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Ardennes Classics 2019 (Liège-Bastogne-Liège)
« on: April 16, 2019, 08:22 »
Ardennes Classics 2019

After a cople weeks on the cobblestones of Belgium and France, the Ardennes Classics are about to kick off. Three prestigious one-day races held primarily in the Ardennes of Belgium and in the Dutch Limburg region, starting with the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday.

For logistical reasons, in this thread we'll just annex Flemish Brabant and some parts of Wallonia for a week ;)

Wednesday, April 17th      #med 1.HC      *be Brabantse Pijl
Sunday, April 21st      #med WT      *nl Amstel Gold Race
Wednesday, April 24th      #med WT      *be Flèche Wallonne
Sunday, April 28th      #med WT      *be Liège - Bastogne - Liège


Over the past years, mostly puncheurs have secured the victories, with Philippe Gilbert's and Alejandro Valverde's name popping up the most - and, kinda surprisingly, not the one of Peter Sagan.

Brabantse PijlAmstel Gold RaceFlèche WallonneLiège - Bastogne - Liège
2018 *be WELLENS Tim *dk VALGREN Michael *fr ALAPHILIPPE Julian *lu JUNGELS Bob
2017 *it COLBRELLI Sonny *be GILBERT Philippe *es VALVERDE Alejandro *es VALVERDE Alejandro
2016 *cz VAKOC Petr *it GASPAROTTO Enrico *es VALVERDE Alejandro *nl POELS Wout
2015 *be HERMANS Ben *pl KWIATKOWSKI Michal *es VALVERDE Alejandro *es VALVERDE Alejandro
2014 *be GILBERT Philippe *be GILBERT Philippe *es VALVERDE Alejandro *au GERRANS Simon


Liège - Bastogne - Liège has a different finish this year, so that may change the dynamic of the race (hopefully), but we may come back to that later on...
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  • « Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 15:45 by search »
    "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

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    Re: Ardennes Classics 2019 (Brabantse Pijl)
    « Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 08:23 »
    De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne

    Wednesday, April 18th

    Not to shock the riders' bodies too much, the hilly classics season starts with some cobbles in Flemish Brabant. The course of the Brabantse Pijl is largely unchanged - and as all races have been great since the finish momev do Overijse in 2010, that's surely not a thing to complain about.


    Last year's race was won by #lotto Tim Wellens in dominant fashion, celebrating the 37th victory for a home rider in 57 editions of the race...


    ...but although Wellens will be eager to defend his title of course, the competition from abroad looks even a bit stronger than usual this year, with #ef EF Education First and #sunweb Team Sunweb returning to the race after a year off, and some strong PCT teams joining the party:
    • #lotto Lotto Soudal
    • #bahrain Bahrain-Merida
    • #deceuninck Deceuninck - Quick-Step
    • #ef EF Education First
    • #mitchelton Mitchelton - Scott
    • #dimension Team Dimension Data
    • #sunweb Team Sunweb
    • #uae UAE Team Emirates
    • #cofidis Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
    • #corendon Corendon - Circus
    • #total Total Direct Energie
    • #academy Israel Cycling Academy
    • #neri Neri Sottoli Selle Italia KTM
    • #riwal Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
    • #roompot Roompot - Charles
    • #vlaanderen Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
    • #arkea Team Arkea - Samsic
    • #novonordisk Team Novo Nordisk
    • #vital Vital Concept - B&B Hotels
    • #wallonie Wallonie Bruxelles
    • #wanty Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team
    It's not so much about the teams though, but more about the high-profile on in-form riders they are lining up, with the following names striking out the most:
    • #corendon Mathieu van der Poel
    • #deceuninck Julian Alaphilippe
    • #sunweb Michael Matthews
    • #bahrain Sonny Colbrelli
    • #ef Alberto Bettiol
    • #dimension Enrico Gasparotto
    • #total Jonathan Hivert
    while #lotto Bjorg Lambrecht, #bahrain Dylan Teuns, #deceuninck Pieter Serry, #academy Ben Hermans or #wanty Loïc Vliegen look like good candidates to defend the glory of the home nation.

