• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

2024 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes, approx. 4 hour sort of monument, April 21st

3689520-75080328-2560-1440.jpg


It's time to finish off this year's Ardennes campaign with Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Although known as La Doyenne (The old lady), the women's version has the shortest history out of the three races this week, having had its first edition in 2017 compared to 1998 for Flèche Wallonne and 2001 for the first official Amstel Gold Race.

Also due to length restrictions, the race is actually rather a Bastogne-Liège, which pretty much covers the last 140+ km of the men's race, after Côte de Stockeu was finally added to the route last year. The race can explode as soon as they hit the climbs, but it probably won't be decided before the final 35 km, which includes the Côtes de La Redoute, des Forges and La Roche-aux-Faucons.

With the weather being like a box of chocolate at moment, you never what you're gonna get, but it looks like it will be decent with temperatures between 7 and 10 degrees. It might feel colder though. There could be a 1/3 or 1/4 chance of rain when the riders reach Liège.

The Favourites

With the sole other option Lizzie Deignan currently injured, Demi Vollering will be the only former winner taking the start tomorrow. With the no. 1 on her back, she will also be the primary favourite, but as victories having yet fallen into her lap as rapidly as they did last season, she doesn't look like the same unstoppable force from 12 months ago. Whether that is mostly a result of the ongoing transfer saga, a different training plan or something else is anybody's guess at this point.

Also unlike last year, Marlen Reusser won't be able to play a pivotal role in the race, and with what looks to be a fading Lotte Kopecky and a Mischa Bredewold, who hasn't looked to be in great shape since her crash in Strade Bianche, SD Worx might not end up having the numbers in the final they could have hoped for. Niamh Fisher-Black is looking good, but hasn't had the best of luck recently.

On the opposing side, you have a strong and confident Trek team led by Elisa Longo Borghini, who may very well be the strongest rider in the world at the moment and who, despite an overall unfortunate season, was strong enough to make it to the line with Vollering in 2023. With the likes of Shirin van Anrooij and Gaia Realini as support, perhaps this will be the Italian's best chance ever to get to stand on top of the podium here.

The same goes for Kasia Niewiadoma, who ended her almost 5 year long winless drought on Wednesday. We know she's going to attack, probably multiple times, and with a bit luck, she might become the third rider after Vollering and Anna van der Breggen to conquer all three Ardennes races in her career. That same feat will also be achievable for Marta Cavalli tomorrow, but although she looked quite decent in Flèche Wallonne, I have my doubts regarding her chances. Her teammate Grace Brown doesn't seem to have the form that has previously seen her finish runner up twice in Liège, but one should never underestimate her.

There are of course a lot of other riders who have outside chances in this race, but I will end my preview by mentioning the last rider who has the opportunity to join the Van der Breggen/Vollering club: Marianne Vos; the greatest rider of all time. Having taken a rain check on FW this time around and currently looking to have her best climbing legs for quite a while, it'll be interesting to see if she can have an influence on the racing.

Full start list: https://firstcycling.com/race.php?r=9052&y=2024&k=start

Start time: 13:35 CET,
Time of finish: Probably somewhere between 17:35 and 18:05. The TV coverage starts at around 16:55, so there's a chance we won't get 45 minutes of live pictures, so let's hope they don't ride too fast from the gun.

Route Details

822d7

FuLDLPWXwA43qQs


9052_2024.jpg


c55d2


Previous podiums:

Year1st2nd3rd
2017Anna van der BreggenLizzie DeignanKasia Niewiadoma
2018Anna van der BreggenAmanda SprattAnnemiek van Vleuten
2019Annemiek van VleutenFloortje MackaijDemi Vollering
2020Lizzie DeignanGrace BrownEllen van Dijk
2021Demi VolleringAnnemiek van VleutenElisa Longo Borghini
2022Annemiek van VleutenGrace BrownDemi Vollering
2023Demi VolleringElisa Longo BorghiniMarlen Reusser
 
Last edited:
3689520-75080328-2560-1440.jpg


It's time to finish off this year's Ardennes campaign with Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Although known as La Doyenne (The old lady), the women's version has the shortest history out of the three races this week, having had its first edition in 2017 compared to 1998 for Flèche Wallonne and 2001 for the first official Amstel Gold Race.

