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Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2022: Route, riders and all you need to know

Will Strickson
22 Apr 2022

Key info about the 2022 Liège-Bastogne-Liège men's and women's races on Sunday 24th April: Route, riders, live TV guide

Liège-Bastogne-Liège: History

Liège-Bastogne-Liège, sometimes known as La Doyenne, is one of the five Monuments of cycling and is technically the oldest, having first been run for amateurs in 1892. 

The first edition actually went from Spa to Bastogne and back over 250km – of the 33 starters only 17 finished. It was one by Léon Houa in 10 hours 48 minutes but the remaining 16 riders trickled in over the next five hours.

Two years later, in 1894, the race was held for professionals and Maurice Garin, the first winner of the Tour de France, finished fourth. After this the race disappeared for 14 years before returning in 1908 when the start and finish were moved to Liège.

Eddy Merckx, Liege 1969

Liège really began to capture the minds of fans in the late 1960s and 1970s during a period of domination by Eddy Merckx. Merckx won Liège five times, three of which were consecutive. Merckx claimed his fifth and final win in 1975, making him the only person to date to win La Doyenne five times.

Due to the April date the weather can be very changeable and the 1980 edition is perhaps the most well known due to the heavy snowfall that befell the race, ultimately earning the nickname ‘Neige-Bastogne-Neige’ [neige being snow in French].

Bernard Hinault won by 10 minutes, but only 21 riders finished out of 174 starters. Hinault later claimed that it took over three weeks for the full movement to return to his right hand.

In 1990 the management of the race was moved over to ASO, which resulted in a complete revamp of the route. The start/finish was moved out of Liège to Ans and five new climbs were added.