Liege-Bastogne-Liege Cyclo – 25/04/2015 by Andy Oliver

Anybody wishing to tackle some of the spring classics the day before watching the pros ride can do so with relative ease. Having attempted the Rhonde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders Cyclo) last year, this years challenge was to take on the Liege Bastogne Liege. Having only watched the race on TV and not ridden or visited the Ardennes region of Belgium before, I was blissfully unaware of what a challenging ride this is. Although it doesn’t attract the number of participants as the Tour of Flanders Cyclo if anyone wishes to test their metal then this surely is a must do event. This year attracted around 8000 riders across the different routes. The majority of the iconic climbs come in the second half of the ride whether attempting the 156km or 273km route, but the ride still has uncategorised challenges all the way around the route. As the pro race tends to favour those that can climb well, that in itself should give a little insight into what this event can throw at you. Both routes will provide approx 8400ft and 15000ft of climbing respectively.  The weather this year didn’t favour the sportive riders with rain for a large proportion of the day but once crossing the finish line you will be rewarded with the overriding sense of achievement I’m sure. If your lucky, as we were, you may spot some pros loosening up for the following days event along the route. The event is very well organised, signage is clear and there are strategic marshals posted at some of the sticky points especially when navigating your way...
Riding the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge sportive by Richard Allcock

Riding the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge sportive by Richard Allcock

Last year I rode my first Spring Classic sportive at the Paris Roubaix. It was a fantastic experience in which amongst other things I learnt about riding on cobbles. After recovering from Paris Roubaix (swollen fingers for 7 days), I was wondering which other of the Spring Classics I should be riding next. It was between Flanders and Liege-Bastogne-Liege (LBL) and I decided on Liege-Bastogne-Liege the oldest of the classics “La Doyenne”. Preparation had not been ideal due to a niggling knee injury so I decided to swap from the 273km as originally intended and ride the 156km distance instead. I drove to Belgium on Friday in time to pre-register at Liege to save time and hassle on Saturday morning the registration process was very efficient. Unfortunately due to my original Liege accommodation being double booked I ended up in a hotel 30 minutes drive away (note: accommodation does get booked up early). The route card I was given at registration showed six categorised climbs for the 167km route. As we left Liege we began a climb, but this wasn’t one of the categorised climbs, in fact we’d climbed over 800m before we hit the first “official” climb. For the first 40kms or so I rode with a fast group of 12 and we were picking up lots of large groups along the way at time we had 100+ riders behind us in the group. Once the road split for the long distance several riders peeled off and the tempo went up the original 12 was now 6 with a few followers the road continued on an undulating route with...
Moult Wins European Championship in Spain

Moult Wins European Championship in Spain

A fantastic performance by Team Jewson–M.I.Racing–Polypipe’s Lady member – 28 year old Ali Moult, winning the European Duathlon Championships at Alcobendas in Spain. Not only was the event held in terrible weather with thunderstorms and hail; it was also very technical and very hilly pushing competitors to their limit.  The race saw many crashes and broken bones  but fortunately Ali’s brilliant bike skills saw that she stayed up right on the cycle section and after an early scrap with the leading Spanish competitor, came home a clear winner some 2 minutes ahead of the next finisher. The event consisted of a 10K Run–40K Ride and 5K Run.  This victory, the biggest of her career, comes just a few weeks after she had won the British Championships. The Team has now won 2 UCI World Masters Championships, 5 British Championships and 1 European Championship since January 1st this year.  NO OTHER Team in the U.K. can boast that sort of record.  The Teams other Lady Riders were also in good form over the Holiday weekend. Veteran rider Stephanie Peters finished 10th fastest Lady  out of a field of 70 riders in the Dianne Cooke Memorial 10 mile Time Trial at Wolvey.  This event was also held in terribly hard conditions due to strong winds, yet Stephanie recorded a personal best time on the popular course of 26 mins 01 secs . Team mate Wendy Kerby, who has only been back on her bike 5 weeks following an accident with a van that put her in Hospital,  recorded 31-16.  In the Men’s event 55 year old Pete Smith recorded 23 mins 36 secs,...