Liège-Bastogne-Liège: April 28th, 2019

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Who will win Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2019?

  • Alejandro Valverde

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • Jakob Fuglsang

    Votes: 27 28.4%
  • Julian Alaphilippe

    Votes: 25 26.3%
  • Maximilian Schachmann

    Votes: 9 9.5%
  • Michal Kwiatkowski

    Votes: 7 7.4%
  • Michael Matthews

    Votes: 8 8.4%
  • Philippe Gilbert

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • Romain Bardet

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Vincenzo Nibali

    Votes: 15 15.8%
  • Other

    Votes: 13 13.7%

  • Total voters
    95
BTW: Greg, who rode a more than decent race, was about to rejoin the groupe with Alaphilippe in the descent of the Roche aux Faucons. Untill Matthews fell and dragged him down with him.
 
Re:

armchairclimber said:
I sometimes wonder if some people have just watched the last 20km and then come on to denounce a bore fest. There were several breaks and attempted escapes beforehand ... they just didn't succeed. I used to like the finale in Ans but I thought today was a better race to watch.
To be fair the breakaway always consisted of the helpers of their leaders.
 
Re: Re:

Alexandre B. said:
Sestriere said:
Apperently, when Alaphilippe was riding next to Fuglsang ahead of La Redoute he said to him: "I hope you win today.", as he felt he didn't have it today.
Should have said that in Innsbruck.
Haha, true.

Honestly its extremely unfortunate for Julian that they just changed the finish now that he would have been the overwhelming favourite year in, year out on the old one in Ans (if raced like previous years). We all knew that he could get in big problems in races like Lombardia in its current format, WC courses like Innsbruck, but if he continues to be so relatively mediocre on the very steep, relatively longer climbs (climbs like Redoute and Roche, the walls from this year's T-A), he will have a very hard time winning in Liege. There seems to be a certain point when the climb gets a bit too hard and he cant sustain it. Now, how much was this showing due to a bad day, his a bit messed up prep etc.
 
Alaphilippe is clearly overrated on climbs longer than a few minutes. He's still good but not world class.

I wouldn't count him unfortunate with the route change just yet. Fuglsang would've won on any route today.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
Alaphilippe is clearly overrated on climbs longer than a few minutes. He's still good but not world class.

I wouldn't count him unfortunate with the route change just yet. Fuglsang would've won on any route today.
This, if it's a steep climb and the effort is at least around 5min long he's beatable.
Up to 3min he's nearly undroppable.
 
So the two unhappy guys from the Amstel have both made up by winning an Ardennes classic. Today was a good race. I like it when the strongest guy wins. We've seen action from 100 km before the finish. Only La Redoute was tame, but that's tactically understandable. Wellens' attack looked good, but Astana controlled the gap and brought Birdsong in an ideal position at the foot of RaF. The moment when he dropped Formolo was superb. Until then I thought he would finish second again.
 
Re:

Pantani_lives said:
So the two unhappy guys from the Amstel have both made up by winning an Ardennes classic. Today was a good race. I like it when the strongest guy wins. We've seen action from 100 km before the finish. Only La Redoute was tame, but that's tactically understandable. Wellens' attack looked good, but Astana controlled the gap and brought Birdsong in an ideal position at the foot of RaF. The moment when he dropped Formolo was superb. Until then I thought he would finish second again.
It was very important that he did manage to drop Formolo right there. Because Formolo only lost 12 seconds more, from the gap that occurred, on the descent and the flat to the finish.

Fuglsang just had about enough on the end of the false flat to create a gap though.
 
Re: Re:

Gigs_98 said:
Red Rick said:
Valv.Piti said:
Dno who to solve Liege. Maybe ditch Roche or make a route that's not including Redoute in some way to mix things up.
Ofcourse the solution is to ditch RaF.

