So Anna completed the set of Ardennes victories, whilst Lizzie and Kasia got the complete set of silver and bronzes respectively. But that’s not the most remarkable thing this week. The Women’s Liège Bastogne Liège course is a toughie. Yes, it’s back loaded, with hardest climbs in the final third but it’s rarely flat on the journey from Bastogne to Liège.
If you want to see how the level of women’s cycling is progressing, don’t look at the podium but the number of finishers. The peloton was running close to the fastest pace yet almost 100 riders completed today’s Liège Bastogne Liège. On such a demanding course that’s remarkable. Standing on Côte de la Redoute I was expecting a glut of photos as they battled up the climb one by one, but they sped up the long, steep climb as one large group. Even a year ago I doubt that would have happened.
I’ve long thought about how women’s races often play out like a meteor entering the Earth’s atmosphere. As the heat builds the peloton sheds a blazing trail off the back. Most of the peloton gets burnt up entering the atmosphere with a few of the hardest bits of rock making it through and reaching the Earth’s surface to contest the win. But today, it was more like a rock reaching the surface that would have had the dinosaurs worried!
But enough of my metaphors, you came here for the photos. Here’s a selection from the day.