Friday: arrival @Liège
Today someone from our organization will meet you at Liège airport or train station and will assist you to our vehicle and bring you to our accommodation near Liège where we will spend the next 3 nights.
The first job will be to assemble your bike and Go4Cycling staff will be on hand if you have mechanical problems or need any other assistance. We will then leave for a short ride to discover the area around the place where we stay.
Tonight a Welcome Dinner is provided at the dining room of the hotel. There, the tour leaders will explain the whole itinerary and present the programme of the following ten days. We’ll also explain how we ride in group, the pace, the organized evening city trips, et cetera. This is a good occasion to ask any questions you might have but of course also to meet the people who you will be spending your holiday with.
Saturday: riding the cyclo Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Luik-Bastenaken-Luik, the Dutch name for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, is one of the highlights of each cycling season. Professional cyclists describe it as the most beautiful but also the most difficult race. Since the last 2 years you can also participate in the official cyclo version containing the main slopes. We will ride around in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Belgian Ardennes.
The Mardasson Memorial:
Sunday: watching Liège-Bastogne-Liège in VIP-style
Brief history of Liège-Bastogne-Liège:
Liège-Bastogne-Liège, in French often called La Doyenne ("the oldest"), is one of the five 'Monuments' of the European professional road cycling calendar. Liège-Bastogne-Liège is part of the UCI World Calendar and is part of the Belgian Ardennes Classics series, which also include the Flèche Wallonne. Both are organised by Amaury Sport Organisation. At one time, the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège were run on successive days as le Week-end Ardennais. Only seven riders have achieved the Ardennes double by winning both in the same year: the Swiss Ferdi Kübler even twice (in 1951 and 1952), Belgians Stan Ockers (1955), Eddy Merckx (1972) and Philippe Gilbert (2011), Italians Moreno Argentin (1991) and Davide Rebellin (2004) and the Spaniard Alejandro Valverde also twice (2006 and 2015). The race has in several editions been affected by tough weather conditions. In 1919, 1957 and 1980 there were severe conditions with low temperatures and snow. Two riders shared the win of the 1957 race. Germain Derijcke was the first over the line but because he crossed a closed rail crossing, the second placed rider, Frans Schoubben, was promoted to first place as well. Derijcke was not disqualified because he had won with three minutes advantage so the judges felt he had not profited from illegally crossing the closed rail crossing. The 1980 edition is memorable because of snow that besieged the race from the start and was referred to as neige-Bastogne-neige (snow-Bastogne-snow) by commentators. Bernard Hinault attacked with 80 km to go and finished nearly 10 minutes ahead.
Our programme for today:
Today we’ll go to the start of the race at the Place Saint-Lambert in Liège. After the start, we will view the race at multiple locations on the course.
Monday: a goodbye from Go4Cycling
The trip ends and we head our different ways. Maybe we’ll see you again on another tour. We will have a bus available to shuttle people to the airport during the day.