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by Mark Zalewski
February 22, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Jules wins Tour de la Provence opener; Cycling Australia appoints former Victorian premier Steve Bracks to head board; One step at a time: Teenage phenom Adrien Costa looks to build on breakthrough season; Stig Broeckx continuing to make progress in recovery; Hearing delayed for doctor at centre of UK Anti-Doping investigation; Boardman: Froome is a statesman of the sport; Liège-Bastogne-Liège announces wildcard teams, route changes; First year team Aqua Blue Sport racking up wildcard invites; Pay to watch cycling from the roadside?; Emirates joins as sponsor of Team UAE Abu Dhabi; NASCAR champions ride for cyclist safety; 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour – Marianne Vos; Space Horse Disc – Loaded Touring.
The ASO, organisers of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the oldest of the five Monuments of the Spring Classics and the final race of the Ardennes Classics, announced the seven wildcard teams invited for the 2017 edition of ‘La Doyenne.’ As well, for the first time the race will also feature a Women’s WorldTour event from Bastogne to Ans.
The weather in 2016 was as brutal as the parcours.
Joining the WorldTour teams in the men’s event are Aqua Blue Sport, Cofidis, Direct Energie, Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij, Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Wanty – Groupe Gobert and WB Veranclassic Aqua Project.
The ASO made waves in 2016 when it made changes to the traditional route, including a short cobbled climb, the Côte de la Rue Naniot, with less than 3km to go. However, many thought that change made for a great race last year. This year the ASO will continue to add variety to the course by using the Côte de Pont, Côte de Belleveaux and Côte de la Ferme Libert climbs in place of the Côte de Wanne and Côte de la Haute-Levée.
The rest of the route will be largely unchanged from the 2016, and the peloton will hope for better weather too.
The 135.5km women’s race route includes four major climbs: Côte de la Vecquée, Côte de la Redoute, Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, and Côte de Saint-Nicolas.