The 100th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the oldest of the great classics of cycling, is certainly worth celebrating. With 100 days to go until D-Day, the city of Bastogne watched on this morning as the events that will spice up this special edition were presented by André Gilles, provincial councillor and President of the Province of Liège, Christian Prudhomme, director of cycling at Amaury Sport Organisation, and Paul Bolland, chairman of the RC Pesant Club Liégeois, which hatched this exceptionally enduring race in 1892. It is said its inventors dreamed of Liège-Paris-Liège. They did not make a mistake by stopping in Bastogne, one of the iconic towns on the route, which will be honoured with a special sprint at km 100 of the race, as confirmed by Burgomaster Benoît Lutgen.

Most of the climbs that pepper the course and show not all of Belgium is flat will be back on April 27, making it an edition to remember from both a sporting and a historical point of view. The Côte des Forges, so decisive in the 1980s, and the Roche-aux-Faucons, which made its debut in 2008, will feature in the 100thedition alongside the legendary climbs of Stockeu, La Redoute and Saint-Nicolas, which helped forge the legend of the race. For the one hundredth time, the riders will dream of adding their names to the honour list of a race they covet because it rewards all-rounders and must be earned like no other. They all burn with ambition to follow in the footsteps of all the winners, from Léon Houa in 1892 to Dan Martin in 2013, who wrote 99 episodes of a fantastic legend: Eddy Merckx and the five victories that earned him a stela on Stockeu; Bernard Hinault, who counted his second victory in the snowy 1980 edition among his greatest exploits; Ferdi Kübler, Stan Ockers, Jacques Anquetil, Sean Kelly and all the Italians so present in the Province of Liège, which became a home away from home for them. Another local rider, 1976 and 1978 winner Joseph Bruyère, came to Bastogne to start the 100-day countdown to the race.


Three countdown clocks were started in Bastogne, Liège and Ans with 100 days to go until the race. The Doyenne is set to receive all sorts of tributes over the next few weeks: TV clips, an exhibition, books, T-shirts, a vintage-style publicity caravan and the Liège–Bastogne–Liège Challenge cyclotourist ride the day before the race. Its young neighbour, the Flèche Wallonne, will also give an original hat-tip to the old lady who keeps on getting better with age, taking the start from… Bastogne!


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