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Preview: Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2024 – Can van der Poel make it difficult for Pogacar?

Preview: Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2024 – Can van der Poel make it difficult for Pogacar?

Monday, April 15, 2024 at 7:55 pm

The first part of the cycling season ends on Sunday in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The last cycling spring monument is perhaps the most difficult of all. The “little ones” win. LBL Almost never, except for a few. Will we get the long-awaited fight between Tadej Pogacar and Mathieu van der Poel? Cycling Looking forward!

date

The last ten winners are Liège-Bastogne-Liège
2023: Remco Evenepoel
2022: Science isRemco Evenepoel
2021: Science CTadej Pogacar
2020: Science C Primoz Roglic
2019: science-dkJacob Vogelsang
2018:Know ifBob Jungles
2017: scienceAlejandro Valverde
2016: flag nlWootballs
2015: scienceAlejandro Valverde
2014: Flag of the African Union Simon Gerrans


Latest edition

Liège-Bastogne-Liège Result 2023
1. Science isRemco Evenpoel (Quick Step – Alpha Phenyl)
2. flag-gbTom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) at 1 minute 06 seconds
3. Science companySantiago Buitrago (Victorious Bahrain) in Sh
4. Science i.eBen Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) in 1 minute 08 seconds
5. Science FrValentin Maduas (Groupama-FDJ) in 1 minute and 24 seconds


Effect

The Liège-Bastogne-Liège route has few surprises for passengers, except for a few minor innovations. Traditionally, drivers start over at Place Saint-Lambert in Liège, something that was not possible two years ago due to road works. After 254.5 kilometers (almost four kilometers less than last year) the riders once again arrived in Liège. Despite the numerous steep roads in the first hundred kilometres, we should not immediately expect any differences here. The first two hours are ideal for early escapees, who can extend their lead until the turning point at Bastogne.

The riders have already completed the first (Côte de Bonnerue) of eleven classified climbs. After more than 117 kilometers Côte de Saint-Roch Already the second slope. This is much shorter than the first slope, but almost twice as steep. However, the senior tenors would not take action until after passing Vielsalm, nearly 150 kilometers into the race. About twelve kilometers away lies the foot of the mountain Côte de Mont le SuiWhich enters a decisive stage No Duane He preaches. This is where the preliminary final begins.

After this slope we quickly get a series of five well-known climbs from this monument. And in a period of less than forty kilometers Côte d'Ones the Côte de Stoco – which we know better because of the Eddy Merckx statue – Côte de la Haute Lévy the Colonel du Rozier And the Côte de d'Esny . Each chart is from previous editions.

After Desnié, the peloton crosses a spur and descends quickly with the route they traveled in the initial stage towards Bastogne. Anyone who looked to the right had the famous one Côte de la Redout Been seen. This – just like last year – is barely 1.6 kilometers long. After all, La Rédoute makes riders turn right about three hundred meters before the summit, after which a new descent follows directly with the Côte de Cornémone. “This change invites you to attack from the foot,” Remco Evenepoel said about this last year.

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La Rédoute therefore became the referee more than ever in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and therefore the opener for the last thirty kilometers from the finish. the Côte de Forgeswhich makes the difference between La Rédoute and Côte de la Roche aux Faucons It remains relatively small. We know this slope better as Valkenrück, whose summit is about thirteen kilometers before the finish.

Anyone who thinks the climb is over will be disappointed. After a short descent, the riders from Merry encounter a very nasty incentive from the Valkenrots. Sometimes, in poorly swelled concrete, drivers still have to pedal to extremes of up to 10%. From Boncelles, it takes another ten kilometers to the finish, which lies on the wide path at the Quai des Ardennes.

Sunday 21 April, Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Liège – Liège (254.5 km)
distance: 254.5 km
Begins: 10:10 am
Ends: Between 4:10pm and 4:45pm

The slopes during Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2024

  • Côte de Bonaire (2.4 km, 5.7% / 76.2 km distance)
  • Côte de Saint-Roch (1 km, 11.2% / after 117.3 km)
  • Côtes de Mont-le-Suis (1.7 km, 7.9% / 161.2 km distance)
  • Cote d'Ones (3.6 km, 5.1% / 169.5 km distance)
  • Côte de Stoco (1 km at 12.5% ​​/ after 176 km)
  • Côte de la Haute-Levi (2.2 km, 7.5% grade / 180.2 km)
  • Col du Rosiers (4.4 km, 5.9% grade / 194.4 km)
  • Côte des Desnyes (1.6 km, 8.1% / 297.8 km distance)
  • Côte de la Redout (1.6 km, 9.4% / 220.5 km)
  • Côte des Forges (1.3 km, 7.8%, after 231.2 km)
  • Côte de La Roche aux Vaucons (1.3 km, 11% / 241.2 km)

Favorite

A monument like Liège-Bastogne-Liège deserves a huge field of participants, and it can count on that again this year. World champion Mathieu van der Poel appears on the Hill for the second time in his career, but he is not the clear favorite in Liège.

This role is reserved for the two-time round winner Tadej Pogacar, Winner of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2021. Pogi is fully preparing for the Giro d'Italia (his first by the way) and has therefore consciously chosen not to participate in the majority of the Classics. But he could not miss participating in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Last year, Pogacar fell hard during the Walloon downhill, which ultimately cost him his best form on the Tour. Pogacar can also mentally deal with the misery he had to deal with in 2023 in Liège.