    The race is live on Eurosport and Sporza on from around ~15:00 in the afternoon.
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  • « Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 07:37 by search »

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    Re: Ardennes Classics 2019 (Brabantse Pijl)
    « Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 08:08 »
    Star ratings:

    *be Het Nieuwsblad
    :*:*:*:*:* Wellens
    :*:*:*:* van der Poel, Alaphilippe
    :*:*:* Matthews, Teuns, Bettiol
    :*:* Lambrecht, Impey, Kreuziger, Hermans
    :* Vanendert, Colbrelli, van Gestel, Devenyns, Weening

    Wellens himself says that his sensations are good, and he wants to go for the win, but personally he sees van der Poel and Alaphilippe as the favorites.

    Alaphilippe on the other hand regards it as a "good test" after his crash in Pais Vasco and three days off the bike afterwards.
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    Re: Ardennes Classics 2019 (Brabantse Pijl)
    « Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 07:30 »
    I only got to watch the final 10k or so, at that point the four pre-race favorites already had broken free (which is very unusually btw, isn't it?!) and #corendon Mathieu van der Poel won the sprint with ease then



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    ...and for more of the same, tune in on Sunday

    Amstel Gold Race

    Sunday, April 21st



    The introduction of the new parcours has resulted in great racing over the past years, and with home-hero van der Poel   having a tendency to attack early on, we can probably expect the race to completely explode with ~50k to go, at the latest.
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    star ratings :)

    *be Gazet van Antwerpen
    :*:*:*:*:* van der Poel
    :*:*:*:* Alaphilippe, Matthews
    :*:*:* Gilbert, van Aert, Kwiatkowski
    :*:* Wellens, Sagan, van Avermaet, Valverde
    :* Cosnefroy, Schachmann, Lutsenko, Fuglsang, Teuns

    *fr l'Équipe
    :*:*:*:*:* van der Poel
    :*:*:*:* Alaphilippe, Matthews, Valverde
    :*:*:* Gilbert, Sagan, Kwiatkowski, Wellens
    :*:* Mohoric, van Avermaet, Kreuziger, Fuglsang, Schachmann
    :* Valgren, Izagirre, Mollema, Woods, Vanendert, Gasparotto, Lutsenko, Colbrelli

    *lu le Quotidien
    :*:*:*:*:* Alaphilippe
    :*:*:*:* van der Poel, Valverde, Schachmann, Bettiol
    :*:*:* Gilbert, Kwiatkowski, Kreuziger, Naesen, Lutsenko, Mohoric
    :*:* Wellens, Matthews, Sagan, van Avermaet, Valgren, van Aert, Poels
    :* Fuglsang, Fraile, Gasparotto, EBH, Mollema, Trentin, Costa, Pogacar, Albasini, Teuns, Colbrelli, Ulissi
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  • Drummer Boy

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    So glad I was able to witness that today. One for the ages.  :cool

    https://twitter.com/Laura_Meseguer/status/1120031562928656384

    https://twitter.com/pedalmagazine/status/1120093613575294977

    https://twitter.com/NLSportsnews/status/1120128061683511297


    I'm wondering if any media will pick up on the conspicuous bottle drop that happened about an hour before the finale. MvdP was the intended recipient, but as search astutely pointed out in the race chat, the guilty "soigneur" was, in fact, his dad, Adri.
     :P
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  • M Gee

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    So glad I was able to witness that today. One for the ages.  :cool . . .
    I'm wondering if any media will pick up on the conspicuous bottle drop that happened about an hour before the finale. MvdP was the intended recipient, but as search astutely pointed out in the race chat, the guilty "soigneur" was, in fact, his dad, Adri.
     :P
    ES got it, even did a little replay of it. I think it was pretty much the Katusha rider who dodged in front of MVdP, and under Adri's arm, that was the cause of that. Put everybody just enough out of position.