I'd love to see the section before La Redoute be made harder. Maybe take a few of the early hills out.
The big Problem of this race is it's name. There are plenty hard climbs around La Redoute but because the race has to go all the way to bastogne and back they have to take a relatively straight forward route. Therefore the section before la redoute is way too easy and attacking there is suicide. Ditching RaF would clearly help but it's not as simple as that.
Well that doesn't make sense at all. If you have nice hills between Bastogne and Liege, you'll have the same nice hills between Liege and Bastogne. Of course you can make the route towards Bastogne harder. The easier first half (or 100 km better) is a choice. It's not that the hills are not there.
 
Re:

Pantani_lives said:
So the two unhappy guys from the Amstel have both made up by winning an Ardennes classic. Today was a good race. I like it when the strongest guy wins. We've seen action from 100 km before the finish. Only La Redoute was tame, but that's tactically understandable. Wellens' attack looked good, but Astana controlled the gap and brought Birdsong in an ideal position at the foot of RaF. The moment when he dropped Formolo was superb. Until then I thought he would finish second again.
I was pretty confident he could beat Formolo in a sprint. When he actually dropped Formolo, I was only ever so slightly concerned that it meant a coordinated Bora chase would run him down, so dropping his companion actually lessened his chances. But Schachmann's group never caught Formolo, and they all lost time the whole way in.

Mayomaniac said:
[quote="Red Rick":33levx75]Alaphilippe is clearly overrated on climbs longer than a few minutes. He's still good but not world class.

I wouldn't count him unfortunate with the route change just yet. Fuglsang would've won on any route today.
This, if it's a steep climb and the effort is at least around 5min long he's beatable.
Up to 3min he's nearly undroppable.[/quote]

I think there are a few climbs like that in Strade Bianche, but he was unbeatable that day. I think today was just a jour-sans for the guy. Plus, that ignores his 2 stage wins and KOM jersey at the Tour last year.
 
Re: Re:

Leinster said:
Pantani_lives said:
So the two unhappy guys from the Amstel have both made up by winning an Ardennes classic. Today was a good race. I like it when the strongest guy wins. We've seen action from 100 km before the finish. Only La Redoute was tame, but that's tactically understandable. Wellens' attack looked good, but Astana controlled the gap and brought Birdsong in an ideal position at the foot of RaF. The moment when he dropped Formolo was superb. Until then I thought he would finish second again.
I was pretty confident he could beat Formolo in a sprint. When he actually dropped Formolo, I was only ever so slightly concerned that it meant a coordinated Bora chase would run him down, so dropping his companion actually lessened his chances. But Schachmann's group never caught Formolo, and they all lost time the whole way in.

Mayomaniac said:
[quote="Red Rick":tzekgear]Alaphilippe is clearly overrated on climbs longer than a few minutes. He's still good but not world class.

I wouldn't count him unfortunate with the route change just yet. Fuglsang would've won on any route today.
This, if it's a steep climb and the effort is at least around 5min long he's beatable.
Up to 3min he's nearly undroppable.
I think there are a few climbs like that in Strade Bianche, but he was unbeatable that day. I think today was just a jour-sans for the guy. Plus, that ignores his 2 stage wins and KOM jersey at the Tour last year.[/quote]

Actually it doesn't because typically the best climbers are in contention for GC unless something happens to where they lose a lot of time. Thus those who aren't as good of climbers are allowed out in breaks and will eventually lose even more time.
 
Re: Re:

Kwibus said:
armchairclimber said:
I sometimes wonder if some people have just watched the last 20km and then come on to denounce a bore fest. There were several breaks and attempted escapes beforehand ... they just didn't succeed. I used to like the finale in Ans but I thought today was a better race to watch.
To be fair the breakaway always consisted of the helpers of their leaders.
Wellens?
 
Re: Re:

Vesica said:
Gigs_98 said:
Red Rick said:
Valv.Piti said:
Dno who to solve Liege. Maybe ditch Roche or make a route that's not including Redoute in some way to mix things up.
Ofcourse the solution is to ditch RaF.

