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Ardennes classics

The Ardennes classics[1] are three cycling classics held in mid-April in the Belgian Ardennes and southern Limburg in the Netherlands: Liège–Bastogne–Liège,[2] La Flèche Wallonne[3] and Amstel Gold Race.[4] First held in 1892, 1936 and 1966 respectively, the races are notable for their hilly courses, and often have similar riders competing for the top positions as the races are held closely following each other. Cyclists that are specialized in these hilly courses are known as puncheurs. In recent years, the three classics have been held within an 8-day timeframe.

Since the late 2010s, all three of the men's races have been joined by equivalent races on the women's circuit: Amstel Gold Race for Women, La Flèche Wallonne Féminine and Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes.

History

Prior, there was already a points classification for the Belgian Ardennes classics, called Ardennes Weekend (combining La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège).

With the introduction of the Amstel Gold race, originally between both races, the period between the Belgian classics was extended to 1,5 week. Since then, the original points classification became unofficial.

The only male winners of the "triple" are Davide Rebellin in 2004 and Philippe Gilbert in 2011. Gilbert also won the Brabantse Pijl, another important hill classic in mid-April, winning the "quadruple" that year. Other riders to win all three races, though not in a single year, are Danilo Di Luca, Michele Bartoli, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Tadej Pogačar.

In 2017, women's races for all three of the Ardennes classics were held for the first time, with Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes making its debut alongside a revival of the Women's Amstel Gold Race, which had previously been held from 2001 to 2003, and La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, which has been held since 1998.[5][6][7] Anna van der Breggen immediately clinched the triple by winning all three races, being followed by team-mate Lizzie Deignan in second and Katarzyna Niewiadoma in third in all three events.[5]

There is no official competition connecting the three races, although there have been classifications in the past for the two Walloon races.

In recent years, these three hill classics are held in the second half of April, following a similar set of the Cobbled classics.

Later in the year, there are two similar 'trebles' in Italy: the Trittico Lombardo with the Tre Valli Varesine, Coppa Ugo Agostoni and Coppa Bernocchi in the Lombardy Region, and the Trittico di Autunno (Autumn Triptych) with Milano–Torino, Giro del Piemonte and Giro di Lombardia.

Winners

Men's (since 1966)