    Freakin' amazing.  I watched it on the rerun, so I already knew the results and what was being said. So there we were, at 20 km out, and I was thinking, "Where is MVDP??". And I kept wondering, and wondering, WHEN was he going to make his move? At 5 km out he still hadn't started that move. ES marked him at that point as maybe lucky to finish 10th. It wasn't until somewhere inside like 3km that anything started happening - hard to say when, because ES completely missed it. Even when his group started catching the chasers, at about 2 km, they were skeptical. And then MDVP just turned himself into the train's engine, and kept going. Just wow.
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    t-72

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    Just watched a recording of this (coming back home from out-of-radio-range so didn't know the results). I still can't make up my mind if this was spectacular or stupid, probably a bit of both depending on where you see the race from. For me, from #quickstep Alaphilippe's point of view it was stupid, he should know he would have to risk the sprint from the front anyway and might have held a higher pace towards the line. From #astana Fuglsang's point of view, he probably played it well - knowing Alaphilippe would beat him in the sprint mano a mano he did what he could to avoid a sprint against Alaphilippe but then he actually ended up beating Alaphilippe - perhaps he should have pushed the pace on the final straight? 

    Looking at both these two, they appeared to be the kids playing some kind of chicken on the railroad track and suddenly they got overrun by a freight train. I don't think I have seen anything quite like it, and I think I will see it again to make sure I actually saw that.  :S

    Helmet off for #corendon Mathieu van der Poel then!



    Further down the list there is one more bad day for #didata - this is not what they hired last year's podium for.
    A few teams are showing signs of younger riders replacing old captains on top of the list:
     #lotto featuring Lambrecht in 6th place, not Vanendert or Wellen (DNF's)
     #groupama with Madouas in 8th place (they hardly had an old guard present in the race though)
     #bora Schachmann in 5 th place, while Sagan DNF'ed
     #ccc De Marchi also would fit on this list, resultswise, as can Avermaet was not present in the finale. However there is something mixed up about the age criterion for this one  :P. Strong ride rewarded with a 7th place anyway  :cool

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  • « Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 13:01 by LukasCPH »

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    A few teams are showing signs of younger riders replacing old captains on top of the list:
     #lotto featuring Lambrecht in 6th place, not Vanendert or Wellen (DNF's)
     #groupama with Madouas in 8th place (they hardly had an old guard present in the race though)
     #bora Schachmann in 5 th place, while Sagan DNF'ed
     #ccc De Marchi also would fit on this list, resultswise, as can Avermaet was not present in the finale. However there is something mixed up about the age criterion for this one  :P. Strong ride rewarded with a 7th place anyway  :cool

    I wouldn't go that far I think. Sure, in the end those were some strong showings, but they also benefitted quite a bit from the fact that they were racing under the radar, and from attacking at a point when the race basically was over already.

    We didn't get to see all attacks behind of course, but whenever a bigger name moved, it seemed like others were covering it, while someone like Gilbert was probably happy to let guys like Madouas or Lambrecht attack and ride for 8th place or so.

    Sure, in the end it unfolded differently, and those attacks brought them in a potential race winning situation, but I don't really think it was pure matter of strengths who ended up fighting for the victory, and who not.

    Vanendert for example attacked on the final ascent of the Cauberg, so he must have been in pretty good shape, and still ended up with a (energy saving?!) DNF on the result table.
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  • Servais Knavendish

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    Yes watched it on catch up too - knowing result and just couldn't see how he could do it  - what a fantastic performance, no cat and mouse in his group  - he just dieseled through the chase groups - incredible - and stunning to watch, what next for the boy wonder!
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  • M Gee

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    . . .
    Sure, in the end it unfolded differently, and those attacks brought them in a potential race winning situation, but I don't really think it was pure matter of strengths who ended up fighting for the victory, and who not.
     . . .
    I agree. I don't think anybody in MvdP's gruppetto would have even caught the 3rd chase duo on the road w/o MvdP. He just pulled them all. Kudos that they had the strength to hold his wheel, and Clarke had enough nous and strength to glue himself to MvdP's wheel, but no MvdP? I don't think they would have even been there. He's the one exception to your comment. But he rode a smart race, too, though, not just strength. He punched a pretty break when he had the chance, and then sat in after they caught him back up. He did miss the important breaks that followed, but in the end he had the strength to make up for that.

