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2017 Liège-Bastogne-Liège - April 23rd - 258k

Page 4 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
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Alexandre B. said:
Great piece about L-B-L and Bardet: https://rouleur.cc/editorial/romain-bardet-liege/

Bardet on Ans: Yeah it’s really not very pretty! The finish has changed a few times as well, and there’s not so much history there in that current place. It is pretty anonymous, it’s this industrial area and an hour after the race there’s no-one there. It’s not like Roubaix with all the history around the velodrome.

Please notice, ASO. ;)
I actually live in Liège and my sentiment is that ASO can't do much about it. Nowadays almost nobody around here cares about cycling. There's no way the city council is going to allow the race to block the entire city center a second time in a day for the finish. Liège is a car-heavy city and car drivers will not allow this for some stupid bike race. Believe me. They can be quite aggressive.

Northern and southern Belgium are quite different when it comes to cycling. This may not be obvious for the rest of the world but it is. Here it's all about the mighty football.

Each time I see the pictures of the public at the start of Flanders and compare them to what I see at the start of Liège I'm reminded of this.
 
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jflemaire said:
Alexandre B. said:
Great piece about L-B-L and Bardet: https://rouleur.cc/editorial/romain-bardet-liege/

Bardet on Ans: Yeah it’s really not very pretty! The finish has changed a few times as well, and there’s not so much history there in that current place. It is pretty anonymous, it’s this industrial area and an hour after the race there’s no-one there. It’s not like Roubaix with all the history around the velodrome.

Please notice, ASO. ;)
I actually live in Liège and my sentiment is that ASO can't do much about it. Nowadays almost nobody around here cares about cycling. There's no way the city council is going to allow the race to block the entire city center a second time in a day for the finish. Liège is a car-heavy city and car drivers will not allow this for some stupid bike race. Believe me. They can be quite aggressive.

Northern and southern Belgium are quite different when it comes to cycling. This may not be obvious for the rest of the world but it is. Here it's all about the mighty football.

Each time I see the pictures of the public at the start of Flanders and compare them to what I see at the start of Liège I'm reminded of this.

Yeah it's weird how big the difference is. I live in the northern part (Oost-Vlaanderen) and people are absolutely obsessed with cycling here. You would think that everyone in our tiny country would be obsessed with it but no, go to the south and people don't give a damn. I wonder why that is. It's not like we have that many sports in which our little country excels.
 
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WheelofGear said:
Will the riders be wearing armbands tomorrow? Not just Astana, but all of the teams. Scarponi was a big figure in the peloton. He deserves to be honored.

I hope they will ... (and would actually expect them to do so)
 
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Pantani_lives said:
So who are the most likely riders to come with a meaningful attack from 20K or more before the finish? Wellens, Kwiatkowski, Bardet, the Yates brothers?

Hit the nail on the head - Expect both Yates to attack in the last 40kms to help Albasini - Of course there is a chance a break could go in the last 30 or 40kms.
 
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I have a feeling we're going to watch different race this year, an attacking race. I expect big attacks already on Redoute. BMC and Sky will want a hard race, and they will try from far out. BMC has one obvious card, and he must go from distance if he wants a win here. Sky on the other hand has multiple options, they could send Rosa or Moscon for example already on Redoute. It would be interesting to see Movistar's reaction, will they send somebody too, or will they chase. Then on the Roche aux Faucons I expect big one, from Henao or even Kwiatkowski. Valverde will need to decide then, to follow or not. At Amstel he didn't and we all saw what happened. If we have a strong break of 5-6 with 1-2 main guys like GVA and Henao, Movistar is not strong like in previous years, and will have a lot of trouble to bring that back, and I'm betting against them. For my money, Valverde if he wants to win, he must follow big moves on Roche.
 
You sure are optimistic ;) unlike in Amstel, i don't see enough reasons to expect a completely different race than previous years. Big attacks on Saint-Nicolas would already be a huge improvement, while on Roche would be a major surprise.

Valverde will definitely follow if it did happen but is likely to sit on then or do some half-arsed pulls.
 
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Well Van Avermaet knows he can't win if he just follows, but Kwiatkowski is a key here. If he thinks he can't beat Valverde in that uphill drag in Ans (I think he can't), then we're going to have a proper race.
 
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Mr.White said:
Well Van Avermaet knows he can't win if he just follows, but Kwiatkowski is a key here. If he thinks he can't beat Valverde in that uphill drag in Ans (I think he can't), then we're going to have a proper race.

My first thought when Greg announced he'd race was that he will go mental, but the more I think about it the more i'm convinced he just wants to test how far he can go man to man against the big boys, for future reference, if it's worth it or not to seriously target Liège one day. You don't do that by going in a crazy all-or-nothing attack. So I wouldn't actually count on him animating the race. Or the whole BMC team for that matter.

Kwiat is maybe quite an important one, but very far from being the only factor whether we get a good race or not. Other top guys/teams need to step up as well. From what I saw in Flèche, I really have no idea who that might be.
 
