Schlagwort-Archive: Lüttich-Bastogne-Lüttich

2021 ardennes classics

Key points:
 The men and women’s versions of the Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège have been scheduled for 21 and 25 April, respectively, after returning to their usual slots on the calendar.
 The Flèche Wallonne is bringing back the traditional start in Charleroi, with a course steeped in the history of the race all the way to the final climb up the Mur de Huy, while Liège–Bastogne–Liège will have an extra sting in the tail thanks to the addition of the new Côte de Desnié.
 The women’s two races have also been backloaded by the organisers. The men and women’s courses will converge in the final 90 kilometres in the Flèche Wallonne and the final 80 kilometres on the road to Liège.
 New partners are stepping up to the plate, including AG, Shimano and Decathlon, while Cofidis has renewed its commitment to the ardennes classics.

The newly crowned world champion was the only one left with a bitter taste in his mouth after the exceptional autumn editions of the classics, held at the tail end of the 2020 season. Marc Hirschi and Anna van der Breggen’s wins in the Flèche Wallonne, followed by Primož Roglič and Lizzie Deignan’s victories in Liège–Bastogne–Liège, were in line with the character of the Ardennes classics, coming at the end of gruelling races in which only the strongest and toughest riders stayed in contention until the finish. Six months later, it is time for the pretenders to the crown of the Flèche Wallonne to reset their clocks to the usual dates. The men will roll out of Charleroi, which hosted the start of the race from 1998 to 2012. The road to Huy will follow the traditional east-west trajectory and pit the peloton against the Côte d’Yvoir for the first time, but the Côte de Gives, another addition to the course, is where things will really get serious. Following two 32 km loops with a profile that looks like the serrated edge of a saw blade, the final showdown will take place on the unique Mur de Huy, the ultimate litmus test for punchers. The women’s race will merge onto the course of the men’s race for the final 90 kilometres. Will Anna van der Breggen, the undisputed master of the Chemin des Chapelles, with six victories to her name, be able to extend her dominance on this beefed-up course?

Liège–Bastogne–Liège moved its finish line back downtown in 2019. An audacious solo move earned Jakob Fuglsang the win that year, while last October it was a group of five attackers that vied for victory in a messy sprint. This time round, the home straight on Quai des Ardennes will come after almost 260 kilometres of racing on a course featuring the brand-new Côte de Desnié, a nasty climb (1.6 km at an average gradient of 8%) that comes shortly before the decisive Côte de la Redoute, the point where lactic acid starts to reach agonising levels. The riders will have to leave something in the tank if they want to use the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons as a springboard to try and win the Old Lady. The same holds true for the ladies, who will start this year’s edition in Liège and tackle another gruelling 141 km course: the fifth running of the women’s race will take the peloton to the Côte de Desnié, Col du Rosier and Côte des Forges for the first time.

Three new partners and a renewed commitment
• In 2021, the ardennes classics are delighted to welcome AG on board as the new „Major Partner“ of the four Belgian races. Cycling has been part of AG’s DNA for a long time. Through its partnerships, AG seeks to promote cycling as a sport and as part of everyday life. This partnership is a long-term commitment, running until the end of 2024.
• As announced a month ago, Shimano is now an „Official Partner“. The Japanese firm will leverage its experience and know-how in the field of neutral technical support.
• Decathlon is now an „Official Provider“. Its focus will be on young fans and bicycle safety.
• Finally, Cofidis, which has been at our side since 2012, is extending its commitment to the Ardennes classics as an „Official Partner“.

Amaury Sport Organisation is proud to have the support of all the partners of the ardennes classics and acknowledge their strong commitment.


Liège – Liège (257,0 km / 4375 hm)
1 ROGLIČ Primož (SLO) JUMBO – VISMA 6:32:02
6 VAN DER POEL Mathieu (NED) ALPECIN – FENIX 0:00:14
7 WOODS Michael (CAN) EF PRO CYCLING 0:00:14
8 BENOOT Tiesj (BEL) TEAM SUNWEB 0:00:14
13 MOLARD Rudy (FRA) GROUPAMA – FDJ 0:00:14
14 MARTIN Guillaume (FRA) COFIDIS 0:00:14
15 URAN Rigoberto (COL) EF PRO CYCLING 0:00:14
16 PORTE Richie (AUS) TREK – SEGAFREDO 0:00:14
21 KÄMNA Lennard (GER) BORA – HANSGROHE 0:00:58

After his crash Primosz Roglic (SLO) is chasing the front group with the help of his team mates, He made it back to the front group but was lacking power in the finale to keep up with the best. Very unlucky for him, he was a podium candidate.
Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer

