I was fortunate to take a trip to Liège Bastogne Liège recently, my first experience of this race.
It is surely one of the toughest Classics on the Calendar in terms of the amount of climbing involved. Several of the climbs feature stretches of 20% gradient, but it is the sheer number of climbs which wear the riders down. Despite this, the average speed of the race was 40.077kph, a new record.
The trip was organised by Sporting Tours, and thanks to Graham Baxter's knowledge of the course, I managed to see the race 11 times in total, including the start and finish, and many of the big climbs.

The winner for the second successive year was Italian Michele Bartoli of the Asics-CGA team. Laurent Jalabert (ONCE), was once again the runner up.

The inevitable early break formed after 30km, and once this had been reeled in, Evgeni Berzin attempted a long solo breakaway but was caught by Bartoli on the Côte de la Redoute, who then went on to finish alone.

Section 1. Before the race.

Richard Virenque (Festina)
Laurent Brochard (Festina)
Stuart O'Grady (Gan)

Section 2. The race itself.

On the Côte de Saint-Roch.

The early break hits the first major climb
Neil Stephens on the front of the Peloton
Laurent Dufaux and Michele Bartoli
Udo Bolts and Rodolfo Massi

On the Côte de Stokeu.

Rolf Jaermann
The top riders gather at the front
Laurent Brochard loses touch
Chris Boardman at the foot of the descent of the Stokeu NEW!

On the Côte de La Redoute

Evgeni Berzin NEW!
Henk Vogels and Gianni Faresin
Paolo Lanfranchi
Gianni Bugno and Chris Boardman

The Finish.

Michele Bartoli nears the finish