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Ardennes Classics — random facts and Andy Schleck

April 20, 2012

Andy Schleck at USA Pro Cycling Challenge (photo by Roxanne King, Flickr)

Three races in the space of eight days make up the “Ardennes Classics:” Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Here are a few random facts about the Ardennes Classics, and a reminder to, despite his season to date, follow Andy Schleck during this year’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege on April 22nd.

  • The courses are hilly,
  • The area of the Ardennes encompasses portions of Belgium, Luxembourg, and France,
  • “There are two theories on the origin of the word Ardennes: some historians think that it comes from the Celtic word ‘Arduinna silva’ known since ancient times and indicating a forest situated on the Ardennes massif, some others think it comes from the Celtic word ‘Ar Duen’ meaning ‘The Dark One.'”
  • Two men have won all three races in the same year, Davide Rebellin in 2004 and Philippe Gilbert in 2011. Danilo Di Luca, Michele Bartoli, Eddy Merckx, and Bernard Hinault have won all three but not in the same year,
  • “…an agreement stipulating that the Flèche Wallonne will finish at Huy and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in Ans until 2018 has been signed with the Province of Liege.” — via the A.S.O website

Andy Schleck finished 3rd in Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2011, 6th in 2010, and won the race in 2009. Perhaps, despite his poor season so far, Andy can land on the podium on April 22nd?

The British magazine Cycling Weekly said about Liege-Bastogne-Liege: “In purely physical terms, this is probably the toughest classic: the climbs are long, most of them are pretty steep as well, and they come up with depressing frequency in the final kilometers.” — via Wikipedia

Moreno Argentin said, “Riders who win at Liège are what we call fondisti – men with a superior level of stamina…Liège is a race of trial by elimination, where it’s very unlikely that a breakaway can go clear and decide the race before the final 100km. You need to be strong and at the same time clever and calculating – in this sense it’s a complete test of a cyclist’s ability.” — via Wikipedia

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One Comment
  1. It will be interesting indeed. I am hoping Andy can do something before July to show he has form. I love the boy but think he lacks passion.

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