October 4 th 2020 – 17:29
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) won the 106th Liège-Bastogne-Liège with an exhibition of race craft and experience to make the most out of his legs and the circumstances in the final kilometres. Two weeks after a heart-breaking defeat on the Tour de France, the Slovenian got his payback from this amazing sport called cycling. Roglic went clear with Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) with 14 kilometres to go, atop the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. They reached together the final straight, where the wearer of the rainbow jersey put out an irregular sprint that got him relegated because it hindered the effort of Pogačar and Hirschi. Still, Roglic was quicker than Alaphilippe and crossed the finish line first as the French rider raised his arms.
175 riders took the start on the 106th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège at 10:24, ready to race over 258 kilometres from Liège to Bastogne and back. It was after nine kilometres that Iñigo Elosegui (Movistar Team), Kobe Goossens (Lotto-Soudal), Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Schär (CCC Team), Kenny Molly (Bingoal WB), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Valentin Ferron, Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie) and Gino Mäder (NTT Pro Cycling) went clear. Kamp punctured shortly afterwards and was caught by the peloton, from which Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal WB) counter-attacked. The Dutch rider joined the frontrunners at the kilometre 40, establishing a nine-strong break. The biggest time gap was 5’45”, clocked atop the Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne (km 76). Deceuninck-Quick Step, Team Sunweb and Ineos Grenadiers were the teams that devoted more effort to control their advantage.
Crashes before the clashes
The race changed significantly as the riders entered the last 100 kilometres. Crashes took it toll, forcing the withdrawal of pre-race favourites such as Greg van Avermaet (CCC Team) or Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). A crash at the head of the bunch with 85 kilometres to go removed from contention Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-McLaren) and Michael Valgren (NTT Pro Cycling), affecting also Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) and Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), amongst many others. The pack was left pattern-less until everyone came back to its par and Trek-Segafredo took the reins. Meanwhile, at the front of the race, a series of attacks left Schär alone, as a sole frontrunner, with 64 kilometres to go. Mäder was the last man able to hold the Swiss’ wheel.
Deceuninck-Quick Step put the hammer down
Deceuninck-Quick Step hit the front of the pack again on the Col du Maquisard (km 210; -48km). The Belgian outfit brought back Schär at the Côte de la Redoute (km 222; -36km). By the summit of this iconic climb there were only 50 riders on the bunch, that was led by Dries Devenyns and Mauri Vansevenant into the Côte des Forges (km 234; -24km), where Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott) launched an attack before taking a bow and bidding farewell on his last-ever professional race. Despite an attack by Luis León Sánchez (Astana Pro Team) and Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), it all came down to the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons (km 243,5; -14,5km).
An eventful outcome
Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) upped the pace at the foot of the climb and Alaphilippe took the initiative to force a final selection including himself, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb). The four cooperated without hesitation, with a dozen riders chasing them around 20” behind. Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates) attacked from the chase to join the quartet with 500 meters to go, launching the final sprint. Alaphilippe took off 200 meters from the finish and got a clear margin, but his irregular trajectory barred Hirschi and Pogačar from pulling off a clean sprint and he was therefore relegated to 5th place. The rainbow jersey raised his arms, but he was pipped on the finish line by Roglic, undisputed winner of the day.

Keine Topplatzierung für BORA – hansgrohe bei Lüttich-Bastogne-Lüttich

Regnerisches Wetter und viel Wind warteten heute auf das Fahrerfeld bei Lüttich-Bastogne-Lüttich, dem ältesten der Klassiker im Radsport. Das Tempo im Feld war von Beginn an hoch und es dauerte eine Weile, bevor sich neun Fahrer absetzen konnten. Im Lauf der ersten Rennphase konnte diese Gruppe einen Vorsprung von bis zu fünf Minuten herausfahren, bevor ab Rennkilometer 120 das Tempo im Peloton erhöht wurde. Leider war Jay McCarthy in einen Sturz etwa 100 km vor dem Ziel verwickelt und musste das Rennen aufgeben. Auch Max Schachmann hatte heute einen schlechten Tag und fiel schon vor La Redoute zurück. Dadurch hatte BORA – hansgrohe rund 40 Kilometer vor dem Ziel nur noch Lennard Kämna und Ide Schelling in der Gruppe der Favoriten. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt wurde der letzte der Ausreißer gestellt und auch Ide konnte dem Tempo nicht mehr folgen. Im letzten Anstieg des Tages war Lennard zuerst in guter Position, konnte aber die entscheidende Attacke von Alaphilippe nicht mitgehen und war in der Folge in der zweiten Verfolgergruppe. Den Sieg holte sich am Ende P. Roglic, Kämna erreichte als 21. das Ziel.
Reaktionen im Ziel
„Das war mein erstes Lüttich und ich muss sagen, ich mag das Rennen. An der einen oder anderen Stelle habe ich sicher noch Fehler gemacht, aber ich bin zufrieden. Auf den Leib geschneidert ist mir das Profil nicht, aber es hat Spaß gemacht. Ich war am letzten Anstieg in guter Position, genau wo ich sein musste, aber hatte dann nicht mehr die Beine, um ganz vorne mitzufahren. Ich denke, ich kann mir heute nichts vorwerfen. Jetzt habe ich noch ein Rennen vor mir, dann ist diese spezielle Saison zu Ende.“ – Lennard Kämna

