La Doyenne contains 10 climbs. There’s just one before the U-turn in Bastogne, 78.5 kilometres in. The Côte de la Roche Ardenne is a 2.8 kilometres climb at 6.2%. On the road back things get more tricky. Riders face the Côte de Saint-Roch with 125 kilomteres done. The steep climb was the centrepiece in stage 6 of last year’s Eneco Tour, a race won by Tim Wellens.
After 168.5 kilometres in the saddle Côte de Wanne is crested, marking the real start of the climbers fest that’s called Liege-Bastogne-Liege. In around 75 kilometers the remaining seven hills are to be braved.
While being crested with 179 kilometres done, the 2.8 kilometres climb up Côte de Haute Levée offers a steepest sector at 13%. Then comes Col du Rosier, at 4.4 kilometres the longest climb in Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2016, after which Col du Maquisard lay waiting, a 2.5 kilometres climb at 5%. The race is very much on at this point.
High time for the race’s centrepiece, La Redoute, a calf crusher with a maximum gradient of 22%. Halfway up the ramp a 500 metres section is 13% on average. Attacks here often decide the outcome of the race. Still a good 36 kilometres to go now.
Following a short drop, a 290 metres climb takes the riders into Sprimont before a longer drop takes them to the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. With 20.5 kilometres left the climb is history after a 1.3 kilometre toil at 11%. Expect only a small selection still in contention at this point.
The energy sapping Saint-Nicolas used to be the closing climb in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but as of 2016 things are different. The ramp opens with 500 metres at 10.9%, after which the climb flattens out slightly, yet the 1.2 kilometre slope still account for an 8.6% average gradient.
The finish used to be 5 kilometres after the Sain-Nicolas, now it is 6.5 kilometres and in between is something new to chew on: Côte de la Rue de Naniot. The cobbled climb is 600 metres at 10.5%.
Only 2.5 kilometres left. Following a short descent the familiar roads take the riders to the slighty uphill in Ans.
Race results/race report Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2016.
Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2016: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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La Redoute: Route and profile
Liege and Bastogne at Google maps
Streetview La Redoute