    I don't recall Fuglsang ever sounding quite so whingy before. Bet he was a terror in the bus! From the tv views I saw, Fuglsang didn't have all that much to complain about Alaphillipe. It looked to me as though Alaphillipe was coming through often enough - it wasn't like he was just sitting on and sucking wheel. But they weren't exactly working together like a clockwork, either. AMOF, they looked to be working together to try and make each other uncomfortable! You know, "I'll LOOK like I'm pulling, but I'm really disrupting the pace a little!" Or pull through, but off the line some, so the other guy has to work a smidge harder to catch back on. That sort of thing. Little games. It cost them both in this one.

    BTW - I heard someone say that MvdP's team did not get an invite to Fleche or Liege? Too bad for Fleche and Liege. Guaranteed MvdP is moving up a pay grade next year.
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  • Servais Knavendish

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    BTW - I heard someone say that MvdP's team did not get an invite to Fleche or Liege? Too bad for Fleche and Liege. Guaranteed MvdP is moving up a pay grade next year.

    Yes world's hottest rider needs a world tour place for rewards, and for invites... any early thoughts where... wolfpack?
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  • M Gee

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    Yes world's hottest rider needs a world tour place for rewards, and for invites... any early thoughts where... wolfpack?
    I've just listened to a VN podcast - they said they think rumor is MvdP won't be doing road at all next year! He'll be pursuing Mt bike Olympics. They've heard a rumor he might do the Yorkshire Worlds. Can you imagine that - he might be road World champ, and not compete on the road at all the following year?

    Apparently, just as xc world champ, he's making $1M per year, plus, already. Wow. And he's young, and doesn't want the grind of devoting himself to road racing.

    And Sagan has apparently said he's thinking about going back to Mt for a spell. I'll hate to lose either one - but more power to them for keeping it fun.
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    Vanendert for example attacked on the final ascent of the Cauberg, so he must have been in pretty good shape, and still ended up with a (energy saving?!) DNF on the result table.

    for the sake of completeness: Vanendert's "DNF" was just a transponder issue after a late bike change. He actually finished in 33rd.

    updated result
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  • LukasCPH

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    Looking at both these two, they appeared to be the kids playing some kind of chicken on the railroad track and suddenly they got overrun by a freight train. I don't think I have seen anything quite like it, and I think I will see it again to make sure I actually saw that.  :S
    That's a pretty accurate description. :cool

    Yes world's hottest rider needs a world tour place for rewards, and for invites... any early thoughts where... wolfpack?
    Does he though?
    He's earning plenty already just on his 'cross pedigree. And after AGR, he and #corendon will get a wildcard to any road race they want. That was even the case before - they turned down an invitation to Paris-Roubaix because MvdP wanted to focus on winning Amstel in the #champnl jersey.
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    Servais Knavendish

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    interesting perspective - I had no idea that he pulled a cool mill from XC...

    Anyway perhaps the MTB rumour will trump this; be gutted if that is the case - but Sagan could of / would of pulled it off in Rio save for dreadful luck with punctures... be interesting to see - but Sag's did that on the back of a road season so is there a need for it to be an either /or?.. would MVDP forgo everything that goes with being the new road racing megastar for one event next year...

    On that, but off subject... can we agree that GVA has perhaps overdone the road race title celebration; I was delighted with his win; but three years on the gold helmet and frame are lookin  a bit naff? No?  [happy with sleeves mind]
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    La Flèche Wallonne

    Wednesday,  April 24th

    Time for the next round on Wednesday, the usual sprint up the Mur de Huy...



    ...that's what the list of winner says at least:

    YEAR 1st 2nd 3rd
    2018      *fr ALAPHILIPPE Julian      *es VALVERDE Alejandro      *be VANENDERT Jelle
    2017      *es VALVERDE Alejandro      *ie MARTIN Daniel      *be TEUNS Dylan
    2016      *es VALVERDE Alejandro      *fr ALAPHILIPPE Julian      *ie MARTIN Daniel
    2015      *es VALVERDE Alejandro      *fr ALAPHILIPPE Julian      *ch ALBASINI Michael
    2014      *es VALVERDE Alejandro      *ie MARTIN Daniel      *pl KWIATKOWSKI Michal

    Actually, the route changes did have an effect over the past years though, and we've come closer and closer to an early attack bearing fruits. In 2017 #quickstep Bob Jungels came just 500m short of winning and 2018 #bora Max Schachmann was caught with 200m to go.

