Roadside Report: We arrived in Europe the day before the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - the first major classic of the Classics season. Two months later, we were there for one last big day out to draw the Spring Classics season to a close: Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Let's take a look back at the day that was.
Roadside Report: And so the spring has come down to this - two more chases, two more spots, two more experiences, and one rider's ascent into the history books. Join us for one more chase.
Roadside Report, Part One: On a perfect day in the Ardennes, we chased our final Monument of the spring. The oldest classic of them all, La Doyenne, a figure eight from Liege to Bastogne and back, proved that picking a favorite race of the first part of the year is about as easy as buying a yacht.
La Doyenne – ‘a woman who is the eldest or senior member of a group.’ The group in question being the Classics; and in particular the five ‘Monuments,’ specifically Milan–Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix, the Tour of Lombardy and Liege– Bastogne–Liege, the oldest of them all. In Flemish that’s ‘Luik–Bastenaken–Luik,’ but whichever language you chose this race was first held as a professional event in 1894; and that’s a long time ago.
His stats for Liege read like this: 1979, 20th: 1981, 11th: 1982, 10th: 1984, 1st: 1985, 4th: 1986, 12th: 1987, 20th; 1988, 5th: 1989, 1st – good enough to tell us a little about La Doyenne? Yeah, we thought so too: PEZ talked to Sean Kelly about the oldest, and many would say the hardest of the ‘monuments’.