Sunday and we recommend this option as a lot of the logistics will be taken care of by the Tour Operator.

Houffalize

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege route has slightly changed since we did it, but not much. Spoiler Alert – it is hilly. There is a common ignorance in the UK that Belgium is flat, clearly a view held by people who have never visited the Ardennes. Wallonia has some absolutely brilliant climbs and Liege-Bastogne-Liege is not for the faint-hearted. Whilst there are several route length options in the sportive, our view is that only the long version really counts if you want to experience the route properly, as many of the important climbs, such as Houffalize, are out towards Bastogne.

The 2022 event is on the weekend of 23 April and offers routes of 70km, 147km and 257km. The long route has over 5,000m of climbing ad must be done in 13.5 hours maximum. As daunting as that may seem, our experience was that the roads, and particularly descents, were fast and that the time allowed is more than adequate.

It is called La Doyenne because it is the oldest of cycling’s 5 Monuments, don’t wait until you are too old to do it!

OFFICIAL DETAILS HERE

SPORTS TOURS INTERNATIONAL