„Wir wollten heute eigentlich um den Sieg mitfahren, aber das hat nicht geklappt, wie wir uns das vorgenommen hatten. Mit Jay haben wir einen wichtigen Mann durch einen Sturz verloren. Dann hatte leider auch Max einen richtig schlechten Tag. Er hat schon früh gesagt, dass heute gar nichts geht, aber wir hatten gehofft, dass er sich vielleicht etwas freifahren kann. Dem war nicht so. Dadurch hatten wir im Finale nur noch Ide und Lennard vorne. Ide ist wieder sehr gut gefahren und hat Lennard unterstützt, wo er nur konnte. Lennard war dann im entscheidenden Moment an der richtigen Stelle, konnte aber die Attacke nicht mitgehen. Da kann man niemand einen Vorwurf machen. Mehr war heute leider nicht für uns drin.“ – Enrico Poitschke, sportlicher Leiter


Bastogne – Liège (135,0 km / 2100 hm)
1 DEIGNAN Elizabeth (GBR) TREK – SEGAFREDO 3:29:48
4 VOS Marianne (NED) CCC – LIV 0:02:19
8 LABOUS Juliette (FRA) TEAM SUNWEB 0:02:21
10 LIPPERT Liane (GER) TEAM SUNWEB 0:03:27

October 4 th 2020 – 13:01

At the end of a tremendous show of courage in the difficult conditions of the rainy Ardennes, Lizzie Deignan claimed Liege-Bastogne-Liege for the first time of her career. The Brit powered away on the Cote de la Redoute never to be caught despite the strong counter-attack of Grace Brown. She wins this 4th edition of the race ahead of Brown and Ellen Van Dijk. Thanks to her success, the Trek-Segafredo rider takes command of the UCI Women’s World Tour again.
Five months after its initial date, the weather conditions were just as cold for the ladies of the 4th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège women. Cold temperatures and rain as the 136 riders took off on the 135-km course from Bastogne to Liège. In these difficult conditions and with a strong tailwind, the pack remained bunched.
Hard to take off and power away from a pack well under the control of teams Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo and Boels-Dolmans. A first decisive move eventually came on the first climb of the day, the Cote de Wanne (km 56.5) when seven riders pulled away: Peters (Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team), Labous (Team Sunweb), Barnes (Canyon Sram), Van Dijk (Trek Segafredo), Vos (CCC Liv), Reusser (Paule Ka) and Stephens (Team Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank).
On the following climb, while Stephens was dropped, two others very interesting riders joined the front group: Deignan (Trek Segafredo) and Aalerud (Movistar Team). The advantage of the front 8 reached 32” at the top of the Cote de la Haute Levée.
That gap carried on growing despite the efforts of teams Mitchelton-Scott and FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope at the front of the chasing bunch of around 40 riders. On the climb up the Côte de la Vecquée, Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott) managed to take off and eventually joined the escapees before the top where the gap had reached 1’20’’.
Among the seven former UCI road World champions present on the race, Lizzie Deignan was the first to give it a go as she powered away on the climb up the Côte de la Redoute. The Brit reached the summit with a 20” advantage over her former group and 1’30” over the pack.

Deignan saw her lead grow to 52” on her closest rivals and 2’20” on the pack with 20kms to go. On the final climb up La Roche aux Faucons, Grace Brown decided to take off on a counter-attack. At the summit, the Australian was only 35” adrift. While the pack of favourites including Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten failed to move any closer, a fantastic battle started between Deignan and Brown on the last 13kms to the finish in Liège.
With 5kms to go, Deignan could still enjoy a slim 10” lead over Brown. She eventually managed to remain clear all the way to the line, clinching Liège-Bastogne-Liège for the very first time. Deignan wins with a 9” advantage over Brown and 2’19” over third placed rider Ellen Van Dijk (Trek Segafredo). Deignan, thanks to her success, moves back into first position of the UCI Women’s World Tour.


Key information:
 On the eve of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, all eyes are set on Julian Alaphilippe. The Frenchman is the main favourite for victory on his maiden race with the rainbow jersey – even more so after Alejandro Valverde’s last-minute withdrawal.
 There is a very long list of outsiders. Those who were up there already in Flèche Wallonne, such as Marc Hirschi, Benoît Cosnefroy, Michael Woods or Michal Kwiatkowski, are obvious names. And then there are those who have travelled to Belgium just for this event – such as Chris Froome, Primoz Roglic or Adam Yates.
 A surprise, late addition to a startlist already packed with talent is Mathieu Van der Poel. Right after winning the BinckBank Tour this very Saturday, the Alpecin-Fenix team confirmed the Dutch rider will take part in La Doyenne.
 The fourth edition of the Women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be held hours before the men’s event, and pretty much on the same roads. Dutch duo Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten are the main favourites for victory on a race that will be broadcasted live across 190 countries.