    Alaphilippe has spent a lot of energy on Sunday and Valverde's unusual (almost unseen) poor showing in the Amstel Gold Race may make some other believe that they can win this in a sprint, but on paper, most of the teams are better off initiating a hard race and attacking early.

    And I wouldn't be too surprised if it pays off this time.

    Additional to all World Tour teams, the start list features:
    • #murias Euskadi Basque Country - Murias
    • #academy Israel Cycling Academy
    • #rally Rally UHC Cycling
    • #vlaanderen Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
    • #wallonie Wallonie-Bruxelles
    • #wanty Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team
    with #rally McNulty as an interesting guy to watch out for.

    Apart from him, the contenders are more or less the same as usual, if we add some youngsters like #lotto Lambrecht and #bora Schachmann and scrap #quickstep Gilbert, who prefers to prepare for Liège.

    Also #mitchelton Adam Yates gives it another try. On paper, he should be very well suited to the race, but his results so far (97th and DNF) say otherwise.
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    Valverde's unusual (almost unseen) poor showing in the Amstel Gold Race [...]

    https://twitter.com/CafeRoubaix/status/1120254648462585856

    :o

    #movistar Arrieta is not too worried though: "It doesn’t change anything. Yesterday he was feeling great in training, today also. Flèche is his race and he should be in front if everything goes normal."
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  • « Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 18:44 by search »

    t-72

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    On that, but off subject... can we agree that GVA has perhaps overdone the road race title celebration; I was delighted with his win; but three years on the gold helmet and frame are lookin  a bit naff? No?  [happy with sleeves mind]

    The shine and the color of gold doesn't transfer well to plastics anyway, but shirtsleeves are a bit of an undervaluation of the most rarely fought trophy in cycling: by comparison, the winner of the world championships get the rainbow jersey for a year. The better solution would be an olympic jersey of course, for 4 years! The problem is likely to be the world olympics committe being extremely possessive about their rings while not recongnizing the jersey tradition in cycling or any other symbols of victory special to one sport, it is the same medals for all sports. They will probably refuse any use not paid for.

    Hang a gold medal on the jersey (in print)?
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  • t-72

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    ....
    Additional to all World Tour teams, the start list features:
    • #murias Euskadi Basque Country - Murias
    • #academy Israel Cycling Academy
    • #rally Rally UHC Cycling
    • #vlaanderen Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
    • #wallonie Wallonie-Bruxelles
    • #wanty Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team
    with #rally McNulty as an interesting guy to watch out for.
    ...

    #rally McNulty needs to time trial himself away to victory, but if he brings the fogs of Sicilia with him he may get a chance at that, like a younger Jungels, perhaps. However, to point back to Sicilia there is another pro conti rider that might have a chance at a top-10 in #wanty Odd Christian Eiking. He climbs fast up steep hills but his problem is that he is usually not strong enough to be well positioned at the start of the climb and needs to spend time and precious oxygen passing slower climbers (like Nibali  :cool ) thus not getting to realize his full potential.  Wanty should be able to at least try to amend this by having someone guide him on the lead-in to the final climb, but f they will prioritize that is another matter.
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  • t-72

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    Concerning the post above, a full miss - #wanty Eiking is deeply troubled by allergies (what a misfortune for a rider that in other aspects is suited for this one hill-climb race). Concerning everything else, one of the better arrows I have seen with more riding in the early part of the 3 laps thinning the herd a more than what was the typical case in the Valverde dominance era. 
    On the downside, a lot of crashes made it at times uncomfortable to watch this race. #bahrain Pozzovivo was one of the bad crashes as judged by immediate visual impact, but by now maybe someone has a better count of the wounded.
    The finale of the finale was - again - the theme of this spring's hilly one day races - how can #astana Fuglsang get rid of #quickstep Alaphilippe. Short answer seems to be: he can't - even though he can get veeeery close to that. In the end, this race requires the combination of climbing ability and then enough explosivity left for that final final accelration to the finish line. Physiologically, these properties seem restricted to Alaphilippe and Valverde. The latter appears to be out of shape, for the first time in his career, but the formern then becomes unbeatable on this terrain.



    ...and with that, I think it's already mid-season as far as WT one-day races go, so let's take a wild guess: the UCI World Tour rankin is lead by: ? and in second place we find: ? 

