The next stage is a short time trial, just 6km and through the Belgium city of Liège, the largest city in the French-speaking half of the country. Once a boom town for steel and coal, today industry lives on but the place is far less prosperous and, well let’s just say other places in Belgium have their charms.
The city is often associated with the hilly Liège-Bastogne-Liège race but the route is flat, by my count there is a vertical gain of 12 metres across the whole course. There are just two sharp corners so this is a high speed course to suit the specialists.
In case you thought things had ended yesterday… this is a sneak preview of the prologue course for Saturday 30 June 2012 and the Grand Départ weekend of the Tour de France, featuring the opening time trial and then a road stage the following day.
As well as the prologue there’s a road stage on the Sunday.
Beyond this, nobody knows where the route will go. Race organisers ASO are promising some “surprises” for the 2012 edition and next year’s race will be the 100th edition of event, it started in 1903 but war stopped the racing.
It’s been a great race this year, truly a vintage edition and I’ll return soon with some more collected thoughts on 2011 race.
This final edition of The Spin won’t feature a weather forecast.