Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Cauberg

This is what awaits the riders at the end of Sundays Amstel Gold Race, the first of the hilly Ardennes Classics. It is of course the final climb into the finish - The Cauberg. A short sharp climb typical of the Ardennes Classics the race has finished here since 2003 and the riders will tackle the Cauberg twice before the final climb up to the finish. The hill has been used in several Grand Tours and in 4 previous World Championships where it will again feature in the route of the 2012 edition, this Amstel will act as a kind of sneak preview for those contemplating the Worlds this year. The climb ramps up for around 1200 metres and in places reaches a gradient of 12% - more of a Puncheurs climb than an alpine specialist's which often results in a small bunch sprint featuring a who's who of the punchier classics riders. The previous two additions have been won by Philippe Gilbert, this year however his form is questionable and the new kid on the block Peter Sagan will be looking to take victory here on a course that suits his more in-form capabilities.

1 comment:

  1. Great pic. It really brings alive the colour and visual appeal of racing.

    As for hills, I've cycled a fair bit through the Ardennes - on a touring bike! and those are some really surprisingly punchy grades! Although they lack the might and grandeur of the Alps, and the viciousness of, say, Wrynose or Kirkstone Pass, the Ardennes climbs have a way of getting under your skin. And that's on a touring bike. God knows what it's like to race through there.