108th Liège-Bastogne-Liège: 24 April, 2022

The oldest classic - but not the one most often held - is "La Doyenne" or Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Since three years the course has been changed, in order to get a more open race. Over a distance of 254.7 km the riders will face ten climbs in the Ardennes. The dreaded Roche-aux-Faucons is the final official climb, but just after that there's one more uphill stretch to Boncelles. One philosophical question remains unanswered: why don't they just stay in Liège?



Recent winners:
2012 Maxim Iglinsky
2013 Dan Martin
2014 Simon Gerrans
2015 Alejandro Valverde
2016 Wout Poels
2017 Alejandro Valverde
2018 Bob Jungels
2019 Jakob Fuglsang
2020 Primož Roglič
2021 Tadej Pogačar

Multiple winners:
5x Eddy Merckx
4x Moreno Argentin
4x Alejandro Valverde
3x Léon Houa
3x Alphonse Schepers
3x Fred De Bruyne
 
I am gonna go with a bit of an unexpected victory. The scenario that will unfold being the following:

Pogacar tries to drop everybody on the Roche Aux Faucons, but he doesn't succeed. Van Aert, Valverde, Vlasov, Martinez, Alaphilippe & Woods are with him just after the top of the Roche Aux Faucons. They hesitate to start riding immediately and as a result Evenepoel, Mohoric and a few other riders manage to get back.

Evenepoel attacks in the finale and gets Vlasov with him. The two cooperate well and in the chasing group Alaphilippe and Valverde are doing a great job of protecting the breakaway. Vlasov wins the sprint with Evenepoel ending second.
 
i guess we're gonna see the difference between big race Pogi and mid week race Pogi once again...
Not sure if it's as much being a big race as it's Liege suiting Pog much more because it's much harder and has more hard raced hills. I sense than Pog is probably a bit overrated in very short W/kg bazooka efforts, especially when everyone is fresher.

Pogacars main asset to me is in race recovery. 2020 Liege kinda summarizes this with Pogacar struggling hard RaF and Roglic closing the gap and then on the false flat after Roglic is the one struggling hard to close the gap to Alaphilippe and Hirschi.

I think Pogacar's peak was from Strade to Ronde and I don't think he has 100% top shape anymore.

I actually think Van Aert if he's in top form here is the #1 favorite, and if Roglic had been there in great form as well I'd think it woudl be very hard for Jumbo to lose the race.
 
Not sure if it's as much being a big race as it's Liege suiting Pog much more because it's much harder and has more hard raced hills. I sense than Pog is probably a bit overrated in very short W/kg bazooka efforts, especially when everyone is fresher.

Pogacars main asset to me is in race recovery. 2020 Liege kinda summarizes this with Pogacar struggling hard RaF and Roglic closing the gap and then on the false flat after Roglic is the one struggling hard to close the gap to Alaphilippe and Hirschi.

I think Pogacar's peak was from Strade to Ronde and I don't think he has 100% top shape anymore.

I actually think Van Aert if he's in top form here is the #1 favorite, and if Roglic had been there in great form as well I'd think it woudl be very hard for Jumbo to lose the race.
Nah probably Roglic would have had to close a gap for Wout but then wouldn't have had the strenght to do it. Leading to Roglic being declared the number one enemy of Belgium again by Wuyts and other grumpy old guys from Belgium.
 
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Nah probably Roglic would have had to close a gap for Wout but then wouldn't have had the strenght to do it. Leading to Roglic being declared the number one enemy of Belgium again by Wuyts and other grumpy old guys from Belgium.
A really good Roglic would 100% make the first group over the RaF and then either chill and make the group work badly becasue he has Van Aert behind or have Van Aert there and just make sure it's 100% a sprint.
 
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I don't usually try to predict the result of races but here is an interesting fact.

The only previous time that Dutch riders won Flanders and Roubaix in the same year was 1983 with Jan Rass and Hennie Kuiper. With the Dutch courage in full flow, Steven Rooks then went on to win in Liege.

Does this bode well for Bauke on Sunday? Is it a good omen for Oomen or a portent of Poels' second win? Has anyone had any Van Emden visions recently?
 
I don't usually try to predict the result of races but here is an interesting fact.

The only previous time that Dutch riders won Flanders and Roubaix in the same year was 1983 with Jan Rass and Hennie Kuiper. With the Dutch courage in full flow, Steven Rooks then went on to win in Liege.

Does this bode well for Bauke on Sunday? Is it a good omen for Oomen or a portent of Poels' second win? Has anyone had any Van Emden visions recently?
Looks like an inevitable Poels victory then!
 
Van Aert will get dropped hard on RaF. He needs the strongest climbers to stall to have a chance.
I feel like the only one who can drop him easily would be an in-shape Pog.

On such a short one, he should be able to be fairly even with the other climbers. His explosive punch will be neutralized (because of the hardness of the climb) but he will still be as good as the "rest of the best" (everyone other than Pog) ..
 
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Movistar will copy/paste Mur de Huy approach on RaF. After Mas, it will remain only handful of riders: Bala, Pog, Martinez, Vlasov, Teuns... I think Alaphilippe and Van Aert won't be there. It will come down to Bala vs Pog.
I wouldn't underestimate Alaphilippe, he may not have been at his best this year but he almost always among the best at Liège. If Teuns is there at the end he could beat both Valverde and Pogačar in a sprint but I think Mohoric could be the stronger Bahrein as the longer distance should suit him a bit better.

As for Van Aert, If he has the Olympic road race shape he may very well win this but that's a big if so its more likely that he wins the sprint in the second group.
 
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Odds look like this in the same order:
Wout Van Aert
Tadej Pogacar
Julian Alaphilippe
Remco Evenepoel
Alejandro Valverde
Daniel Martínez
Dylan Teuns
Matej Mohoric
Aleksandr Vlasov
Michael Woods

I think this year is wide open (just like any other year LOL).
 
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No Formolo for UAE and Hirschi a bit of a question mark, plus family issues for Pog, wonder how their race will turn out. Pretty excited to see Van Aert take a stab at this and in great form.
 
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I wouldn't underestimate Alaphilippe, he may not have been at his best this year but he almost always among the best at Liège.
Exactly.

I remember Tour of Britain 2021. Ala still lacked a little bit. At the WC, he was the strongest of the race.

He knows how to prepare for a big one-day race. In Fleche, he still lacked a bit - in Liege, it will probably be Pogi vs Ala. TdF champion vs World Champion - what a highlight of the spring… :)
 
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