Today the routes for the 2023 editions of Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes & Flèche Wallonne Femmes were announced. The races, won by Annemiek van Vleuten and Marta Cavalli in 2022, have seen minor changes to their routes but the final stretches remain unchanged. For Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes, the legendary climb of the Côte de Stockeu where Eddy Merckx launched attacks to win his 5 men’s Liège–Bastogne–Liège monuments. It comes with around 80km to race, so probably won’t decide this year’s race but it’s a solid nod to the history.
Flèche Wallonne Femmes follows a tried and tested formula with an initial route to the Mur de Huy before completing two circuits that include the longer, easier Côte d’Ereffe and the shorter, steeper Côte de Cherave before dropping into Huy ready to race up the Mur. Pretty much all editions of Flèche Wallonne Femmes have come down to the Mur de Huy, with only one victory by Anna van der Breggen being the exception.
Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes Profile
Flèche Wallonne Femmes Profile
Teams selected for Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes & Flèche Wallonne Femmes
The teams selected for Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes and Flèche Wallonne Femmes are largely the same. The 15 Women’s WorldTour teams have been selected and all have confirmed their entry as expected. There are also 2 more teams with auto-invites, Lifeplus-Wahoo and Ceratizit-WNT. Both teams qualified as a result of their high ranking at the end of the 2022 season. The wildcard teams selected for Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes are AG Insurance-Soudal Quickstep, Arkea, Cofidis, Duolar Chevalmeire, Lotto Dstny, Parkhotel Valkenburg and Team Coop-Hitec Products. The only difference for Flèche Wallonne Femmes is that St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 are invited instead of Arkea.
That means we should see the likes of former winners Demi Vollering, Annemiek van Vleuten, Marianne Vos and Marta Cavalli should all be racing. Lizzie Deignan won’t return from maternity until May however and 7-time Fleche Wallonne and 2-time Fleche Wallonne winner Anna van der Breggen will be in the SD Worx team car.
Main photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency