collapse


cj2002

  • Classics Winner
  • *
  • Country: pt
  • Posts: 2893
  • Liked: 3256
  • Honorary President
  • Awards: Best avatar 2012
Liege-Bastogne-Liege
« on: April 19, 2017, 22:57 »
The 103rd Liege-Bastogne-Liege[1]

They don't call this race "La Doyenne" - The Oldest - without good reason. It was 1892 when Liege-Bastogne-Liege was first raced, by amateurs, before turning pro in 1894. For comparison, it's ASO stablemate, the Tour de France, didn't run for the first time for another 9 years. It was another 6 years, in 1909, that we saw the first Giro, while the Tour of Flanders took until 1913 to enter the public consciousness.

The History

The history of Liege-Bastogne-Liege can almost be read as a history of cycling, and the list of winners as a Who's Who. Anquetil, Merckx, De Vlaeminck, Hinault feature prominently - Hinault's 1980 victory was one of the most famous; the race started just minutes after a heavy snowfall and many riders didn't make it past the first hour. Hinault did finish, at the expense of needing three weeks to regain full movement of all his fingers.

Originally run the day after la Fleche Wallonne, and still closely related, only 7 men have taken both titles in the same year. Alejandro Valverde #movistar, of course, did this for the second time in 2015 as he won this race for the third time and cemented his claim to being the most successful rider in the Ardennes in recent years. He was outgunned last year, eventually ending in the main group 12 seconds behind the podium finishers. Winner Wout Pouls and 3rd place-finisher Rui Costa were the only two strong enough to chase Michael Albasini down when he attacked under the kite, the trio catching and passing Samuel Sanchez on the uphill run to the finish.



The Route

258 km of Ardennaise roads await this year's riders. And while they will meet familiar friends among the 10 climbs along the way - as ever, they get more frequent and more difficult the closer we get to the finish - ASO have not been afraid to shuffle the pack. Rue Naniot - last year's surprise addition, throwing cobbles less than 3km from the finish, misses out this time around. Gone, too, are the traditional pairing of Côte de Wanne and Côte de la Haute-Levée, replaced by a trio even closer together - about 12 km covers the three - in an attempt to force an earlier selection. It worked for Muur-Kapelmuur in Flanders, so perhaps something equally audacious could happen here..? The difficult finishing trio of La Redoute, Roche-aux-Faucons and Saint-Nicolas remain, and will be sure to add vim and verve to an already extremely difficult challenge.



Race DistanceClimbDetails
Km 70.0Côte de La Roche-en-Ardenne2.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.2%
Km 116.0Côte de Saint-Roch1 kilometre-long climb at 11.2%
Km 168.0Côte de Pont1 kilometre-long climb at 10.5%
Km 172.0Côte de Bellevaux1.1 kilometre-long climb at 6.8%
Km 180.0Côte de la Ferme Libert1.2 kilometrelong climb at 12.1%
Km 198.0Col du Rosier4.4 kilometre-long climb at 5.9%
Km 211.0Col du Maquisard2.5 kilometre-long climb at 5%
Km 222.5Côte de La Redoute2 kilometre-long climb at 8.9%
Km 239.0Côte de La Roche-aux-Faucons1.3 kilometre-long climb at 11%
Km 252.5Côte de Saint-Nicolas1.2 kilometre-long climb at 8.6%

Runners and Riders

As ever, the final startlist is still a work in progress, but the main protagonists in the Ardennes tend to appear consistently throughout the mini-season. But this year, the list of absences is almost as significant. Philippe Gilbert - winner of the Tour of Flanders and in a form not seen in years - has had to pull out with a kidney injury sustained last weekend in Amstel Gold and misses out on possibly his best recent chance to get a second win in this race. Defending champion Wout Pouls will also not be on the start line as he recovers from a knee injury.

Despite my poor effort last year - I gave Rui Costa and "a Sky rider" 2 stars each - I'm going to try again with star ratings for the main contenders.

 :* :* :* :* :*
Alejandro Valverde #movistar
Does this man not age[2]? He is in the form of his life, an eternal peak that has seen him rack up 10 wins already - more than any other rider - as well as another 10 Top-10 placings. Among those wins, of course, was his 5th Fleche Wallone. The Spaniard has always gone well in this race - 3 wins and 4 other podium finishes - despite missing out last year. As always, and as I said last year, he is more likely to take advantage of the race falling into place for him than driving it in his direction.

