Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (April 25th)

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Oct 7, 2019
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agree, RoF is still blocking the race. They should better use the area aroud Stavelot (Thier de Coo, Hazelles, Brume, ect.) and dish the RoF and Forges for some smaller climbs on smaller roads after la Redoute.
 
agree, RoF is still blocking the race. They should better use the area aroud Stavelot (Thier de Coo, Hazelles, Brume, ect.) and dish the RoF and Forges for some smaller climbs on smaller roads after la Redoute
These climb would come something like 80-100 km before the finish in Liege. They could easily be soft-pedalled. I think something closer to Redoute, after Haute-Levee and Rosier (or instead of) would be essential for more action and a bigger selection on Redoute and more action than just the last 15-20 km.
 
These climb would come something like 80-100 km before the finish in Liege. They could easily be soft-pedalled. I think something closer to Redoute, after Haute-Levee and Rosier (or instead of) would be essential for more action and a bigger selection on Redoute and more action than just the last 15-20 km.
IMO, the key issue (aside from RoF) is the insistence on going though Spa because the climbs in the area aren't hard enough. The best option (that I've come up with, at least) would be to head towards Malmedy climbing Côte du Pont like in 2017, then turning west into Stavelot to do Stockeu in full, north (harder) side of Wanne, then Hézalles, Brume, Chevron and Lorcé (minus the first kilometer) before Redoute, then Forges as the final climb at a little over 15k to go. Chevron would be at about 50k to go, Hézalles at less than 70k, Stockeu at about 80k. Wanne-north, Brume and Chevron are the only of these climbs that would be completely new to the race, afaik, as it draws on the early 90s routes.
 
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IMO, the key issue (aside from RoF) is the insistence on going though Spa because the climbs in the area aren't hard enough. The best option (that I've come up with, at least) would be to head towards Malmedy climbing Côte du Pont like in 2017, then turning west into Stavelot to do Stockeu in full, north (harder) side of Wanne, then Hézalles, Brume, Chevron and Lorcé (minus the first kilometer) before Redoute, then Forges as the final climb at a little over 15k to go. Chevron would be at about 50k to go, Hézalles at less than 70k, Stockeu at about 80k. Wanne-north, Brume and Chevron are the only of these climbs that would be completely new to the race, afaik, as it draws on the early 90s routes.
Yep, that could have done the job. Especially Hezalles seems really steep. This with Stockeau just before would have been tougher and more difficult to control than the climbs to Haute-Levee and especially Rosier.

I also mapped another possible option. First doing Cote de Chambralles, then the first 3 km of Cote de Niaster just before Redoute. That would add some flat km, but then you'd have three fairly tough climbs in rapid sucession within just 15 km, ending with Redoute about 30 km before the finish. Then Forges and a short and not too tough climb to Embourg closer to the finish.

 
Oct 7, 2019
98
45
730
IMO, the key issue (aside from RoF) is the insistence on going though Spa because the climbs in the area aren't hard enough. The best option (that I've come up with, at least) would be to head towards Malmedy climbing Côte du Pont like in 2017, then turning west into Stavelot to do Stockeu in full, north (harder) side of Wanne, then Hézalles, Brume, Chevron and Lorcé (minus the first kilometer) before Redoute, then Forges as the final climb at a little over 15k to go. Chevron would be at about 50k to go, Hézalles at less than 70k, Stockeu at about 80k. Wanne-north, Brume and Chevron are the only of these climbs that would be completely new to the race, afaik, as it draws on the early 90s routes.
between Chevron and Lorcé you evantually could add the short but decently steep first kilometer of the Hez Griz. This would definitely much better than now. After Redoute I would then climb Forges via the Rue de la Dreve and then the short cobbled climb of Rue des Courteaux as last climb before reaching Liege. Finish of course should be aside the Meuse again.

If they insist in going through Spa, they still could add Hezalles, Brume and Thier de Coo along the Wanne and Stockeau. After Spa they could climb Chemin des Moutons, Au Haftay and the short but steep Queue du Bois. Those 3 instead of the Maquisard and Hauteregard.
 