Last year, Liège-Bastogne-Liège went back to holding its finish line in the centre of the Ardennes city after 27 straight years ending with an uphill finish on its suburb Ans. Jakob Fuglsang took advantage of this set-up already in 2019, when he accelerated with 16 kilometres to go, up the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, to later launch his winning attack at its small, follow-up hill, the Côte de Boncelles. “It’s the change we were hoping for,” says route designer Jean-Michel Monin. “In previous years, riders waited until the eleventh hour at the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, 5 kilometres from the finish, to try and break away. The Roche-aux-Faucons is the key climb now, and that forces the favourites to attack earlier and provides for a more exciting finale. This year we can picture an outcome similar to 2019, although I only see one guy capable of pulling out such exploit: that’s Julian Alaphilippe, and only if he is in the same shape he was in Imola. In any case, the 90 final kilometres are very demanding and we can expect a very reduced group to contend for victory in the closing stages of the race.”

Last Sunday, Julian Alaphilippe crowned himself UCI World Champion in Imola. Showcasing his recently attained rainbow jersey for the first time, the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider will try to finally net victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège after placing 2nd in 2015 and 4th in 2018. Given his current shape and his knowledge of the event, he will be the man to watch – a favourite role reinforced by the last-minute absence of four-time winner Alejandro Valverde. “I’m very happy to honour the rainbow jersey by wearing it for the first time on a race such as La Doyenne,” said Alaphilippe on a virtual press conference. “It’s one of the races I’ve long dreamt of winning, and this is a new chance for it.” It’s not usual for the rainbow jersey to triumph in this race, though. Only 5 out of the 105 editions of Liège-Bastogne-Liège ended with the rainbow jersey raising his arms, with wins by: Ferdi Kübler, in 1952; Rick Van Looy, in 1961; Eddy Merckx, both in 1972 and 1975; and Moreno Argentin in 1987.

Already victor at Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne, Marc Hirschi is going to try and double-up his Ardennes Classic winning tally this Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “We knew he had a big potential, but lately everything seems to be falling into place for him,” says his DS at Team Sunweb, Michiel Elijzen. “Tomorrow it will be a more difficult race to win, though, because there are way more cards and scenarios to play. It’s a longer, more challenging route, and the quality of the field is higher. The weather will play a part, too, as the headwind will make for a slow pace at the beginning, when heading south. Another big factor for the outcome is that no one will want to be a on a breakaway group with Julian Alaphilippe or Marc Hirschi. Deceuninck-Quick Step has multiple riders capable of winning, and we have a good back-up option in Tiesj Benoot. Anyways, it’s hard to predict how the race will pan out.”

After his aggressive performance in the Tour de France, the runner-up position at Flèche Wallonne went to confirm Benoît Cosnefroy’s prospects as one of the names to follow in professional cycling. Speaking to ahead of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the French rider explained: “I love the Classics. It’s the races that suit better my nature and my qualities as a rider. I knew I was capable of getting a result [atop the Mur de Huy], but I needed to actually deliver it.” Well aware of his potential, the AG2R La Mondiale rider will try to make the most out of it in La Doyenne. “I really like Liège because tactics and strategy are a bigger factor than in Flèche. The Roche-aux-Faucons definitely is the climax. I need to be amongst the top four or six riders at its summit. Right after comes the downhill and the flat terrain on the way to Liège, on which it will be about who plays tactics better. Although if Julian Alaphilippe puts the same attack he did last Sunday in Imola, it will be difficult to beat him…”

After the disappointing, heart-breaking ending of his Tour de France, Primoz Roglic has cleared his mind and is bound to start a campaign to defend his championship at La Vuelta. The first stop will be his maiden appearance at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. A stage-race man, Roglic found out the joy of one-day racing last autumn in Italy, where he won both the Giro dell’Emilia and the Tre Valle Varesine. His DS Franz Maassen considers we may see him shine tomorrow in Liège, along with his Team Jumbo Visma teammate Tom Dumoulin. “Primoz [Roglic] has the morale and the willingness to race a Monument. The length of the race may suit him. We are sure the Côte de la Redoute will be a key point, but the defining climb will be the Roche-aux-Faucons. Tom [Dumoulin] felt a bit tired at Flèche Wallonne, but it is entirely possible for him to surprise everybody tomorrow.”

UAE Team Emirates was one of the most relevant outfits at Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne. “We did a great job, indeed – the best we could,” asserts DS Neil Stephens. In the final lap, both Sergio Henao and Rui Costa attacked to set-up a hard course in the benefit of their leader Tadej Pogacar, who could only deliver a 9th place atop the Mur de Huy. “We have to be realistic about Tadej,” Stephens explains. “The Tour de France was obviously very demanding for him, and he hasn’t recovered from it yet for a number of reason. Even if he wanted to perform in Flèche Wallonne and was in the right mindset to do so, he couldn’t do better than 9th. And it’s the same situation for tomorrow. Liège is one of the most beautiful Classics of the year. We have good cards to play, with several very good riders who are perfectly able to crack a top10 but for whom a victory is a tough ask. We expect the race to be decided at the Roche-aux-Faucons. The winner will go clear there – be it solo or in a group.”

