Liege - Bastogne - Liege

The cycling spring classics are almost over and the tours will start in the coming months.  But today was one of the last major classics in Belgium: Liege- Bastogne - Liege conquering the slopes of the Ardennes...and very appropriately coming by nearby us at 20 kms.  In fact the Tour de France in 2010 followed the itinerary of this classic.  And then it's always fun to go and see them ride by at 10cm from your own nose and catch the atmosphere.

This time we went to Stavelot village and climbed the next hill after the cyclist come from Wannes a few kms before.

Stavelot Abbey

Stavelot Abbey at the Amblève
The well known climb there "Cote de Stockeu" was painful to walk up, let alone to race it  up by bike.

The monument on top of the Stockeu honoring Eddy Merckx, our biggest cycling champion. The list of victories listed is impressive: eg 5 times Giro, 5 times Tour the France, 3 times word champion, ....and also 5 times Liege - Bastogne - Liege.

The advertising cars were rather pathetic  and the crowd was still pretty thin but by the time the race approached it was getting better and more and more public took place along the tiny climbing road.

Listening to the radio
When the helicopters approach and the nearby horses get nervous, you know they are coming!

5 leaders a few minutes ahead

the pelleton with the favourits on top: Andy Schleck seemingly pushing someone aside, Philippe Gilbert 3rd row

And by the time they disappeared the sun disappeared again and we just made it down the hill with the crowd to reach the car when it started to hail. We could warm up at home in front of tv to watch the end of the race.  Unfortunately our favourite Philippe Gilbert couldn't show his top level .

And now we've got July 1st written in our agenda when the Tour the France will pass by even a few kms closer to our home again , through Malmedy.  Yeay.


Autumn Leaf said…
Mooi verslag. Zo helemaal live "de koers" volgen is toch een heel andere ervaring dan vanachter TV.
Brian Miller said…
cool castle...and bet that was a lot of fun to watch as well....

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