IMO, the key issue (aside from RoF) is the insistence on going though Spa because the climbs in the area aren't hard enough. The best option (that I've come up with, at least) would be to head towards Malmedy climbing Côte du Pont like in 2017, then turning west into Stavelot to do Stockeu in full, north (harder) side of Wanne, then Hézalles, Brume, Chevron and Lorcé (minus the first kilometer) before Redoute, then Forges as the final climb at a little over 15k to go. Chevron would be at about 50k to go, Hézalles at less than 70k, Stockeu at about 80k. Wanne-north, Brume and Chevron are the only of these climbs that would be completely new to the race, afaik, as it draws on the early 90s routes.
Using the harder (real) version of Brume from Trois Ponte is even possible without any collision.

https://ibb.co/Qj7Q4hS
 
Yep, that could have done the job. Especially Hezalles seems really steep. This with Stockeau just before would have been tougher and more difficult to control than the climbs to Haute-Levee and especially Rosier.

I also mapped another possible option. First doing Cote de Chambralles, then the first 3 km of Cote de Niaster just before Redoute. That would add some flat km, but then you'd have three fairly tough climbs in rapid sucession within just 15 km, ending with Redoute about 30 km before the finish. Then Forges and a short and not too tough climb to Embourg closer to the finish.

I really like this. The climbers would have to go on La Redoute but there are still some hills left for late, possibly tactical attacks. Also I genuinely think that how easy the part before La Redoute is in the real route is one of the races main issues. As much as we'd love to see La Redoute attacks by genuine favorites it's basically asking for attacking an entire pro peloton on a climb barely longer than a kilometre without a descent afterwards. A pre race favorite is not gonna do that. Some climbs right before that give teams the chance to reduce the peloton without sending their riders on suicide attacks.

A few years ago I spent a lot of time scanning that entire region on google maps for climbs that could improve the route and there are a lot of interesting things you could theoretically do. I must have a number of such profiles for LBL finales on my cronoescalada account. Where it usually got problematic for me was actually the length of the race. How long can you realistically make a monument that isn't mostly flat? In this case from Maquisard onwards your route is a bit over 20 km longer than the actual one, it gets even more if you include the climb between Rosier and Maquisard. The question suddenly becomes, isn't 280km just too long for this race? Aren't they probably on the limit already. And then the problem becomes, you can't just drastically reduce the length of a race named after it's starting, its mid and its endpoint by cutting corners somewhere else. There are a lot of really nice climbs around Liege that will never actually be used since there is simply no room for a spot that is 30km away from the current route. In terms of designing the route this is really the main disadvantage of LBL compared to most other classics.
 
. As much as we'd love to see La Redoute attacks by genuine favorites it's basically asking for attacking an entire pro peloton on a climb barely longer than a kilometre without a descent afterwards
This was also my target with the redesign. If if adding steeper climbs earlier on the race, I think that the area just before and after Redoute would be the main issue even if the removed Roche-aux-Facons to make Redoute the focal point of the race. By adding Chambralles and Niaster the peloton would have a much harder run-in to Redoute and it would be easier to attack from a reduced peloton.
In this case from Maquisard onwards your route is a bit over 20 km longer than the actual one, it gets even more if you include the climb between Rosier and Maquisard. The question suddenly becomes, isn't 280km just too long for this race? Aren't they probably on the limit already. And then the problem becomes, you can't just drastically reduce the length of a race named after it's starting, its mid and its endpoint by cutting corners somewhere else. There are a lot of really nice climbs around Liege that will never actually be used since there is simply no room for a spot that is 30km away from the current route. In terms of designing the route this is really the main disadvantage of LBL compared to most other classics.
Nah, shouldn't be too big a problem. I mapped again, this time from Bastogne. The official route is 159 km from here to the finish in Liege. If we drop Saint-Roch and Mont-le-Soie from the route before Stavelot and in addition drop Vecquee from my route, the distance from Bastogne to Liege is 148 km. Adding Saint-Roch is about 5 km. Adding Vecquee is just below 10 km. That means that my route is just a few kms longer than the original route if dropping Mont-le-Soie and going a bit straighter between Saint-Roch and Wanne.
 