    Let me put it this way: you will find some clues in the text above......



     
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    On the downside, a lot of crashes made it at times uncomfortable to watch this race. #bahrain Pozzovivo was one of the bad crashes as judged by immediate visual impact

    ...in his first ever Flèche Wallonne, after doing the Giro del Trentino instead for 14 years in a row :(
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      Liège-Bastogne-Liège[1]

      Sunday, April 28th

      Next Sunday, the 105th edition of Liège–Bastogne–Liège will bring down the curtain on a spring classics campaign in which team Deceuninck–Quick-Step and its leader Julian Alaphilippe have consistently trounced the opposition. After taking the Flèche Wallonne for the second time, Alaphilippe is the odds-on favourite to win the Old Lady, a race still missing from his collection.

      The Old Lady marks the end of the spring classics campaign. Its place as the grand finale of this part of the season only makes victory in the centre of Liège more prestigious and desirable. It could also encapsulate all the battles that have taken place on the roads of France, Belgium, Spain and Italy, where the riders who will animate the race on Sunday have already racked up victories and top placings. Among them are the two champions who stole the show on the Mur de Huy yesterday, Julian Alaphilippe and Jakob Fuglsang, who are leading the charge in the Ardennes for the most prolific teams of the 2019 season so far: Deceuninck–Quick-Step with 25 victories and Astana with 22. By taking his second win in the Flèche Wallonne, the Frenchman who has been dominating the classics season has consolidated his position as the odds-on favourite, but his victory was narrow enough to spark speculation that fatigue is starting to set in, as Alaphilippe himself is ready to admit: "I'm starting to feel tired, I've spent a lot since the start of the season". Despite losing to his nemesis several times (Tirreno–Adriatico, Strade Bianche and Flèche Wallonne), Jakob Fuglsang has closer than ever before to winning a top-flight classic… and the peculiarities of the Old Lady could well play into his hands in a new showdown with "Alaf".

      After 27 editions finishing in the hills of Ans, in the outskirts of Liège, the finish line of Liège-Bastogne-Liège will now be in the heart of Liège, on a site answering the desire to modify the characteristics of the final metres of the race.

      In contrast with the puncher party in Huy, the Dean of Classics will again descend into a war of attrition. The toughest parts of the 258km course will be the two trilogies of Pont, Bellevaux and Ferme Libert and La Redoute, Roche-aux-Faucons and Saint-Nicolas. This time around, the final spring classic is combining tradition and modernity with a direct ride from Liège to Bastogne via Côte de Bonnevue. Côte de Mont-le-Soie will spring a final surprise on the peloton on the way back.



      However, Alaphilippe and Fuglsang will not be facing a two-man duel, but a pitched battle featuring even more contenders than on the Chemin des Chapelles in Huy. Among the men who showed no real signs of weakness, several riders could go on the attack on Côte de la Redoute, on La Roche-aux-Faucons and in the streets of the Ardent City, including young German rider Maximilian Schachmann (5th in Huy), stepping up to the plate after his leader Peter Sagan decided not to take part, as well as Michael Matthews (8th), Enrico Gasparotto (10th), world champion Alejandro Valverde (11th), who has still got an ace or two up his sleeve, Romain Bardet (13th), Dylan Teuns (14th), Michał Kwiatkowski (16th) and former winner Wout Poels (22nd). Others sat out the Flèche Wallonne to save themselves for Liège, including Vincenzo Nibali, as cunning as ever, as well as Tom Dumoulin, Greg Van Avermaet and Lilian Calmejane. They all share the same dream: to conquer the Old Lady.