It won’t be a first, because he has already participated six times in Liège with the 36th position achieved in 2013 as his best result – but it will be a last. Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be Chris Froome’s final one-day race with Ineos Grenadiers. The four-times winner of the Tour de France will play a domestique role, working for his teammate (and loyal domestique) Michal Kwiatkowski, who has stood twice at the podium of La Doyenne (3rd in both 2014 and 2017). But Ineos Greandiers’ DS, Brett Lancaster, doesn’t rule out the possibility of seeing Froome on a different note. “Chris [Froome] has worked very well over the last few weeks in Andorra and is in very good shape. He is set to work for Michal [Kwiatkowski], but he might be on the offensive if any dangerous break goes early. It’s true Michal is very focused on this Classics campaign. We’ve been discussing it for three months already and he is determined to race all the way to Paris-Roubaix.”

Despite the long tradition of the men’s event, the Women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège is still a relatively young race with only three editions on its record books. The two marquee names of the female peloton in this decade have so far been dominant in this Classic, with two victories under Anna van der Breggen’s name (2017 and 2018) and one under Annemiek van Vleuten’s (2019). Both Dutch cyclists will take part on this 2020 edition with their respective teams Boels Dolmans Cycling Team and Mitchelton Scott, spearheading a field with contenders such as Great Britain’s Lizzie Deignan (Trek Segafredo), Poland’s Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon // SRAM Racing), Netherlands’ Marianne Vos (CCC Team) or Flèche Wallonne’s runner-ups to Van der Breggen, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Demi Völlering (Parkhotel Valkenburg). The 134-kilometre long route from Bastogne to Liège features five climbs, with the Côte de la Haute-Levée as main addition for this year, and the Côte de la Redoute and the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons as final challenges before the rolling run-in to Liège. As happened at last Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne, the Women’s Liège Bastogne-Liège will be broadcasted live across 190 countries via 20 TV channels thanks to a 90-minute coverage provided by host broadcaster RTBF.


Key information:
 Julian Alaphilippe will first showcase his recently attained rainbow jersey this Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider comes to La Doyenne in great shape and is an obvious favourite to finally get a victory he was already close to in 2015 (2nd) and 2018 (4th). Four-times winner Alejandro Valverde will be one of the most-renowned rivals for the Frenchman.
 Fresh off his impressive triumph in Flèche Wallonne, Team Sunweb’s Marc Hirschi will try to prolong his winning streak. His companions on Wednesday’s podium, Benoît Cosnefroy and Michael Woods, will also be present in Liège.

By raising his arms last Sunday in Imola, Julian Alaphilippe made history. ‘Loulou’ was the first Frenchman to pull on the rainbow jersey since Laurent Brochard did back in 1997. The Deceuninck-Quick Step cyclist is now poised to set another landmark victory for his country this weekend in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The last Frenchman who managed to write his name in the ‘palmarès’ of La Doyenne was Bernard Hinault in 1980, only months before claiming the rainbow stripes himself in Sallanches.
But history doesn’t come easy. Alaphilippe will contend against a man who knows how to win this race, and has rightfully done so four times already. Former rainbow jersey himself, Alejandro Valverde comes to Liège after narrowly missing top10 in the Tour de France (12th) and delivering at 8th place in the 2020 Imola UCI Road World Championships.
Both Valverde and Alaphilippe were absent at Flèche Wallonne, leaving the path clear for new faces such as Marc Hirschi. His runner-up last Wednesday at the Mur de Huy, Benoît Cosnefroy, defined the Swiss cyclist as “one of strongest riders in the world at this moment.” His stage win at the Tour de France, on which he was awarded the most aggressive rider prize, combines with his bronze medal in Imola and his outstanding triumph this week to tout him as a potential contender at La Doyenne. Cosnefroy himself will be present in Liège too, as will the other man standing in the podium of Flèche Wallonne, Michael Woods, who has already come close to victory in this race (2nd in 2018).
As far as star riders are concerned, is hard to look past the podium of the Champs-Élysées. All the top3 riders of the Tour de France will race Liège-Bastogne-Liège: the Slovenians Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic, and the Australian Richie Porte. Between those who shone in Huy, it’s pertinent to highlight Dan Martin (winner of La Doyenne in 2013, as well as 2nd in 2017), Warren Barguil (6th in 2018) and Michal Kwiatkowski (3rd both in 2014 and 2017).