Year Amstel Gold Race La Flèche Wallonne Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1966  Jean Stablinski (FRA)  Michele Dancelli (ITA)  Jacques Anquetil (FRA)
1967  Arie den Hartog (NED)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (1/10)  Walter Godefroot (BEL)
1968  Harry Steevens (NED)  Rik Van Looy (BEL)  Valere Van Sweevelt (BEL)
1969  Guido Reybrouck (BEL)  Jos Huysmans (BEL)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (2/10)
1970  Georges Pintens (BEL) (1/2)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (3/10)  Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL) (1/2)
1971  Frans Verbeeck (BEL) (1/2)  Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL) (2/2)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (4/10)
1972  Walter Planckaert (BEL)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (5/10)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (6/10)
1973  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (7/10)  André Dierickx (BEL)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (8/10)
1974  Gerrie Knetemann (NED)  Frans Verbeeck (BEL) (2/2)  Georges Pintens (BEL) (2/2)
1975  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (9/10)  André Dierickx (BEL)  Eddy Merckx (BEL) (10/10)
1976  Freddy Maertens (BEL)  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) (1/2)  Joseph Bruyère (BEL) (1/2)
1977  Jan Raas (NED) (1/5)  Francesco Moser (ITA)  Bernard Hinault (FRA) (1/5)
1978  Jan Raas (NED) (2/5)  Michel Laurent (FRA)  Joseph Bruyère (BEL) (2/2)
1979  Jan Raas (NED) (3/5)  Bernard Hinault (FRA) (2/5)  Dietrich Thurau (DEU)
1980  Jan Raas (NED) (4/5)  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)  Bernard Hinault (FRA) (3/5)
1981  Bernard Hinault (FRA) (4/5)  Daniel Willems (BEL)  Josef Fuchs (SUI)
1982  Jan Raas (NED) (5/5)  Mario Beccia (ITA)  Silvano Contini (ITA)
1983  Phil Anderson (AUS)  Bernard Hinault (FRA) (5/5)  Steven Rooks (NED) (1/2)
1984  Jacques Hanegraaf (NED)  Kim Andersen (DEN)  Sean Kelly (IRE) (1/2)
1985  Gerrie Knetemann (NED)  Claude Criquielion (BEL)  Moreno Argentin (ITA) (1/7)
1986  Steven Rooks (NED) (2/2)  Laurent Fignon (FRA)  Moreno Argentin (ITA) (2/7)
1987  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) (2/2)  Jean-Claude Leclercq (FRA)  Moreno Argentin (ITA) (3/7)
1988  Jelle Nijdam (NED)  Rolf Gölz (DEU)  Adri van der Poel (NED)
1989  Eric Van Lancker (BEL) (1/2)  Claude Criquielion (BEL)  Sean Kelly (IRE) (2/2)
1990  Adri van der Poel (NED)  Moreno Argentin (ITA) (4/7)  Eric van Lancker (BEL) (2/2)
1991  Frans Maassen (NED)  Moreno Argentin (ITA) (5/7)  Moreno Argentin (ITA) (6/7)
1992  Olaf Ludwig (GER)  Giorgio Furlan (ITA)  Dirk de Wolf (BEL)
1993  Rolf Järmann (SUI) (1/2)  Maurizio Fondriest (ITA)  Rolf Sørensen (DEN)
1994  Johan Museeuw (BEL)  Moreno Argentin (ITA) (7/7)  Evgeni Berzin (RUS)
1995  Mauro Gianetti (SUI)  Laurent Jalabert (FRA) (1/2)  Mauro Gianetti (SUI)
1996  Stefano Zanini (ITA)  Lance Armstrong (USA)  Pascal Richard (SUI)
1997  Bjarne Riis (DEN)  Laurent Jalabert (FRA) (2/2)  Michele Bartoli (ITA) (1/4)
1998  Rolf Järmann (SUI) (2/2)  Bo Hamburger (DEN)  Michele Bartoli (ITA) (2/4)
1999  Michael Boogerd (NED)  Michele Bartoli (ITA) (3/4)  Frank Vandenbroucke (BEL)
2000  Erik Zabel (GER)  Francesco Casagrande (ITA)  Paolo Bettini (ITA) (1/2)
2001  Erik Dekker (NED)  Rik Verbrugghe (BEL)  Oscar Camenzind (SUI)
2002  Michele Bartoli (ITA) (4/4)  Mario Aerts (BEL)  Paolo Bettini (ITA) (2/2)
2003  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ) (1/3)  Igor Astarloa (ESP)  Tyler Hamilton (USA)
2004  Davide Rebellin (ITA) (1/5)  Davide Rebellin (ITA) (2/5)  Davide Rebellin (ITA) (3/5)
2005  Danilo Di Luca (ITA) (1/3)  Danilo Di Luca (ITA) (2/3)  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ) (2/3)
2006  Fränk Schleck (LUX)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (1/9)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (2/9)
2007  Stefan Schumacher (GER)  Davide Rebellin (ITA) (4/5)  Danilo Di Luca (ITA) (3/3)
2008  Damiano Cunego (ITA)  Kim Kirchen (LUX)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (3/9)
2009  Sergei Ivanov (RUS)  Davide Rebellin (ITA) (5/5)  Andy Schleck (LUX)
2010  Philippe Gilbert (BEL) (1/6)  Cadel Evans (AUS)  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ) (3/3)
2011  Philippe Gilbert (BEL) (2/6)  Philippe Gilbert (BEL) (3/6)  Philippe Gilbert (BEL) (4/6)
2012  Enrico Gasparotto (ITA) (1/2)  Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP)  Maxim Iglinsky (KAZ)
2013  Roman Kreuziger (CZE)  Daniel Moreno (ESP)  Dan Martin (IRL)
2014  Philippe Gilbert (BEL) (5/6)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (4/9)  Simon Gerrans (AUS)
2015  Michał Kwiatkowski (POL) (1/2)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (5/9)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (6/9)
2016  Enrico Gasparotto (ITA) (2/2)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (7/9)  Wout Poels (NED)
2017  Philippe Gilbert (BEL) (6/6)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (8/9)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) (9/9)
2018  Michael Valgren (DEN)  Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) (1/3)  Bob Jungels (LUX)
2019  Mathieu van der Poel (NED)  Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) (2/3)  Jakob Fuglsang (DEN)
2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic  Marc Hirschi (SUI)  Primož Roglič (SLO)
2021  Wout Van Aert (BEL)[8]  Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) (3/3)  Tadej Pogačar (SLO) (1/4)
2022  Michał Kwiatkowski (POL) (2/2)  Dylan Teuns (BEL)  Remco Evenepoel (BEL) (1/2)
2023  Tadej Pogačar (SLO) (2/4)  Tadej Pogačar (SLO) (3/4)  Remco Evenepoel (BEL) (2/2)
2024  Tom Pidcock (GBR)  Stephen Williams (GBR)  Tadej Pogačar (SLO) (4/4)
Year Amstel Gold Race La Flèche Wallonne Liège–Bastogne–Liège