 :* :* :* :*
Michal Kwiatkowski #sky
Already a Monument winner this year, taking Milan-San Remo as well as Strade Bianche, the former World Champion was 2nd to Gilbert in Amstel Gold and has been consistently strong all season. 7th in Fleche Wallonne is no poor performance, either, so it is clear he has the legs and - with a big of luck - will be near the front on the run into Ans.

Dan Martin #quickstep
One of a number of strong QuickStep riders, Martin is a proven force at this race and will likely lead the line in Gilbert's absence. A relatively quiet start to the season, with only one win in the Algarve to his name, you can be sure that the Irishman will have been building to this weekend. 2nd place at the top of the Muur de Huy proves he is heading in the right direction.


 :* :* :*
Rui Costa #uae
Another former world champion with a taste for the Ardennes, Costa enjoyed an excellent start to the season, including the GC at the Abu Dhabi Tour - to the pleasure, no doubt, of his new employers - his classics season has been less eventful. Nevertheless, his experience and record in this race suggest that, if his legs hold out, he can't be ignored by those around him.

Greg van Avermaet #bmc
Olympic Champion. Monument Winner. And that's just in the last 9 months. His late call-up to the BMC's roster for LBL is being viewed with surprise in some quarters, but really shouldn't be. He will be fresher than many of his rivals - he has only raced at Amstel Gold since crossing the line at the Roubaix velodrome - and BMC will send a strong squad in support.


 :* :* and :*
As with all the Monuments, the sheer scale of the task means that a long list of riders can find themselves in the mix. Look out for Sergio Henao #sky, Tom Dumoulin and Warren Barguil #giant, Romain Bardet #ag2r and Rigoberto Uran #cannondale.
 1. And, as it happens, the 5th in a row to be previewed by me... doesn't time fly?!
 2. Rhetorical question - answers in a more suitable place if necessary at all
  • ReplyReply
  • « Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 10:14 by LukasCPH »
    He shook his head sadly and told me that endemic drug use had compelled him to give up a promising career. "Even one small local race, prize was a salami, and I see doping!" - Tim Moore: Gironimo (Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy)

    DJW

    • Road Captain
    • Country: gb
    • Posts: 1251
    • Liked: 852
    • Awards: Rio Olympics Prediction Champ
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 00:54 »
    Great preview. Bur Uran, really?

    Shame about Rue Naniot imo
  • ReplyReply

  • AG

    • Monument Winner
    • *
    • Country: au
    • Posts: 6267
    • Liked: 3507
    • Awards: Winner, 2013 National Championships prediction gameFan of the Year 2013
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 02:09 »
     :cool


    Valverde to win his 4th Liege title here

    As much as he has conquered all before him this spring, I simply cant see GvA having the legs to outdo Valverde.  A move off the front might do it for another team - but any situation from which Van Avermaet could win - Valverde will be there and will be much fresher.

    GvA has ridden every weekend since ... well before Milan San Remo.   And not just ridden, but raced, hard (and often won).   That kind of racing takes it out of you, and that was seen when he was unable to join the front of the race at Amstel.

  • ReplyReply
  • « Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 02:21 by AG »

    LukasCPH

    • World Champion
    • *
    • Country: de
    • Posts: 10301
    • Liked: 6197
      • lukascph.media
    • Awards: Staff of the year 2016Staff of the year 2015Velorooms Tour de France BINGO champion 2014National Championships Predictions Game Winner 2014Velorooms Monday Quiz ChampionPoster of the Year 2013
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 10:11 »
    Originally run the day after la Fleche Wallone, and still closely related
    Pet peeve: It's Flèche Wallonne, with two Ns.

    Post Merge: April 20, 2017, 10:13
    GvA has ridden every weekend since ... well before Milan San Remo.   And not just ridden, but raced, hard (and often won).   That kind of racing takes it out of you, and that was seen when he was unable to join the front of the race at Amstel.
    You know, so has Valverde. Not every weekend, mind - he's raced and won two week-long stage races instead! :o
  • ReplyReply
  • 2017 0711|CYCLING PR Manager; 2016 Stölting Content Editor
    Views presented are my own.
    RIP Keith

    cj2002

    • Classics Winner
    • *
    • Country: pt
    • Posts: 2893
    • Liked: 3256
    • Honorary President
    • Awards: Best avatar 2012
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 10:16 »
    Pet peeve: It's Flèche Wallonne, with two Ns.

    I have never been able to spell that. :fp
  • ReplyReply

  • cj2002

    • Classics Winner
    • *
    • Country: pt
    • Posts: 2893
    • Liked: 3256
    • Honorary President
    • Awards: Best avatar 2012
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 10:19 »
    Great preview. Bur Uran, really?