25 teams, main contenders

Mitchelton-Scott: A.Yates (Uk), Albasini (Swi), Impey (Saf)

Bahrain-McLaren: Landa (Esp), Caruso (Ita), Poels (Ned), Teuns (Bel)

Deceuninck-Quick Step: Alaphilippe, Cavagna (Fra), Jungels (Lux)
Lotto-Soudal: Wellens (Bel)
Circus-Wanty Gobert: Bakelants (Bel)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise: E.Planckaert (Bel)
Bingoal WB: Vanendert (Bel)
Alpecin-Fenix: Vakoc (Cze), Vervaeke (Bel)

AG2R La Mondiale: Cosnefroy, Vuillermoz (Fra)
Groupama-FDJ: Madouas, Molard (Fra)
Cofidis: G.Martin (Fra), Jes.Herrada (Esp)
Total Direct Energie: Simon, Hivert (Fra)
Team Arkea-Samsic: Barguil (Fra)

Bora-Hansgrohe: Kämna, Schachmann (Ger)
Team Sunweb : Hirschi (Swi), Benoot (Bel)

Astana Pro Team: Fraile, G.Izagirre (Esp)

Jumbo-Visma: Dumoulin (Ned) Roglic (Slo)

CCC Team: Van Avermaet (Bel), Geschke (Ger), De Marchi (Ita)

South Africa
NTT Pro Cycling Team: Gasparotto (Ita), Kreuziger (Cze)

Movistar Team: Valverde, Soler (Esp)

United Arab Emirates
UAE Team Emirates: Pogacar (Slo), Costa (Por), Henao (Col)

United Kingdom
Ineos Grenadiers: Kwiatkowski (Pol), Froome (UK)

United States of America
Trek-Segafredo: Porte (Aus), Skujins (Lat)
EF Pro Cycling: Woods (Can), Martinez, Uran (Col)



Ardennes classics’ organizers selected the teams for the next the Flèche Wallonne Women (April 22nd) and the next Liège-Bastogne-Liège Women (April 26th).
The 23 following teams are selected for both races :

Worldtour Teams
Alé BTC Ljubljana (Ita)
Canyon //SRAM Racing (Ger)
CCC – Liv (Pol)
FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
Mitchelton Scott (Aus)
Movistar Team Women (Esp)
Team Sunweb (Ger)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)

Continental Women Teams
Bigla – Katusha (Sui)
Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Ned)
Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team (Rus)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (Bel)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Ned)
Valcar – Travel & Service (Ita)
Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
Astana Women’s Team (Kaz)
Charente – Maritime Women Cycling (Fra)
Doltcini – Van Eyck Sport UCI Women Cycling (Bel)
Team Arkéa (Fra)
Team Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank (Usa)
Aromitalia – Basso Bikes – Vaiano (Ita)
Ciclotel (Bel)
Chevalmeire Cycling Team (Bel)

The following team is selected for the Flèche Wallonne Women :
Massi – Tactic Women Team (Esp)

The following team is selected for Liège-Bastogne-Liège Women :
Hitec Products – Birk Sport (Nor)



Key points:
 The world’s best puncheurs, male and female, will race the Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, April 22nd. Liège-Bastogne-Liège Hommes and Femmes will be held on Sunday, April 26th.
 La Doyenne’s finish is set on the boulevard d’Avroy, in the heart of Liège, after climbing the côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.
 The riders participating in the Flèche Wallonne will face an unprecedented climb with the introduction of the côte du chemin des Gueuses in the final loop around Huy.

The Doyenne has returned to the heart of Liège in 2019 and is ready to come back in 2020. For the second year in a row, Liège-Bastogne-Liège Hommes and its feminine counterpart will end on the boulevard d’Avroy, where Jakob Fuglsang and Annemiek van Vleuten celebrated their solo triumphs last Spring. Fuglsang was the second Dane to take victory in 105 editions of the race while Van Vleuten got a spot in the winners list alongside her Dutch compatriot Anna van der Breggen, winner of the first two editions of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes in Ans.
The riders aiming for such successes in 2020 will tackle familiar climbs. The route for the men’s race features 11 iconic ascents, from the côte de La Roche-en-Ardenne all the way to the côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, before the champions storm to the finish in the ardent city. As they ride from the côte de Wanne to the côte de la Vecquée, the women will face for the first time the côte de la Haute-Levée, a classic of the men’s route.
Four days earlier, the world’s best puncheurs, male and female, will already battle it out in the Ardennes with the Flèche Wallonne. The ascent of the côte du chemin des Gueuses (1.8km with an average gradient of 6.5%) appears on the route for the first time both for the men and the women. It comes instead of the côte de Cherave in the final circuit designed around the Mur de Huy.

