This time last year (quite possibly after a glass of wine) I messaged my local club to see if anyone was interested in riding the 256km Sportive route of the 2019 Liege Bastogne Liege, 5 others were keen. It was on.
6 became 5, became 4 but this did mean slightly easier logistics for the journey over. Various options were discussed but we eventually settled on this, we would go in one vehicle, a van, we would take the ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge overnight on the Thursday then drive to Liege for lunchtime, we stayed in the very well kept Youth Hostel, complete the ride on the Saturday, watch the race on the Sunday then drive to Calais on Monday morning and pop through the tunnel and drive back north. This kept costs down and maximised our time in Belgium.
The Sportive started early on a damp and cold Saturday morning, unfortunately one of our group had a di2 failure on the line so had to opt for the shorter course. I won’t go into too many details but 12 cold hours later we finished the 165 mile route. It’s tough, with most of the hills coming thick and fast in the last 60 miles, the feed stations were pretty good but with no hot drinks or food available the first half, wet and windy really took it’s toll. Luckily the sun made the odd appearance in the afternoon to brighten damp spirits.
Back at the hostel we enjoyed a few well deserved beers and pizza before enjoying the pro race on the Sunday (albeit most of it from in a bar drinking trappist ale).Author: Tony Booth