© A.S.O. - B. Bade
One of cycling's most magical aspects is its ability to continually reinvent the face of the planet.
Depending on the season and year, the spotlight falls for a while on a region, a famous avenues in a major city or, just occasionally, a small village in the back of beyond... Liège, on the other hand, has enjoyed this privilege every Spring for 120 years! As have the slopes of Stockeu, La Redoute or the Roche aux Faucons, which rise up along the return route and the final stage.
This regular encounter for cycling titans in the Belgian Ardennes is one of those which arouse great excitement amongst riders and fans alike, both near and far. There can be no doubt that the spectacle of Philippe Gilbert outwitting the Schleck brothers last year not only delighted the fans huddled along the route but also thrilled television viewers throughout the world. This year, this queen among classic races will be eye-catching for yet another reason: its charm is combined with the lure of the Tour de France, which will be seeking inspiration in the grand old Province of Liege for its own Grand Départ.