The Flèche Wallonne Hommes will start from Herve, where the peloton and the whole world of cycling will admire the spring of the Six Fountains, and quickly head for the côte de Trasenster. The other challenges of the route are well known by the reigning champions, Julian Alaphilippe and Anna van der Breggen. Everything is set for a thrilling battle on the Mur.
At the announcement of the routes for the Ardennes classics, the organisers revealed the names of the teams that will take part in the next editions of the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In addition to the 19 WorldTeams and the top two teams of the UCI ProTeams rankings in 2019, Team Direct Energie (Fra) and Circus – Wanty Gobert (Bel) have been selected:

2020 Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège
– Alpecin – Fenix (Bel)
– Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise (Bel)
– Team Arkéa – Samsic(Fra)
– Wallonie Bruxelles (Bel)

The races have two new partners
– The Italian National Tourist Board, founded in 1919 under the moniker ENIT, becomes an Official Partner of the Ardennes Classics in 2020. More information here:
– Ardennes-Etape, a specialist in on-line location of holiday homes in the Ardennes, becomes an Official Partner of the Ardennes Classics in 2020. More information here :

The Dictée of Ardennes Classics
Following two editions of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège dictation, in 2020 this concept will also take in the Flèche Wallonne to become the Ardennes Classics Dictation. On Wednesday 18th March, in each school taking part (classes in the last year of primary school and the first year of secondary school in the Province of Liège are concerned), several hundred pupils will be trying to meet the challenge of making no mistakes. The Province of Liège will then organise an awards ceremony to be held at the official presentation of the teams in Liège, on Saturday 25th April, with awards for 200 children. The following day, the authors of the 14 best dictations will have privileged access to watch the race (seven at the start and seven at the finish)..

10th edition of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Challenge: Saturday 25th April 2020
The day before the elite race, more than 8,000 amateur riders are expected to take the same roads as the professionals and test themselves on the legendary slopes of the Ardennes, with some of the climbs against the clock. Participants will be able to tackle three different distances in order to satisfy all levels of cycling ability: 266 km, 147 km and 70 km.
Information and registration on

Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2019

Liège, Sunday April 28th 2019 – Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) delivered on Sunday, capping off an impressive classics campaign with a solo win in the 105th edition of La Doyenne. After his places of 3rd in the Amstel Gold Race and 2nd in La Flèche Wallonne, the 34-year-old Danish champ made the most of the new route and built his victory in the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons before soloing away from everyone with 13 km to go to claim his 20th professional win, the first one in a one-day race! Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished second and Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) dominated the sprint in a small group to claim the third spot on the podium. Fuglsang is the second Danish to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 26 years after Rolf Sorensen.

Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer –
1 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 6:37:37
2 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora – Hansgrohe 0:00:27
3 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora – Hansgrohe 0:00:57
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton – Scott
5 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First
6 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama – FDJ
7 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain – Merida 0:01:00
9 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain – Merida 0:01:05
10 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:01:26
11 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:29
12 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
13 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora – Hansgrohe
14 Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora – Hansgrohe
15 Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team

Formolo und Schachmann auf dem Podium: Rang zwei und drei für BORA – hansgrohe in Lüttich
Der älteste Radklassiker Lüttich-Bastogne-Lüttich, erstmals 1892 ausgetragen, fand heute zum 105. Mal in Belgien statt. Nach den starken Auftritten in der letzten Woche zählte BORA – hansgrohe heute mit zum Favoritenkreis. Im Vergleich zu den letzten Jahren wurde die Strecke in diesem Jahr geändert. Nicht mehr in Ans, einem Vorort von Lüttich, sondern näher am Zentrum und mit einer flachen Zielanfahrt präsentierten sich die 256 Kilometer dennoch schwierig mit insgesamt 11 Anstiegen. Nur sechs Grad und Regen setzten heute den Fahrern zu. Dennoch konnte sich kurz nach dem Start eine Acht-Mann-Gruppe vom Feld lösen und bis zu zehn Minuten Vorsprung herausfahren. Im Feld organisierten Sky, Deceuninck Quick-Step und BORA – hansgrohe die Verfolgung und 100 km vor dem Ziel war der Vorsprung der Ausreißer auf unter drei Minuten gefallen. Rund 25 Kilometer später zeigten sich zum ersten Mal die Favoriten im Rennen. Eine stark besetzte Gruppe mit rund 20 Fahrern, darunter Cesare Bennedetti und Max Schachmann von BORA – hansgrohe, konnte sich vom ersten Feld absetzen und schnell 30 Sekunden Vorsprung herausfahren. Durch diese Tempoverschärfung wurden auch die letzten Ausreißer an der Spitze eingeholt. Doch durch die Größe der Gruppe herrschte wenig Einigkeit unten den Fahrern an der Spitze und 10 Kilometer später schloss das erste Feld wieder auf. In einem Konter formierte sich kurz darauf erneut eine Gruppe. Zehn Fahrer hielten für mehrere Kilometer das Feld auf Distanz, bevor dort nach der „La Redoute“ BORA – hansgrohe das Tempo erhöhte. An der vorletzten Steigung war noch ein Fahrer an der Spitze, als Patrick Konrad attackierte. Der Österreicher präsentierte sich in starker Form, und schloss wenige Kilometer später zum Führenden auf. Noch vor der letzten Steigung konnten zwei weitere Fahrer aufschließen und die Gruppe erreichte mit 15 Sekunden Vorsprung die Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons. Dort setzte J. Fuglsang eine eindrucksvolle Attacke, überholte die Gruppe um Konrad, doch mit Davide Formolo konnte ein weiterer Fahrer von BORA – hansgrohe das Hinterrad des Dänen halten. Mit M. Woods setzte sich ein Trio von den anderen Verfolgern ab, doch an der letzten Welle mussten zuerst Woods, und wenig später auch Formolo, abreißen lassen. Während Fuglsang nun einem souveränen Solosieg entgegenfuhr, konnte sich Davide an der zweiten Stelle halten. Woods wurde drei Kilometer vor dem Ziel von einer Verfolgergruppe eingeholt, in der sich Max Schachmann befand. J. Fuglsang holte am Ende den Sieg 27 Sekunden vor Davide Formolo, dahinter sicherte sich im Sprint Max Schachmann noch Rang drei. Mit zwei Fahrer auf dem Podium kann BORA – hansgrohe mit dem Ergebnis bei der „La Doyenne“ heute sehr zufrieden sein. Patrick Konrad und Jay McCarthy rundeten mit den Rängen 13 und 14 dieses Ergebnis sogar noch ab.
Reaktionen im Ziel
„Wir sind heute als Team ein tolles Rennen gefahren. Das Ergebnis spricht für sich selbst. Patrick’s Attacke war stark und Max und ich konnten uns ganz auf den letzten Anstieg konzentrieren. Jeder wusste, dass dort die Entscheidung fallen würde. Fuglsang hat attackiert und ich konnte mitgehen, aber auf der Gegenwelle habe ich auf den letzten Metern den Anschluss leider nicht mehr halten können. Er war heute der Stärkste. Ich habe dann auf den letzten Kilometern einfach voll durchgezogen, und bin mit diesem zweiten Rang überglücklich.“ – Davide Formolo

