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The Ardennes Classics’ week reaches its peak with Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where the most resilient of all attackers will be judged on their ability to line up a long list of brutal climbs.

A very tough course, backed up by the profile:

Course Profile

Course Profile

A tough race then awaits the riders, who this week include the Schleck brothers, Gilbert, Wiggins, Stijn Devolder, Freire, Evans and Contador.

A classic image like this sums the race up well:

Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Andy Schleck - Last Years Winner

Andy Schleck - Last Years Winner

Last years winner, A Schleck will be looking for a repeat after his lack of results thus far in the classics.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège – Tough climbs, lots of mad fans and hopefully some sunshine.

The basic principle of a war of attrition is embodied and will be expressed in its most obvious definition on the Doyenne of the Classics, i.e. the huge energy to be spent by riders will have to be calculated and some of it saved for the race finish. Respecting this “save-your-energy-for-the-end” concept, the organisers of the 2010 race are offering a revised route taking into account some road works that are making it impossible to ride the Haute-Levée up or down. Hence, the reconnaissance teams have replaced the Haute-Levée and Vecquée climbs by similarly tough climbs called the “Col du Maquisard” and “Mont-Theux”. The two new climbs will be barring the riders’ way both 60km and 55km ahead of the finish line, making the finale even more intense. Some inspiration for the most daring riders undoubtedly…

A welcome site for the riders will be town of Ans, the finishing town:

Ans

Ans

Can Cadel shine here?

Can Cadel shine here?

The list of entered teams mirrors that of the Fleche Wallonne, with them being so close;

Germany
Team Milram (MRM)

Belgium
Omega Pharma-Lotto (OLO)
Quick Step (QST)
Landbouwkrediet (LAN)
Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator (TSV)

Denmark
Team Saxo Bank (SAX)

Spain
Caisse d’Epargne (GCE)
Euskaltel – Euskadi (EUS)

United-States
BMC Racing Team (BMC)
Garmin-Transitions (GRM)
Team HTC-Columbia (THR)
Team RadioShack (RSH)

Great-Britain
Team Sky (SKY)

France
AG2R La Mondiale (ALM)
Bbox Bouygues Telecom (BBO)
Cofidis, le Crédit en ligne (COF)
Française des Jeux (FDJ)

Italy
Acqua & Sapone (ASA)
Androni Giocattoli (AND)
Lampre-Farnese Vini (LAM)
Liquigas-Doimo (LIQ)

Kazakhstan
Astana (AST)

Nederlands
Rabobank (RAB)

Russia
Katusha Team (KAT)

Swiss
Cervelo Test Team (CTT)

With the racing coming thick and fast at the moment, there’s never been a better time to follow the pro riders and their progress through the early stages of what promises to be a long and gruelling season.

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