Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2014: preview

Dan Martin defends title in 100th edition of La Doyenne

Ten climbs feature on the route of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, with just one on the way to Bastogne and nine on the grueling return leg to Liege.

The Cote de La Roche-Ardenne opens proceedings 70km into the race – with several uncategorised climbs already encountered – and the 2.8km climb has an average gradient of 6.2 per cent.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege features ten punishing categorised climbs alongside several intermediate ascents (pic: ASO)

After reaching Bastogne at 99.5 kilometres, the second half of the race kicks off with the Cote de Saint-Roch and the Cote de Wanne, along with the Cote de Stockeu – the fiercest of the early climbs.

Just one kilometre in length, the lower ramps of the ascent are graded at 9.5 per cent, before a punishing 14.9 per cent ramp just short of the statue of Eddy Merckx at the summit.

That’s followed almost immediately by the Haute-Levee, which at 3.6 kilometres is the longest of the race’s ascents – a sharp ramp at the bottom making way for more generous gradients towards the top.

La Redoute is one of the race’s signature climbs and often provides a launch pad for a late escape. Arriving after 218.5km of racing in the legs, the two kilometre climb’s 8.9 per cent average gradient is inflated by a punishing ramp which touches 13 per cent halfway up.

Three further ascents follow – the Forges, the Roche-aux-Faucons and the Cote de Saint-Nicholas – before the uphill finish into Ans where Martin and Rodriguez will hope to be among the contenders again.

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