THE ARDENNES CLASSICS :
THE MAKING OF A WORLD CHAMPION
Every great race has an icon. The Cauberg. The Mur de Huy. Côte de la Redoute. These are the iconic locations that define The Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche-Wallonne Liège-Bastogne-Liège . The rainbow stripes are what define the world champion, perhaps the most coveted single day title for professional cyclists. The Road Race World Championships return to the cycling mad Dutch province of Limburg, and is bound to produce worthy champions in all races. The region, along with the Belgian Ardennes, is host to the second half of the most exciting month of racing during the Spring Classics, and it's the Classics powerhouse rider who will prevail on the demanding terrain of Holland's hilliest region .
To gain a full appreciation of these World Championships, we'll take you inside the Spring Classics, experiencing the courses and their nuances in detail. The final 40 kilometers of the Amstel Gold Race twists and turns across the hilly Dutch countryside, finishing atop the Cauberg, and makes up the exciting opening loop and demanding finishing circuit for the road race. You'll ride La Flèche-Wallonne, a relentless roller coaster, consisting of seven challenging climbs leading to the infamous slopes of the Mur de Huy. Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the oldest of the classics, is a hilly war of attrition, and any rider who garners success in these races is surely targeting success on the Valkenburg circuit .
Limburg is an anomaly in the normally flat Dutch landscape, and the Ardennes is unlike any landscape in Belgium. Its steep river valleys and thick forests are pivotal to the nature of the races. The climbs of the Mur de Huy, La Redoute, Côte St. Roch and the Côte de Stockeu are rooted in the valleys once mined for their rich ore and iron. The vibrant university city of Maastricht welcomes cyclists again and its inviting culinary scene is unrivalled in Holland. The historic towns of World War II, including Bastogne and Stavelot, honor the sacrifices American soldiers made in the Battle of the Bulge, and are the heart and soul of the region, linking both history and cycling.
The culinary excellence of the Ardennes has a friendly rivalry with its neighboring province of Limburg, and its capital city of Maastricht. Fine food and wine after a day of cycling are richly deserved, and we've selected the region’s best kept secrets to experience the full breadth of the unique flavors of Belgium and Holland. Our race viewing days at the World Championships include VIP access passes, various race viewing locations and digital TV viewing to catch all the action. This is as close as you'll get to experience any of the Classics without being a pro, and the one day a year national pride takes center stage for riders and fans alike.