Muur de Huy with a gradient of 26% – the lactic acid fills the legs of the riders. Then the turbo charger of Joaqium “Purito” Rodríguez kicks in. Purito already showed last year just how it’s done and scooped a fantastic victory at Flèche Wallone on his Aeroad CF.
This year the climber from Catalonia is again our man from Team Katusha for the three Ardennes classics Amstel Gold Race – Flèche Wallone – Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Canyon bikes are built for winners!
It’s obvious that Canyon bikes feel at home on the tough little climbs in the Ardennes if the results they have achieved over the last few years are anything to go by. In 2011 Purito just missed out on the big coup finishing second in both the Amstel Gold Race and Fleche Wallone. He was only narrowly beaten by Philippe Gilbert, who also celebrated all his major triumphs on a Canyon bike.
In Belgium and the Netherlands Purito was supported by his countryman Dani Moreno. The explosive puncheur, who finished 5th in the Vuelta in 2012, has escorted Rodríguez through the Ardennes countryside over the last two years. Katusha is very well equipped for the challenges ahead.
Muur de Huy is the killer climb
The opener of the famous Ardennes triple is the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday 14 April. The 250 kilometer classic race is studded with 33 short, stiff climbs. The pros must overcome over 4000 metres of elevation. The killer climb will again be the Cauberg, which with a maximum gradient of 11%, is at the same time one of the toughest. From there it’s just a further two kilometres to the finish in Valkenburg.
The second race of the Ardennes week is the Flèche Wallonne, which takes place on Wednesday, 17 April. In contrast to the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne follows a route through the Belgian Ardennes. The most crucial and also the final climb is the Muur de Huy, which is 1.3 kms long and has a gradient of 26%. The “Wall” is the terrain in which Purito really feels at home!
Storming the Ardennes triple
The pros hardly have time to draw breath after such a demanding race before Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday, 21 April tops off the Ardennes classic series. It is the oldest one-day race on the pro calendar which is still run and is regarded as one of the toughest in cycling due to its hilly profile through the Wallonian Ardennes.
The 260 kilometre route is littered with numerous little climbs. The most famous of them is the Cote de la Redoute, which is two kilometres long and has a maximum gradient of 20%. ¡Venga Purito!
The following Katusha riders will take part in the three races during the Ardennes week:
Giampaolo Caruso (ITA), Alexandr Kolobnev (RUS), Alberto Losada (ESP), Daniel Moreno (ESP), Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP), Simon Spilak (SVN), Angel Vicioso (ESP), Eduard Vorganov (RUS).
It will be an exciting and strenuous week for Katusha and we wish our team the best of luck and above all success!
Canyon and Katusha: Learn from each other, win together.