ASO has confirmed that the women’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Fleche Wallonne will have live television coverage. Last season, neither race was broadcast live despite the UCI declaring it mandatory for any women’s WorldTour race.
This saw organiser ASO threaten to pull the race from the top-tier if it was forced to provide 45 minutes of television coverage, however, it has now been confirmed that Belgian broadcaster RTBF will provide coverage of both races.
This will see both races broadcast live for the first time in their histories. The was confirmed at the route and team announcements for both the men’s and women’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Fleche Wallonne on Tuesday afternoon.
Leading the way for invitations in the men’s race were Alpecin-Fenix, spearheaded by Mathieu van der Poel, who will make his debut in both races.
They are joined by Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise and Wallonie Bruxelles as the other wildcard teams while Total-Direct Energie and Circus-Wanty Gobert had already qualified automatically.
The routes for the four races have had minimal changes applied with both the Mur de Huy and Liege city centre playing host to the finales.
The biggest change of note will be at Fleche Wallonne with both the men’s and women’s race ascending the new Cote du Chemin des Gueuses as a prelude to the Mur de Huy climb.
Julian Alaphilippe dominated last year’s Fleche Wallonne, beating Astana’s Jakub Fuglsang on the final ascent of the Huy. Four days later, however, Fuglsang got his own back by winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the first Monument of his career.
For the women, Anna van der Breggen won a fifth-consecutive Fleche Wallonne before Annemiek Van Vleuten won her first Liege-Bastogne-Liege, completing an all-Dutch podium with Floortje Mackaij and Demi Vollering.