    Thanks. Wishful thinking, maybe? A desperate hope that Cannondale actually get the big win they really deserve?

    I was tempted to put some money on him - at 33/1 - each-way for a podium finish. But, in the end, I couldn't look beyond Valverde, either.
  • ReplyReply

  • just some guy

    • Fourth Generation humanoid bot
    • Hall of Fame'r
    • Country: 00
    • Posts: 31247
    • Liked: 10826
    • Awards: Best Avatar of 2016JSG News Filter Award 2014Poster of 2014Thread of the Year 2013Most Helpful Member 2013Art of Brevity 2012Most helpful member 2012Best member of staff 2012
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 12:22 »
    nice little summary from a FW piece on CN

    Liège-Bastogne-Liège’s 258-kilometre course will see some significant alterations this year. The Cote de la Rue Naniot, a short, punchy climb introduced last April very close to the finish in Ans has been removed again. But the main trio of late climbs of Cote de la Redoute [km 222.5], Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons [km 239] and Cote de Saint Nicolas [km 252.5] , remain in place, as does the long grind through Ans, up to the usual sharp left-hand bend and last, flat, 300 metres.

    Earlier on, however, there are some major changes. The usual mid-race section of the Côte de Wanne, Cote de Stockeu - already missing last year - and Cote de la Haut Levée, which usually provide the first big sort-out around 100 kilometres from the finish, have all been removed because of roadworks. These have been replaced by a new trio of climbs, the Cote du Pont [km 168], Cote de Bellevaux [km 172] and the Cote de la Ferme Libert [km 180], the last one just 1.2 kilometres long but averaging out at a lungbursting 12.1 percent, making it the hardest climb of the race.
  • ReplyReply
  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

    jimmythecuckoo

    • Genius James
    • Road Captain
    • Country: gb
    • Posts: 1511
    • Liked: 759
    • End of season blues...
      • Fendrien
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 16:39 »
    A desperate hope that Cannondale actually get the big win they really deserve?

    It's certainly been a long time in coming.

    I don't get the vibes that it will be this L-B-L either.

    It's going to be a Giro stage... that's my bet.
  • ReplyReply
  • The fens are just West West Flanders really...

    cj2002

    • Classics Winner
    • *
    • Country: pt
    • Posts: 2893
    • Liked: 3256
    • Honorary President
    • Awards: Best avatar 2012
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 16:40 »
    It's certainly been a long time in coming.

    I don't get the vibes that it will be this L-B-L either.

    It's going to be a Giro stage... that's my bet.

    Giro 2020... :fp
  • ReplyReply

  • just some guy

    • Fourth Generation humanoid bot
    • Hall of Fame'r
    • Country: 00
    • Posts: 31247
    • Liked: 10826
    • Awards: Best Avatar of 2016JSG News Filter Award 2014Poster of 2014Thread of the Year 2013Most Helpful Member 2013Art of Brevity 2012Most helpful member 2012Best member of staff 2012

    search

    • Grand Tour Winner
    • *
    • Country: de
    • Posts: 9665
    • Liked: 9474
    • Awards: Member of the year 2016Post of the year 2016KeithJamesMC 2016Member of the year 20152012 CQ Ranking Tour GameAvatar of the Year 2013
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 09:15 »
    CJ seems to have inspired some of the newspapers with his star ratings ;)

    *be Het Nieuwsblad
    :*:*:*:*:* Valverde
    :*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski, Martin
    :*:*:* Henao, Costa, Albasini
    :*:* GvA, Bardet, Barguil. Uran
    :* Wellens, Teuns, Fuglsang, Izagirre, Majka


    *nl de Telegraaf
    :*:*:*:*:* Valverde
    :*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski, Martin
    :*:*:* Henao, Albasini, Izagirre
    :*:* GvA, Barguil, Wellens, Teuns, Costa
    :* Dumoulin, Fuglsang, Majka, Gasparotto, Ulissi, Uran, Haas, Gerrans

    Post Merge: April 23, 2017, 07:59
    *fr l'Équipe

    :*:*:*:*:* Valverde
    :*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski, Martin, Henao
    :*:*:* Albasini, Bardet, Barguil. GvA
    :*:* Costa, Izagirre
    :* Dumoulin, Rosa, Wellens
  • ReplyReply
  • « Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 07:59 by search, Reason: Merged DoublePost »
    "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    search

    • Grand Tour Winner
    • *
    • Country: de
    • Posts: 9665
    • Liked: 9474
    • Awards: Member of the year 2016Post of the year 2016KeithJamesMC 2016Member of the year 20152012 CQ Ranking Tour GameAvatar of the Year 2013
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #11 on: April 23, 2017, 08:48 »
    Has any reason been given for Rosa or Viviani not starting [Tour of the Alps] after they'd been on the provisional start list?