Women's

Year Amstel Gold Race for Women La Flèche Wallonne Féminine Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes
1998 Race not held  Fabiana Luperini (ITA) (1/3) Race not held
1999  Hanka Kupfernagel (GER)
2000  Geneviève Jeanson (CAN)
2001  Debby Mansveld (NED)  Fabiana Luperini (ITA) (2/3)
2002  Leontien van Moorsel (NED)  Fabiana Luperini (ITA) (3/3)
2003  Nicole Cooke (GBR) (1/4)  Nicole Cooke (GBR) (2/4)
2004 Race not held  Sonia Huguet (FRA)
2005  Nicole Cooke (GBR) (3/4)
2006  Nicole Cooke (GBR) (4/4)
2007  Marianne Vos (NED) (1/7)
2008  Marianne Vos (NED) (2/7)
2009  Marianne Vos (NED) (3/7)
2010  Emma Pooley (GBR)
2011  Marianne Vos (NED) (4/7)
2012  Evelyn Stevens (USA)
2013  Marianne Vos (NED) (5/7)
2014  Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (FRA)
2015  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (1/10)
2016  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (2/10)
2017  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (3/10)  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (4/10)  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (5/10)
2018  Chantal Blaak (NED)  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (6/10)  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (7/10)
2019  Katarzyna Niewiadoma (POL) (1/2)  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (8/10)  Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) (1/2)
2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (9/10)  Lizzie Deignan (GBR)
2021  Marianne Vos (NED) (6/7)  Anna van der Breggen (NED) (10/10)  Demi Vollering (NED) (1/4)
2022  Marta Cavalli (ITA) (1/2)  Marta Cavalli (ITA) (2/2)  Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) (2/2)
2023  Demi Vollering (NED) (2/4)  Demi Vollering (NED) (3/4)  Demi Vollering (NED) (4/4)
2024  Marianne Vos (NED) (7/7)  Katarzyna Niewiadoma (POL) (2/2)  Grace Brown (AUS)
Year Amstel Gold Race for Women La Flèche Wallonne Féminine Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes

Statistics

  • Active cyclists marked in bold.

Most Ardennes classics wins per male rider

Rank Name Total wins Amstel Gold Race La Flèche Wallonne Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1 Eddy Merckx 10 2 (1973, 1975) 3 (1967, 1970, 1972) 5 (1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975)
2 Alejandro Valverde 9 0 5 (2006, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) 4 (2006, 2008, 2015, 2017)
3 Moreno Argentin 7 0 3 (1990, 1991, 1994) 4 (1985, 1986, 1987, 1991)
4 Philippe Gilbert 6 4 (2010, 2011, 2014, 2017) 1 (2011) 1 (2011)
5 Bernard Hinault 5 1 (1981) 2 (1979, 1983) 2 (1977, 1980)
Jan Raas 5 5 (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982) 0 0
Davide Rebellin 5 1 (2004) 3 (2004, 2007, 2009) 1 (2004)
8 Ferdi Kübler 4 0 2 (1951, 1952) 2 (1951, 1952)
Michele Bartoli 4 1 (2002) 1 (1999) 2 (1997, 1998)
Tadej Pogačar 4 1 (2023) 1 (2023) 2 (2021) (2024)
11 Marcel Kint 3 0 3 (1943, 1945, 1945) 0
Léon Houa 3 0 0 3 (1892, 1893, 1894)
Alfons Schepers 3 0 0 3 (1929, 1931, 1935)
Stan Ockers 3 0 2 (1953, 1955) 1 (1955)
Fred De Bruyne 3 0 0 3 (1956, 1958, 1959)
Alexander Vinokourov 3 1 (2003) 0 2 (2005, 2010)
Danilo Di Luca 3 1 (2005) 1 (2005) 1 (2007)
Julian Alaphilippe 3 0 3 (2018, 2019, 2021) 0

Most Ardennes classics wins per female rider

Rank Name Total wins Amstel Gold Race La Flèche Wallonne Féminine Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1 Anna van der Breggen 10 1 (2017) 7 (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) 2 (2017, 2018)
2 Marianne Vos 7 2 (2021, 2024) 5 (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013) 0
3 Nicole Cooke 4 1 (2003) 3 (2003, 2005, 2006) 0
Demi Vollering 4 1 (2023) 1 (2023) 2 (2021, 2023)
5 Fabiana Luperini 3 0 3 (1998, 2001, 2002) 0
6 Annemiek van Vleuten 2 0 0 2 (2019, 2022)
Marta Cavalli 2 1 (2022) 1 (2022) 0
Katarzyna Niewiadoma 2 1 (2019) 1 (2024) 0

See also

References

  1. ^ "Ardennes Classics". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Bel) - Cat.1.UWT". Mémoire du Cyclisme.
  3. ^ "Flèche Wallonne (Bel) - Cat.1.UWT". Mémoire du Cyclisme.
  4. ^ "Amstel Gold Race (Hol) - Cat.1.UWT". Mémoire du Cyclisme.
  5. ^ a b "The UCI Women's WorldTour Chronicle". Union Cycliste Internationale. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  6. ^ O'Shea, Sadhbh (13 April 2017). "Amstel Gold Race Women – Preview". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  7. ^ O'Shea, Sadhbh (17 April 2017). "Fleche Wallonne preview: Can anyone catch Van der Breggen?". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  8. ^ Long, Jonny (2021-04-18). "Wout van Aert beats Tom Pidcock in photo finish at Amstel Gold Race 2021". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
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Ardennes classics
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