Today saw ASO announce the teams and routes for their pair of major Ardennes Classics – Flèche Wallonne Femmes & Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes. Flèche Wallonne has a long history and will be celebrating its 25th edition in 2022. In comparison and contrary to the history of the men’s race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes is the junior partner. It will be raced for just the 5th time in 2022.
Flèche Wallonne & Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes 2022 Invited Teams
The 14 Women’s WorldTour teams have mandatory invites to all WorldTour races. A pair of Continental teams were successful enough in 2021 to also get mandatory invites – Parkhotel Valkenburg and Valcar Travel & Service.
The wildcard teams are an interesting selection. Unsurprisingly for a Belgian race, the local trio of Plantur-Pura, Lotto Soudal Ladies and Bingoal Casino Chevameire Van Eyck are all invited. France is represented by Arkea Pro Cycling and Cofidis. The latter are in their first season but have the likes of Clara Koppenburg who could do well at Flèche Wallonne. Le Col Wahoo will hope Eider Merino can show off her climbing skills and BePink get a rare chance to race a major classic. After a tough off-season, that’s seen them forced to change their jersey, the Andy Schleck Cycles CP NVST Immo Losch team will also be in attendance.
Flèche Wallonne 2022 Profile
A couple of changes to the finish sees the Côte de Cherave be a warm-up to the main climb, the Mur de Huy. The Côte d’Ereffe also makes a repeated appearance but it shouldn’t affect the racing too much. Despite being a steep climb, the Côte de Cherave never seems to be used as much of a springboard for attacks. Any effort there can’t be recovered from enough to keep clear on the Mur de Huy. As such, you’re more likely to see riders slowly getting dropped out of the back of the peloton on these climbs ahead of the final ascent of the Mur de Huy. The Queen of the Mur, Anna van der Breggen, obviously won’t be racing so the only previous winner in the peloton will be Marianne Vos.
Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2022 Profile
The 2022 Liège-Bastogne-Liège route contains 125km of the same route as the men’s race. It’s noticeably shorter though, as it starts in Bastogne and works its way northwards to Liège. Almost all the climbs are in there though, with only the Col du Stokeu missing from the women’s race. We’ve seen winning attacks from the Côte de la Redoute, where Lizzie Deignan got a gap and won the 2020 race. Last year saw a small group sneak away on the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons and stayed ahead for a small group sprint in Liège that Demi Vollering won.