      These are the 25 teams with their main contenders:
      • #mitchelton Mitchelton–Scott: Yates (GBR) and Albasini (CHE)
      • #bahrain Bahrain–Merida: Nibali (ITA) and Teuns (BEL)
      • #deceuninck Deceuninck–Quick-Step: Alaphilippe (FRA), Gilbert (BEL) and Mas (ESP)
      • #lotto Lotto–Soudal: Vanendert, Wellens and Lambrecht (BEL)
      • #vlaanderen Sport Vlaanderen–Baloise: Van Gestel (BEL)
      • #wanty Wanty–Groupe Gobert: G. Martin (FRA) and Eiking (NOR)
      • #wallonie Wallonie Bruxelles: Jules (FRA)
      • #ag2r Ag2r–La Mondiale: Bardet, Cosnefroy and Vuillermoz (FRA)
      • #groupama Groupama–FDJ: Gaudu, Molard and Madouas (FRA)
      • #cofidis Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Simon (FRA) and J. Herrada (ESP)
      • #total Total Direct Énergie: Calmejane, Hivert and Grellier (FRA)
      • #arkea Arkéa–Samsic: Gesbert and Ledanois (FRA)
      • #vital Vital Concept–B&B Hotels: Vichot and Gautier (FRA)
      • #sunweb Team Sunweb: Dumoulin (NLD) and Matthews (AUS)
      • #bora Bora–Hansgrohe: Schachmann (DEU)
      • #astana Astana Pro Team: Fuglsang (DNK) and Lutsenko (KAZ)
      • #jumbo Jumbo–Visma: Gesink and Tolhoek (NLD)
      • #ccc CCC Team: Van Avermaet (BEL) and Ten Dam (NLD)
      • #dimension Team Dimension Data: Valgren (DEN), Gasparotto (ITA) and Slagter (NED)
      • #movistar Movistar Team: Valverde, Landa (ESP) and Quintana (COL)
      • #katusha Katusha-Alpecin: Zakarin (RUS)
      • #uae UAE Team Emirates: Martin (IRL) and Ulissi (ITA)
      • #sky Team Sky: Kwiatkowski (POL), Poels (NED) and De la Cruz (ESP)
      • #ef EF Education First: Martínez (COL) and Woods (CAN)
      • #trek Trek–Segafredo: Gogl (AUS) and Felline (ITA)
      [/list]
       1. Source of all text: ASO Press Release
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    • Leadbelly

      • Grand Tour Winner
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      The race has been a bit better the past few editions. That's not difficult when you remember back to '14 was it, and the complete lack of action before the final climb - FW but 50km longer. Uggghhhhhh. Even with the improvement from that nadir, the changes should be a good thing, if only for the unknown quality of how it will play out in this first year.

      BTW No mention of Jungle Bob in the ASO blurb. Is he not back to defend his title?
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    • Mellow Velo

      • Classics Winner
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      The race has been a bit better the past few editions. That's not difficult when you remember back to '14 was it, and the complete lack of action before the final climb - FW but 50km longer. Uggghhhhhh. Even with the improvement from that nadir, the changes should be a good thing, if only for the unknown quality of how it will play out in this first year.

      BTW No mention of Jungle Bob in the ASO blurb. Is he not back to defend his title?

       No.
       It was spoken of when he was going well on the cobbles.  Giro prep, so I assume he is at altitude somewhere.
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    • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

      Echoes

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      Holy Moses, I just realise that Mathieu won both the Brabantian Arrow and Amstel Gold. :o :cool I'm now scared that he would leave cyclocross for good.  :(

      Mathieu has always been great in the Ardennes or rather in Limburg ever since the novice category but doing this after a full cyclocross season with the World title, is phenomenal. What a rider!
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    • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

      search

      • World Champion
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      after all the years, today l'Équipe finally delivered the most important information regarding Liège-Bastogne-Liège:



      "There are more than three hundred "Phil" painted [on the Redoute] by Shinichiro Tajima, a Luxembourg-based cook from Osaka. Which explains the presence of forty-six "Phil" in Japanese."
    • ReplyReply

    • Mellow Velo

      • Classics Winner
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      No.
       It was spoken of when he was going well on the cobbles.  Giro prep, so I assume he is at altitude somewhere.

      Having said this, while none of the other sites that I checked, currently do, PCS now have him on their startlist.
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    • search

      • World Champion
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      • Country: de
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      • Awards: 2018 Autumn Classics Prediction ChampMember of the year 2016Post of the year 2016KeithJamesMC 2016Member of the year 20152012 CQ Ranking Tour GameAvatar of the Year 2013
      I don't think this is correct though.

      http://www.bobjungels.com/nextraces

      "Next: Il Giro"
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