    I'll put the answer in here, as I think it is pretty absurd tbh: there was an article in a newspaper, stating that Rosa would be a great rider for the classics. One of the Sky mechanics spotted it and handed it over to Rosa, who liked it and asked the team to change his schedule, as Tour of the Alps would be a bit too tough anyway just returning from Mt. Teide. Tim Kerrison thought it was a good idea, a couple of phone class were made, and now Rosa is racing in Belgium this week instead of doing Trentino, as originally scheduled.

    http://www.diegorosa.it/it/news/si-torna-a-correre
  • ReplyReply

  • Carlo Algatrensig

    • Domestique
    • Country: gb
    • Posts: 659
    • Liked: 717
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #12 on: April 23, 2017, 09:00 »
    I'll put the answer in here, as I think it is pretty absurd tbh: there was an article in a newspaper, stating that Rosa would be a great rider for the classics. One of the Sky mechanics spotted it and handed it over to Rosa, who liked it and asked the team to change his schedule, as Tour of the Alps would be a bit too tough anyway just returning from Mt. Teide. Tim Kerrison thought it was a good idea, a couple of phone class were made, and now Rosa is racing in Belgium this week instead of doing Trentino, as originally scheduled.

    http://www.diegorosa.it/it/news/si-torna-a-correre

    It is absurd. Given he finished 10th at LBL last year and in the top 5 at the last 2 Lombardia surely he'd be one of the first names sky put down for the race today. The late wthdrawals at the Tour of the Alps are starting to look more like Sky thinking "It's a race in Italy so we'll add a few Italians to our provisional start list who we actually have no intention of taking there"
  • ReplyReply

  • t-72

    • National Champion
    • Country: no
    • Posts: 985
    • Liked: 1538
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #13 on: April 23, 2017, 10:00 »
    It is absurd. Given he finished 10th at LBL last year and in the top 5 at the last 2 Lombardia surely he'd be one of the first names sky put down for the race today. The late wthdrawals at the Tour of the Alps are starting to look more like Sky thinking "It's a race in Italy so we'll add a few Italians to our provisional start list who we actually have no intention of taking there"

    I pretty much agree with what's said above,  but I'll like to give Sky a little bit of slack when it comes to what happened in the Tour of the Alps: it clearly hasn't been high on their priority list, only to be used as a warm-up for the GC guys aiming for the Giro. For the rest of the team, they were list-fillers and that is not unusual to see on WT teams in  2.HC and 2.1 races.

    In the short term perspective this looks bad, in the longer term perspective - there is also something to be said about a race calendar with overlapping and tightly spaced races (Ardennes racing [WT], Tour of Turkey [WT] and Tour of the Alpes [2.HC]). It is understandable that the one race that gets less attention is the Tour of the Alpes. (Although one might wonder if they ever had a list of names for the Tour of Turkey. Couldn't they just be transferred to Tota?) 

    However, certain decisions about where to compete, seasons goals and how to prepare are made long time before the season starts and if a rider didn't have that race on the calendar since a long time ago and their motivation for it is mediocre they might as well not race. The organizers are the first ones to blame, there are too many races at uppermost levels already. It has been like that for many years and it keeps getting worse.

    Adding to that: We love 6-man squads, especially for #sky, don't we? :) 
  • ReplyReply

  • LukasCPH

    • World Champion
    • *
    • Country: de
    • Posts: 10301
    • Liked: 6197
      • lukascph.media
    • Awards: Staff of the year 2016Staff of the year 2015Velorooms Tour de France BINGO champion 2014National Championships Predictions Game Winner 2014Velorooms Monday Quiz ChampionPoster of the Year 2013
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #14 on: April 23, 2017, 11:08 »
    In the short term perspective this looks bad, in the longer term perspective - there is also something to be said about a race calendar with overlapping and tightly spaced races (Ardennes racing [WT], Tour of Turkey [WT] and Tour of the Alpes [2.HC]). It is understandable that the one race that gets less attention is the Tour of the Alpes. (Although one might wonder if they ever had a list of names for the Tour of Turkey. Couldn't they just be transferred to Tota?) 
    From the start of the off-season it was clear that just about nobody would want to go to Turkey - from any WT team.
    As a 'new WT race', the team(s) wouldn't be obliged to start; instead the race has the task of getting 10 WT teams on the startlist, or face demotion.

