In 1998, the French magazine Vélo asked the top 100 cyclists in the world what their favourite classic was. More than a third of respondents had no doubt: the Liège-Bastogne-Liège was voted the most beloved race by riders. Although it is possible the taste of professionals has changed over the last twenty years, the reasons why the oldest classics route is still one of the favourites have not.
The Liège-Bastogne-Liège with a total elevation gain of around 4000 metres – mainly concentrated in the final quarter of the race – is considered by many the most demanding one-day event on the calendar. Despite the difficult altitude, it is one of the most democratic of the great racing classics in northern France. While the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix road epics are dominated by a small number of specialists, there are far more contenders to watch out for at the Liège start. Energetic runners, sturdy long-distance riders, fast climbers. Excluding sprinters, all other categories of cyclists can legitimately aspire to win at the finish line in Ans.