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Advice - Going to see Liege

Hi, I'm new here so apologies if there's already a thread on this or it's in the wrong place. Does anyone have any advice on seeing Liege-Bastogne-Liege by public transport only?

We just got back from Flanders (again without car/bikes) and had such a great time we decided to head back to see how the Walloons do things. In Flanders we saw the start in Bruges and then went to the Muur and it worked pretty well - not rushed, took in the atmosphere and could follow the events on the big screen before and after seeing the riders on the famous cobbled climb. But unlike the Ronde I have little knowledge of Liege as a race or that part of Belgium.

We've got a hotel in Liege booked and will watch the start Sunday morning. Where is good after that that you can reach by public transport?

Past trips to the Tour de France have told me I'm more a fan of seeing the riders on important parts of the course (i.e. cobbles and hills) and less of seeing them at the finish line. That said, I watched back my 2009 Liege DVD and it seemed that unlike the Muur the late climbs were void of big screens or any pubs or bars that might have a TV - I think it's great to be able to watch the coverage just before and after the riders come by. I saw there was a big screen by the finish but is the finish really a great place to be? How easy is it to get around that part of Belgium if you try to follow the race outside Liege? Would love to catch the La Redoute but I get the impression from studying the maps that that area isn't too hot on rail and bus links.

Those of you who have been before, where did you go and what did you think of the spots you chose?

Thanks for your help.
 
Jun 17, 2009
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I saw this race three times in the nineties - my brother lives in Brussels, so I would get an early train down to Liege to watch the start. After that, to be honest, it seemed simpler to stay in the town, have a beer or two and something to eat, then walk out to the finish, which took about half an hour. Usually there is a big screen at the top of the final climb at the beginning of the finishing straight in Ans, and of course the bars start showing the race after a few hours. The atmosphere was usually pretty good, and the crowds large and friendly. You don't get the excitement of being at what may be the decisive climb, but then the last climb can also be a decider. Unlike other races I have been to, you can actually get right on the barriers near the finish if you get there early.
I don't know if that helps you much, but I enjoyed myself each time I went
 
Jan 27, 2010
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i was on the redoute the year valverde won, amazing atmosphere, big screen was available at the phillipe gilbert fan club (roadside marquee village). the hill you mention in liege was decisive though i think - redoute is quite far out so i wouldn't bet on seeing the key move go there.

i cycled there from liege (easy and not far) - don't know about public transport i'm afraid. would seriously consider hiring a bike or something and cruising out to one of the cotes.

i think it was that day i first realised that watching the spring classics is simply a better experience all round than watching grand tour stages. riding the most famous and toughest climbs, with fans in place, an hour before the race, and then watching the pros hit it, some of them really struggling.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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L'arriviste said:
My advice on going to Liège would be: don't go to Liège. ;)

Very true. Unless you're a fan of disgusting communist style concrete high rise apartment architecture, or smelly industry fumes. Once you depart South of Liège into the countryside L' Ardenne is a beautiful place. Reminds me a lot of the Coulée region of Western Wisconsin terrain-wise.

Favorite cities in that area: Trois-Ponts, Stavelot, Spa, Malmedy, and Eau Rouge.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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L'arriviste said:
My advice on going to Liège would be: don't go to Liège. ;)


Yes it's charmless. There are beautiful people there...seek them out. Go to a pub and tell everybody you meet that you love fiber optics and glass fibers and that Liege is a cool place. Tell them you miss BASF and that you support X,Y,Z Belgian racers. You think Devolder is a talent but he is ill. Tell everybody you meet that Boonen made Armstrong the champion he is. Also drink lots of beer and schnaaps
 
Apr 20, 2013
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Guys, can anyone give me a hint of when to show up in Aywaille tomorrow (yes, 2013) to get some good spots? Is it still possible to see the riders when we arrive at 2 pm (first riders are supposed to pass Cote de la Redoute at 3:45 pm) or do we need to be there much much earlier?

Thank you for your help!!
 
Jan 22, 2010
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Very true. Unless you're a fan of disgusting communist style concrete high rise apartment architecture, or smelly industry fumes. Once you depart South of Liège into the countryside L' Ardenne is a beautiful place. Reminds me a lot of the Coulée region of Western Wisconsin terrain-wise.

Favorite cities in that area: Trois-Ponts, Stavelot, Spa, Malmedy, and Eau Rouge.
Liege is a bit like Pittsburgh/Cleveland or (god almighty) Detroit and if you want more Concrete then try New York or Chicago but it is certainly not like your Great Plains or Rockies.
It grew as an Industrialised city and being Wallonne it has a great resemblance to the dirt and grime that was France.
It has so much History from before anything that USA can offer as a new country in the America's.
The places you mention on the tourist trail are also the places which were prominent in the WW2 December 1944 German Breakout that awoke the USA army from their slumbers.
Me, I'm ENGLISH but I've been there many many times for bike riding and the Liege Bastogne race and I always find something of interest each time.
 

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