22nd April 1969 and Eddy Merckx tackles a short, sharp climb supported by his Faema team mates Roger Swerts (front) and Victor van Schil during the of Liège–Bastogne–Liège one-day race. Merckx went on to win the event for the first ever time, though he was to triumph again four times, in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1975.
Held in mid-April in the Ardennes region of Belgium, Liège–Bastogne–Liège is known as La Doyenne - the oldest of the Classics - and is one of the great Monuments of cycling. It is the last of the three Ardennes Classics which start this Sunday with the Amstel Gold Race in Holland, which is followed by La Flèche Wallonne in Belgium on the 18th April.
The 2012 edition of Liège–Bastogne–Liège will be held on Sunday 22nd April, with the Belgian rider, Philippe Gilbert, defending his title. Last year, Gilbert was the in-form Classics specialist and he achieved the rare feat of winning all three of the Ardennes Classics. This year his form has not reached the same heights, though the fanatical Belgian cycling fans will be hoping that these three races will be when it returns.
Add a Comment