After Annemieke’s big vacation touring France and Italy, we met up again in July and took our road bikes for longer badass trips. During one of our trips in Brabant we ended up pulling 2 guys towards the end line and they talked about the Liege-Bastogne-Liege from Le Champion in August, it struck a note… can we? Yes… but of course.
We arranged our starting tickets and a hotel near the start. During the night before it rain cats and dogs, we had our doubts but the weather app was adamant: it would be dry after 8:00 (thankfully it was). The city was flooded with LBL cyclists and before we knew it we were ploughing our way up to the first climb the Côte d’Embourgh (4.8km 4% on average). Côte de Chambralles (1.6km 9% average) has a very steep start, 17% at some parts.
Can you believe it?!
Just before the Col de La Roche à frène, we caught up with 3 riders that had a wicked pace and we thought we’d see how far we’d get. We kept up with their average of 40-43km/h, shaking our heads with disbelieve and laughing out loud. We looked at each other “can you believe this?”.
At the start of the Col de La Roche à frène, we had to let them go and we continued at our own pace and preparing mentally for the La Redoute that was getting closer.
We took another short break at the start of the La Redoute, making fun of stretching and getting ready. Someone next to us asked us “triple or compact” and we replied “compact”, he grinned slightly smug and took off… We looked at each other… “wtf?”
Col La Redoute
La Redoute is no piece of cake, don’t know about a triple – a compact with some more strength training is sufficient I suppose- we made it. We struggled a bit, but we made it. The last 20 kilometres had a few steep climbs and a 5km end stretch with a headwind. Finishing the LBL made us hungry for more, we pledged to ride more of this type of classics next year and went home tired but happy.
Le Champion organizes great events, good catering and many road marshals, not one crossing was left unattended. Well done guys!