Also due to length restrictions, the race is actually rather a Bastogne-Liège, which pretty much covers the last 140+ km of the men's race, after Côte de Stockeu was finally added to the route last year. The race can explode as soon as they hit the climbs, but it probably won't be decided before the final 35 km, which includes the Côtes de La Redoute, des Forges and La Roche-aux-Faucons.

With the weather being like a box of chocolate at moment, you never what you're gonna get, but it looks like it will be decent with temperatures between 7 and 10 degrees. It might feel colder though. There could be a 1/3 or 1/4 chance of rain when the riders reach Liège.

The Favourites

With the sole other option Lizzie Deignan currently injured, Demi Vollering will be the only former winner taking the start tomorrow. With the no. 1 on her back, she will also be the primary favourite, but as victories having yet fallen into her lap as rapidly as they did last season, she doesn't look like the same unstoppable force from 12 months ago. Whether that is mostly a result of the ongoing transfer saga, a different training plan or something else is anybody's guess at this point.

Also unlike last year, Marlen Reusser won't be able to play a pivotal role in the race, and with what looks to be a fading Lotte Kopecky and a Mischa Bredewold, who hasn't looked to be in great shape since her crash in Strade Bianche, SD Worx might not end up having the numbers in the final they could have hoped for. Niamh Fisher-Black is looking good, but hasn't had the best of luck recently.

On the opposing side, you have a strong and confident Trek team led by Elisa Longo Borghini, who may very well be the strongest rider in the world at the moment and who, despite an overall unfortunate season, was strong enough to make it to the line with Vollering in 2023. With the likes of Shirin van Anrooij and Gaia Realini as support, perhaps this will be the Italian's best chance ever to get to stand on top of the podium here.

The same goes for Kasia Niewiadoma, who ended her almost 5 year long winless drought on Wednesday. We know she's going to attack, probably multiple times, and with a bit luck, she might become the third rider after Vollering and Anna van der Breggen to conquer all three Ardennes races in her career. That same feat will also be achievable for Marta Cavalli tomorrow, but although she looked quite decent in Flèche Wallonne, I have my doubts regarding her chances. Her teammate Grace Brown doesn't seem to have the form that has previously seen her finish runner up twice in Liège, but one should never underestimate her.

There are of course a lot of other riders who have outside chances in this race, but I will end my preview by mentioning the last rider who has the opportunity to join the Van der Breggen/Vollering club: Marianne Vos; the greatest rider of all time. Having taken a rain check on FW this time around and currently looking to have her best climbing legs for quite a while, it'll be interesting to see if she can have an influence on the racing.

Full start list: https://firstcycling.com/race.php?r=9052&y=2024&k=start

Start time: 13:35 CET,
Time of finish: Probably somewhere between 17:35 and 18:05. The TV coverage starts at around 16:55, so there's a chance we won't get 45 minutes of live pictures, so let's hope they don't ride too fast from the gun.

Route Details

822d7

FuLDLPWXwA43qQs


9052_2024.jpg


c55d2


Previous podiums:

Year1st2nd3rd
2017Anna van der BreggenLizzie DeignanKasia Niewiadoma
2018Anna van der BreggenAmanda SprattAnnemiek van Vleuten
2019Annemiek van VleutenFloortje MackaijDemi Vollering
2020Lizzie DeignanGrace BrownEllen van Dijk
2021Demi VolleringAnnemiek van VleutenElisa Longo Borghini
2022Annemiek van VleutenGrace BrownDemi Vollering
2023Demi VolleringElisa Longo BorghiniMarlen Reusser
Can you provide a summary of this?
And who is the nanny goat?
 
They should've had live pictures the minute la Redoute was done for the men, could've easily watched from there on given that it was obvious the men's race would be done afterwards.
Good thing is that nothing has happened here before la Redoute as well, so we'll still get to see Kasia slaughtering all of them in full length!
 
They should've had live pictures the minute la Redoute was done for the men, could've easily watched from there on given that it was obvious the men's race would be done afterwards.
Good thing is that nothing has happened here before la Redoute as well, so we'll still get to see Kasia slaughtering all of them in full length!

I wouldn't say nothing has happened yet, as we have quite a strong group ahead with multiple teams represented.