The Liège-Bastogne part of the race is relatively easy. The riders penetrate the Ardennes on rolling roads before turning back at the roundabout in Bastogne. This also means that most of the hardships is packed together in the Bastogne-Liège section.
The way back is almost the same as last year, but with a twist near the end. The Côte de la Redoute lies 6 kilometres closer to the finish, possibly to inspire attackers to give it a shot at the steep climb out of the valley. It’s 16 kilometres from La Redoute to the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, which is where the race ignited in recent years.
But before that all happens, the race faces the first of the ten classified climbs on the way to Bastogne. The Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne appears after 74.3 kilometres. It’s an isolated climb, as is the first one on the way back. This is the Côte de Saint-Roch in Houffalize, just before the midway marker.
Liège-Bastogne-Liège starts to warm-up on the Côte de Mont-le-Soie with almost 90 kilometres to go. Almost 10 kilometres later the route serves three climbs inside 12 kilometres. The riders tackle Côte de Wanne, Côte de Stockeu and Côte de Haute-Levée before continuing onto the Col du Rosier, which is the longest climb of the day: 4.4 kilometres at 5.9%.
And on we go. The energy-sapping Côte de Desnié precedes the possibly pivotal ascent of La Redoute. The 2 kilometres climb goes up at 8.9%, while the summit lies almost 30 kilometres before the finish. A short drop and short climb lead to Sprimont before it’s time for the Grande Finale.
The Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons is supposed to be the last climb of the day, but… no, it’s not. Not really. The 1.3 kilometres ascent at 11% is crested with 13 kilometres remaining. The riders plunge down a short drop which continues onto a draining false flat and, ultimately, a climb of 1 kilometre at 6.2%. Following a flat section the riders fly down into Liège with 5 kilometres to go. The last 2 kilometres of the race are flat.
Richard Carapaz opened last year’s finale on the run-up to the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. Michael Woods countered on the climb with Tadej Pogacar, David Gaudu, Julian Alaphilippe and Alejandro Valverde in his slipstream. The five held off the chasers and sprinted for the win. Alaphilippe dashed for the line, but Pogacar overhauled him with a powerful jump to win the first Monument in his career.
Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2022: route, profiles, more
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