Pogacar competes everywhere to win – Photo: Cor Vos

Moreover, as you know: wherever the Slovenian super-talent starts, he will always compete for victory. Pogacar has not competed in too many races this season. Stradie Bianchi (win), Milan-San Remo (3rd) and the Tour of Catalunya (win, including stage wins in four of the seven stages), and that was it. Pogacar is hoping to make it to the start of the Giro in a new light, and he appears capable of doing so. Of course, Liège could serve as an ideal starting point, as Evenpoel did last year. By the way, he now has to keep an eye on the injured, just like Primoz Roglic. The field of participants in Liège is a bit headless.

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We write lightly, because the participation of the world champion Matthew van der Poel Of course it makes up for a lot. The only time Van der Poel attended this classic was in the fall of Covid 2020. Liege was then scheduled the day after the BinckBank tour. No problem for Van der Poel, who produced an impressive solo display on the final stage of the Belgian-Dutch Tour, then also competed for the place of honor the following day in Liège. Van der Poel came in sixth and immediately realized that this might one day be a possible pitch.

However, Van der Poel will naturally carry a few more kilograms uphill than Pogacar, and will always be at a disadvantage on slightly longer slopes. After Amstel we also heard him say that he no longer felt the wonderful feeling he had been feeling for the past few weeks. Logically, if you know that he has been competing at a very high level since Milan-San Remo. But Van der Poel is hardworking and will train again in Spain this week, hoping to win that historic fourth monument.

Will Pidcock add another one? – Photo: Cor Vos

Tom Pidcock He should not place himself much below that, if he is not even at the same height as Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Sometimes, the talented Brit has days when he just can't do anything. The Amstel Gold Race was one of these. in No Duane The climbs are a little longer, but this shouldn't necessarily be to its disadvantage. A year ago, Pidcock was the only one who could follow Evenpoel for a while, but he may have to be more aggressive against Pogacar. Will the INEOS Grenadier racer finally succeed in winning his first Monument?

The Amstel Gold Race is perhaps the most important benchmark for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but perhaps not entirely due to the relatively negative finish. At Brabantse Pijl, the field spread faster and then I saw Dylan Tunes (Israel-Premier Tech) and Benoit Cosnefroy (Decathlon AG2R) Excellent. For Theunis, this has been coming for a while, as he also achieved an exceptionally high level in the Tour of Flanders.

Flèche Wallonne – as he was the winner in 2022 – is usually a little better, but Teuns can still call himself one of the best players ever in the business. Teammates Stephen Williams and Michael Woods could also play a key role. Cosnefroy has a slightly better punch, he was too fast for Teuns in the Brabantse Pijl. However, Cosnefroy has never ridden inside the top 10 in Liège-Bastogne-Liège in his previous six starts. With his qualities he should be able to do better there.

What is Teune's penalty in the round – Photo: Cor Vos

Furthermore, Groupama-FDJ has a very strong block in supply. Roman GregoryQuentin Bacher and Valentin Maduas proved their mettle in the Amstel Gold Race, while David Gaudeau played his part in the French 1.1 races. It's not been David Gaudu's season yet, but the Frenchman – who is third in Liège – has managed to regain confidence. However, we estimate that 21-year-old Gregoire intrinsically has the best qualities.

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We have not yet mentioned the second and third numbers of the Amstel Gold Race. Tisig girls (The third) was one of the people of strong power. The only reservation we made with Pinot was for his pregnant wife. If she gives birth this week, Pinot will not be able to participate in Liège. But there's certainly no shortage of form for the former Strade Bianche winner Visma| Rent a bike. Mark Hershey (No. 2 in Liège, UAE) will have to tolerate Tadej Pogacar above him. This is also the case for Juan Ayuso. However, the two seem to be doing very well and who knows, Boogie might send them forward.

Moreover, the list of outsiders for a place of honor is endless. Just think of Ben Healy and Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost), Quentin Hermans and Axel Lawrence (Alpecin-Deseuinink), Alexander Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers), Andrea Baggioli and Matthias Schilmoz – who was a very consistent factor in last year's Three Hills Classics (Lidl-Trek), Maxim van Gils and Andreas Krohn (Lotto Dstny), Simon Yates and Michael Matthews (Jayco AlUla), and Maury Vansevenant (Soudal Quick-Step).


Favorites according to WielerFlits
**** Tadej Pogacar
*** Tom Pidcock, Benoit Cosnefroy
** Mathieu van der Poel, Matthias Skilmoos, Dylan Teunis
* Marc Hirschi, Juan Ayuso, Thiesge Pinot, Romain Gregoire

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Weather and TV

Riders can expect reasonably good racing weather on Sunday with temperatures reaching 12 degrees Celsius, according to the American “space” website. Weatheronline. However, there may be some light rain near Liège during the afternoon, with a probability of 75%. Moreover, the wind blows from the northwest at a force of three Beaufort.

Sporza He will be present on Sunday from 1:30 pm for the live broadcast of Liège-Bastogne-Liège on the TV channel. VRT1. In the Netherlands, the race can be followed on electronic channels from the same time Eurosport 1 And Eurosport.nl and Discovery+. Also on NPO1 The match can be followed