    Having one Ardennes squad parallel with the Giro squad fine-tuning their form in the Alps isn't all that much for a WT team.
  • ReplyReply

  • just some guy

    • Fourth Generation humanoid bot
    • Hall of Fame'r
    • Country: 00
    • Posts: 31247
    • Liked: 10826
    • Awards: Best Avatar of 2016JSG News Filter Award 2014Poster of 2014Thread of the Year 2013Most Helpful Member 2013Art of Brevity 2012Most helpful member 2012Best member of staff 2012
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #15 on: April 23, 2017, 16:00 »
    Watched it Live :win

    AG be along with a detailed summary

    But Cofidis were brilliant

    and Valverde donates the whole week winnings to the Scarponi family

  • ReplyReply

  • Il Grillo

    • Domestic Rider
    • Country: be
    • Posts: 100
    • Liked: 36
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #16 on: April 23, 2017, 16:26 »
    Dreadful race. They should seriously consider cancelling the Ardennes classics. We could use some more cobbled classics lol. Just keep AGR, at least that was interesting this year.
  • ReplyReply

  • search

    • Grand Tour Winner
    • *
    • Country: de
    • Posts: 9665
    • Liked: 9474
    • Awards: Member of the year 2016Post of the year 2016KeithJamesMC 2016Member of the year 20152012 CQ Ranking Tour GameAvatar of the Year 2013
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #17 on: April 23, 2017, 16:48 »
    yeah, this was about as good as expected
  • ReplyReply

  • Mellow Velo

    • Road Captain
    • Country: wales
    • Posts: 1988
    • Liked: 1748
    • Awards: 2015 CQ Vuelta Game winnerVelogames Classics Champion 20142013 CQ Ranking Giro Game
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #18 on: April 23, 2017, 17:39 »
     It's not so much the climbs, they have to move the finish.
    Caught up by watching fast forwarding from La Redoute.
    It's that predictable.
  • ReplyReply
  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    just some guy

    • Fourth Generation humanoid bot
    • Hall of Fame'r
    • Country: 00
    • Posts: 31247
    • Liked: 10826
    • Awards: Best Avatar of 2016JSG News Filter Award 2014Poster of 2014Thread of the Year 2013Most Helpful Member 2013Art of Brevity 2012Most helpful member 2012Best member of staff 2012
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #19 on: April 23, 2017, 18:26 »
    I read that the ASO have a contract with Ans for the finish so want to change the race but can´t until the contract runs out
  • ReplyReply

  • DJW

    • Road Captain
    • Country: gb
    • Posts: 1251
    • Liked: 852
    • Awards: Rio Olympics Prediction Champ
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #20 on: April 23, 2017, 20:44 »
    Boring boring boring. Bring back Rue Naniot. Chuck in the Muur and the Trouee, just stop Valverde winning...


  • ReplyReply

  • AG

    • Monument Winner
    • *
    • Country: au
    • Posts: 6267
    • Liked: 3507
    • Awards: Winner, 2013 National Championships prediction gameFan of the Year 2013
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #21 on: April 24, 2017, 00:51 »
    Race Recap


    It certainly wasnt the most exciting race I have ever watched.

    The break got out to 11 minutes - and eventually teams reluctantly agreed to chase ... but it certainly wasnt Movistar doing all the work.

    A Bit before the Cote de Redoute a smallish group got away off the front that looked very promising.  Roman Krueziger and Brambilla were very active trying to get things going - but they got pulled back every time.

    Anothony Perez was in the early break - and he went solo from Redoute and got a good gap.  The other Cofidis rider in the break left his break buddies and bridged accross to Perez, and then also had a go = but it was all to come to naught.

    They were caught on the Cote de Saint Nicholas .... and a sprint finish it was.