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Flamin said:
Mr.White said:
Well Van Avermaet knows he can't win if he just follows, but Kwiatkowski is a key here. If he thinks he can't beat Valverde in that uphill drag in Ans (I think he can't), then we're going to have a proper race.

My first thought when Greg announced he'd race was that he will go mental, but the more I think about it the more i'm convinced he just wants to test how far he can go man to man against the big boys, for future reference, if it's worth it or not to seriously target Liège one day. You don't do that by going in a crazy all-or-nothing attack. So I wouldn't actually count on him animating the race. Or the whole BMC team for that matter.

Kwiat is maybe quite an important one, but very far from being the only factor whether we get a good race or not. Other top guys/teams need to step up as well. From what I saw in Flèche, I really have no idea who that might be.

When I said Kwiat, I meant Sky, because they are the strongest team in this race. They could shape the whole race. I mention Kwiat because he's their leader, and their style of racing depends on him. If he's comfortable that he can beat Valverde H2H then it's defensive approach, otherwise they will attack. They have the firepower: Rosa, Moscon, Checho Henao, Kwiat. It's a shame QS is incomplete, we would have a hell of a race with Gilbert and Alaphilippe here.
 
I think you are too overestimating Kwiatkowski, I do not believe in him so much althought Sky has really strong team with Kwiat, Rosa and Henao it will be interesting to see the race, hopefully Redoute will be point of view
and Movistar always have strong team to support Valverde so will be interesting
and I will bet againast GVA this time even if his form this year is real good
 
Were the domestiques at lbl in recent years abnormally strong and committed?

How does the balance this year compare to previous years in regards of how many teams want to wait until ANS vs having their leader get ahead earlier?

Who besides movistar and opqs want to wait until ANS? Looking at the favorites, many of these would be better for an early attack. They may try for a strong small group... Kwiat, gva, rui Costa, possivvivi?

But I'm not too optimistic. Pro riders tend to believe in themselves that they can be the strongest and that waiting for a showdown on the last hill against bala and Dan Martin will work for them. Just look at fw
 
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Mr.White said:
Flamin said:
Mr.White said:
Well Van Avermaet knows he can't win if he just follows, but Kwiatkowski is a key here. If he thinks he can't beat Valverde in that uphill drag in Ans (I think he can't), then we're going to have a proper race.

My first thought when Greg announced he'd race was that he will go mental, but the more I think about it the more i'm convinced he just wants to test how far he can go man to man against the big boys, for future reference, if it's worth it or not to seriously target Liège one day. You don't do that by going in a crazy all-or-nothing attack. So I wouldn't actually count on him animating the race. Or the whole BMC team for that matter.

Kwiat is maybe quite an important one, but very far from being the only factor whether we get a good race or not. Other top guys/teams need to step up as well. From what I saw in Flèche, I really have no idea who that might be.

When I said Kwiat, I meant Sky, because they are the strongest team in this race. They could shape the whole race. I mention Kwiat because he's their leader, and their style of racing depends on him. If he's comfortable that he can beat Valverde H2H then it's defensive approach, otherwise they will attack. They have the firepower: Rosa, Moscon, Checho Henao, Kwiat. It's a shame QS is incomplete, we would have a hell of a race with Gilbert and Alaphilippe here.

Sky looks strong indeed but they will need help. Quick Step's move on the Muur worked because everyone in that group was committed. I hope you're right of course, i just don't see many good signs atm.

Ala and Phil are a big loss for sure.
 
I think Kwiatkowski will win. But he needs to attack. He is such a good rider, also after a very hard race..

Unless they arrive at the Ans finish together in a group of 10-15, then I'm pretty sure Bala will take it. He knows that finish so well.
 
LBL is a very open race, being the strongest doesnt mean you are gonna win it. Movistar and Valverde will have to control the race at every moment, and that will not be easy, we all know how good is Valverde in reading the races...
For me there are four favourites: Kwiatkowski, Valverde, Martin and Albasini.
 
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Fernandez said:
LBL is a very open race, being the strongest doesnt mean you are gonna win it. Movistar and Valverde will have to control the race at every moment, and that will not be easy, we all know how good is Valverde in reading the races...
For me there are four favourites: Kwiatkowski, Valverde, Martin and Albasini.
Agree about it being open and hard to control. I think LBL, along with MSR, is the hardest monument for the favourite to win. Especially when there is such a clear favourite as Valverde. When a favourite for PR or RVV is so much better than his rivals than Valverde is, they can just power away from everyone and win. Not so easy for a favourite at LBL though, because they don't hav the rouleur abilities.

After his show of strength again in FW, it would be crazy for other big teams to leave it until the last climb, and surely they won't. Valverde will probably have Moreno with him on Saint Nicolas and maybe no-one else so he should be vulnerable. One ride I struggle to see winning though is Martin; I'm not sure he is good enough positionally to make a decisive split before the finale (especially with a slightly weakened team), and he's probably only going to be good enough for 2nd or 3rd in a final sprint. But you never know, he could time it perfectly for the first time in about three years I suppose - he has the speed to challenge if Valverde is only a couple of percent below par due to fatigue or having to chase earlier attacks.