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I really like this. The climbers would have to go on La Redoute but there are still some hills left for late, possibly tactical attacks. Also I genuinely think that how easy the part before La Redoute is in the real route is one of the races main issues. As much as we'd love to see La Redoute attacks by genuine favorites it's basically asking for attacking an entire pro peloton on a climb barely longer than a kilometre without a descent afterwards. A pre race favorite is not gonna do that. Some climbs right before that give teams the chance to reduce the peloton without sending their riders on suicide attacks.

A few years ago I spent a lot of time scanning that entire region on google maps for climbs that could improve the route and there are a lot of interesting things you could theoretically do. I must have a number of such profiles for LBL finales on my cronoescalada account. Where it usually got problematic for me was actually the length of the race. How long can you realistically make a monument that isn't mostly flat? In this case from Maquisard onwards your route is a bit over 20 km longer than the actual one, it gets even more if you include the climb between Rosier and Maquisard. The question suddenly becomes, isn't 280km just too long for this race? Aren't they probably on the limit already. And then the problem becomes, you can't just drastically reduce the length of a race named after it's starting, its mid and its endpoint by cutting corners somewhere else. There are a lot of really nice climbs around Liege that will never actually be used since there is simply no room for a spot that is 30km away from the current route. In terms of designing the route this is really the main disadvantage of LBL compared to most other classics.
I genuinely wonder how much climbs like Rosier and Maquisard add to the race when they're probably done below threshold. I'm pretty sure they even used to have La Haussire early in the race but it didn't do anything. That's basically the problem with the Stockeau right now as well.

There's also a few detours in the route where you can cut distance, but unless you think Col du Targnon is too hard/dank I think it pretty much solves all issues cause you descend pretty much straight into La Redoute and can do whatever you want ater cause I'm pretty sure this cuts distance. Only downside I see with this is that perhaps it eliminates the classic type sprinters and memes we make when Gerrans wins LBL.
 
IMO, the key issue (aside from RoF) is the insistence on going though Spa because the climbs in the area aren't hard enough. The best option (that I've come up with, at least) would be to head towards Malmedy climbing Côte du Pont like in 2017, then turning west into Stavelot to do Stockeu in full, north (harder) side of Wanne, then Hézalles, Brume, Chevron and Lorcé (minus the first kilometer) before Redoute, then Forges as the final climb at a little over 15k to go. Chevron would be at about 50k to go, Hézalles at less than 70k, Stockeu at about 80k. Wanne-north, Brume and Chevron are the only of these climbs that would be completely new to the race, afaik, as it draws on the early 90s routes.
Here's a full profile of this, keeping the distance and the first 153 kilometers identical to the current route:

With a slight extension (5-6k), you could add Niaster right before Redoute like in @OlavEH's route. By taking the route into Bastogne used in 2018 instead (13k shorter), you could add in both that and Mont-le-Soie while keeping the distance basically equal.
 
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And then the problem becomes, you can't just drastically reduce the length of a race named after it's starting, its mid and its endpoint by cutting corners somewhere else.
The organisers of, among others, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, and the race that finished in Ans for 2 decades would probably respectfully disagree with such logic.
 
I started to worry, then i rechecked the route and went through the peloton. In my opinion just about anything is possible and a lot of options have a rather high chance of occurring.

Hence i sincerely doubt we will get to watch soft-pedaling to the finish line.
 
I genuinely wonder how much climbs like Rosier and Maquisard add to the race when they're probably done below threshold. I'm pretty sure they even used to have La Haussire early in the race but it didn't do anything. That's basically the problem with the Stockeau right now as well.

There's also a few detours in the route where you can cut distance, but unless you think Col du Targnon is too hard/dank I think it pretty much solves all issues cause you descend pretty much straight into La Redoute and can do whatever you want ater cause I'm pretty sure this cuts distance. Only downside I see with this is that perhaps it eliminates the classic type sprinters and memes we make when Gerrans wins LBL.
First of all, we need more information about The Targnon. It's still a mini mountain mystery. You can't access it on Google Maps and there are no videos or pictures about it. It could be a really narrow dirt track for MTB only.

But 2 km at 13%+ is brutal, even for a muro. I'm not sure we want to turn the race into Il Lombardia.

Any Walloons in here who are willing to torture themselves and take some pictures for us?
 
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