    Dan Martin went early - from the flame rouge - but no one even looked like getting over Valverde.  He had things calmly under control, and duly took his 4th Liege Bastogne Liege - pointing t the sky and dedicating his win to Michele Scarponi  (and donating all the prize money to Scarpa's family)
  • ReplyReply

  • cj2002

    • Classics Winner
    • *
    • Country: pt
    • Posts: 2893
    • Liked: 3256
    • Honorary President
    • Awards: Best avatar 2012
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #22 on: April 24, 2017, 13:48 »
    I read that the ASO have a contract with Ans for the finish so want to change the race but can´t until the contract runs out

    Boring boring boring. Bring back Rue Naniot. Chuck in the Muur and the Trouee, just stop Valverde winning...

    https://twitter.com/Sameeto/status/856487153504841728

    --

    This seems as good a place as any to open the floor to this discussion. Three differing views on Sunday's events. JSG, ear to the ground of cycling news as he always is, reports news with an undercurrent of "the current finish isn't good enough for a race with this history". It's not a unique view by any stretch.

    DJW is more specific - and again, not a unique view. His final comment, echoed and amplified by Sampath on Twitter (in response to Rob Hatch tweeting the same news re: ASO/the Ans contract).

    I don't have as much of a problem with Valverde as some here (and elsewhere), while not being in any way naive to his history. But is his success this season reason to "turn me off the classics"? If it had been Gilbert, or Sagan, or Boonen doing a Flanders-Roubaix double having swept all before him, would the same complaints be levelled?

    What I'm really getting at, I think, is this: there will always be a dominant force in any sport - someone has to win, after all, and having the physical fitness and psychological strength to do so puts that athlete at an advantage. Surely that dominance should be applauded, rather than be the source of a Twitter temper tantrum. For sure, Dan Martin (and others) will watch Sunday's tape back to find ways to beat Valverde next year (I suggest duct tape and a lamppost somewhere in the Netherlands would do the trick).

    But to deny yourself the pleasure of what has - I think we would all agree - been a good spring season, just because you don't like that one rider (or one specific rider) is winning all the time, feels like cutting off your nose to spite your face, doesn't it?
  • ReplyReply

  • DJW

    • Road Captain
    • Country: gb
    • Posts: 1251
    • Liked: 852
    • Awards: Rio Olympics Prediction Champ
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #23 on: April 24, 2017, 14:40 »
    Of course, and I should point out that even though it was an entirely predictable outcome, I did watch all of the live coverage on record (fast forwarding through a lot of it).

    The problem I have is not as much with Valverde winning, it's just so predictable when he's going to do it. Sant-Nicholas has become La Doyenne's Cauberg. Amstel changed the course this year and although the winner was still the same, the race was far more interesting. So it's more the predictability of the course and how the peloton rides it than a problem with the winner himself (have to recognise as well that 4 wins here is a huge achievement).

    Maybe a few kms of lumpy road after Sant Nicholas (or a shorter preamble and three loops of the town?) could mix things up a bit. These things are always risky but it does seem time for a change.
  • ReplyReply

  • cj2002

    • Classics Winner
    • *
    • Country: pt
    • Posts: 2893
    • Liked: 3256
    • Honorary President
    • Awards: Best avatar 2012
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #24 on: April 24, 2017, 14:45 »
    The problem I have is not as much with Valverde winning, it's just so predictable when he's going to do it.

    I can see the logic in that argument.

    The surprise, then, is that none of the other riders (who must be equally able to predict when Valverde will attack) seem capable of doing anything about it!

    I look forward to watching Valverde fade halfway up an alpine climb this summer, just for the return to some normality!
  • ReplyReply

  • t-72

    • National Champion
    • Country: no
    • Posts: 985
    • Liked: 1538
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #25 on: April 24, 2017, 19:25 »
    I can see the logic in that argument.

    The surprise, then, is that none of the other riders (who must be equally able to predict when Valverde will attack) seem capable of doing anything about it!

    I look forward to watching Valverde fade halfway up an alpine climb this summer, just for the return to some normality!

    CJ, the extremely boring thing about Valverde is utter predictability. What's so exciting about him fading at 2000m on a high alpine pass? THAT'S PREDICTABLE TOO!  :D

  • ReplyReply

  • cj2002

    • Classics Winner
    • *
    • Country: pt
    • Posts: 2893
    • Liked: 3256
    • Honorary President
    • Awards: Best avatar 2012
    Re: Liege-Bastogne-Liege
    « Reply #26 on: April 24, 2017, 22:03 »
    CJ, the extremely boring thing about Valverde is utter predictability. What's so exciting about him fading at 2000m on a high alpine pass? THAT'S PREDICTABLE TOO!  :D
    Damnit, you're right. In which case, I look forward to him winning the U23 women's 500m time trial at the next track world championship!

    Sent from my XT1580 using Tapatalk

  • ReplyReply

  •  

    Race Calendar


    Sorry! There are no calendar events available at the moment.

    Latest Roadbooks



    Top
    Back to top