I'd love to see the section before La Redoute be made harder. Maybe take a few of the early hills out.
The big Problem of this race is it's name. There are plenty hard climbs around La Redoute but because the race has to go all the way to bastogne and back they have to take a relatively straight forward route. Therefore the section before la redoute is way too easy and attacking there is suicide. Ditching RaF would clearly help but it's not as simple as that.
Well that doesn't make sense at all. If you have nice hills between Bastogne and Liege, you'll have the same nice hills between Liege and Bastogne. Of course you can make the route towards Bastogne harder. The easier first half (or 100 km better) is a choice. It's not that the hills are not there.
That's not what I meant.
My point was that the section directly before La Redoute is too easy, therefore the peloton is so big when they tackle that climb that nobody dares to attack as you would easily be caught by the strong chasing group. The problem is, it's really difficult to make the section before La Redoute much harder as the route will always go northwards from Bastogne towards Liege, so only climbs in the south of La Redoute can be put before it. There are some really nice climbs in the west of the climb which would link up very well but they can't just add those climbs to the route, they would have to change the whole route.
Now compare that to say the Ronde. If they don't like the Kwaremont Paterberg combo close to the finish of the race anymore they could just move the finish further away. If they decide they now the Kruisberg as the final climb instead, they could just change the route in a way that the Kruisberg comes last. They can just shape the race in whichever way they want. The organizers of Liege Bastogne Liege can't do that, and that hurts the race.
 
Re: Re:

Gigs_98 said:
Vesica said:
Gigs_98 said:
Red Rick said:
Valv.Piti said:
Dno who to solve Liege. Maybe ditch Roche or make a route that's not including Redoute in some way to mix things up.
Ofcourse the solution is to ditch RaF.

I'd love to see the section before La Redoute be made harder. Maybe take a few of the early hills out.
The big Problem of this race is it's name. There are plenty hard climbs around La Redoute but because the race has to go all the way to bastogne and back they have to take a relatively straight forward route. Therefore the section before la redoute is way too easy and attacking there is suicide. Ditching RaF would clearly help but it's not as simple as that.
Now compare that to say the Ronde. If they don't like the Kwaremont Paterberg combo close to the finish of the race anymore they could just move the finish further away. If they decide they now the Kruisberg as the final climb instead, they could just change the route in a way that the Kruisberg comes last. They can just shape the race in whichever way they want. The organizers of Liege Bastogne Liege can't do that, and that hurts the race.
Maybe so, but I'm so old-fashioned that I like bike races that go from one place to the other. Riding zigzag and round and round through a landscape, hunting twists and turns and sharp hills, is not quite as charming in my opinion. I like the feeling that the riders are on a long and exhausting journey, and that difficult terrain is part of that challenge.
 
Re: Re:

Gigs_98 said:
Brullnux said:
Gigs_98 said:
fuiers said:
Well done Jakob. On the other note I did prefer the previous final with climbs.
Why though? The last esitions of this race were so much worse than todays race.
Disagree. At least in past years there was usually action from saint-nicholas to the end, this was literally the second half of roche aux faucons to the little rise after the false flat. Not saying it's tthe route's fault, the shite weather played its part, but it was definitely on par, if not worse, to previous years
I don't know. I admit the race was over the second Formolo couldn't hold Fuglsang's wheel but there was some action earlier (nothing huge but there was more going on prior to La Redoute than in previous years) and sadly I don't even think previous editions were always great from Saint Nicholas onwards. 2016, or whichever year it was when Poels won, riders didn't even attack there but waited for that added ramp 2 kilometers from the finish or so. Of course that was again a different route but even in the years with the classic Ans finish I can remember cases where you would just watch mediocre attack after mediocre attack knowing that the only ones who could possibly blow up the race were waiting for the uphill drag to Ans. In some of those post 2010 editions won by Valverde or Gerrans the race didn't really start until the 1 km marker and I think that was way worse than what we witnessed today.
Agree with this. Though I am also biased as the guy that I wanted to win, did.
 
The race itself wasn't the most exciting in the World but the winner was clearly the most deserving one. Fuglsang was a class above the rest and he's been the strongest rider in this spring in my opinion.
 

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