„Es war heute sehr kalt und daher ein unglaublich hartes Rennen, wahrscheinlich das Härteste, dass ich je gefahren bin. Zur Rennmitte habe ich die Brille gewechselt, zu diesem Zeitpunkt ging eine Windkante auf und ich war im zweiten Feld, da dachte ich schon, das Rennen sei verloren. Aber wir sind zurückgekommen und am Ende waren alle einfach kaputt. Auch ich hatte nicht mehr viele Körner, aber habe einfach immer weiter gekämpft. Davide war am letzten Berg superstark und konnte vorne mitgehen. Ich war in einer Gruppe dahinter und habe Kraft gespart. Ich denke, wir sind heute alle ein super Rennen gefahren. Am Ende konnte ich im Sprint noch Rang drei holen, und mit zwei Fahrern auf dem Podium können wir superzufrieden sein.“ – Maximilian Schachmann

„Heute bin ich wirklich stolz auf die Jungs, alle sind ein sehr starkes Rennen gefahren und unsere Taktik, die wir uns zurechtgelegt hatten, ist perfekt aufgegangen. Nach der La Redoute waren wir noch mit fünf Fahrern vorne, Cesare hatte dann die Aufgabe das Rennen zu kontrollieren. Ich habe gefragt, wer sich gut fühlt, denn wir wollten noch vor dem letzten Anstieg attackieren und Patrick hat das perfekt umgesetzt. Für Davide und Max ging es dann nur um den letzten Berg. Dort war Fuglsang einfach zu stark, er hat verdient gewonnen. Aber Davide ist lange drangeblieben und hat am Ende auch noch solo den zweiten Platz eingefahren, das war herausragend. Und auch Max ist super gefahren, er war in der Gruppe dahinter und hat dort den Sprint um Rang drei gewonnen. Das war heute eine großartige BORA – hansgrohe Teamleistung und ich kann vor den Jungs nur den Hut ziehen.“ – Enrico Poitschke, sportlicher Leiter
© BORA – hansgrohe


The key info:

 Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) are ready for their final battle of the Spring with the 105th edition of La Doyenne but most of the peloton hints the new finale designed in Liège will open the race.
 “It will be a different race”, the two-time winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes and hot favorite Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) anticipates, with the new finish and challenging weather conditions.
 Stage-race experts such as Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) or Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) are also ready to get in the mix and challenge the usual contenders.

The changes brought on a Monument always come along with heated debates. It’s true for cathedrals, and also for iconic races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège whose finale has been revamped this year. The new finish line is set in the heart of the city, and as a consequence there are now 15 kilometres after the last climb. Most riders share the opinion expressed by the four-time winner of La Doyenne Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team): “The race will open up earlier, with attacks in the Côte de la Redoute and even before, in the sequence Wanne -Stockeu – Haute Levée”. This perspective delights Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal): “I think the sequence Wanne – Stockeu – Haute-Levée will impact the race a lot and I absolutely don’t believe in a sprint finish.” Different kind of rider, different views for Nathan Haas (Katusha Alpecin): “If I can be up front after the last climb, then I can have a sprint. At La Flèche, I had to try and anticipate before the Mur de Huy… Here, it’s Alaphilippe who needs to drop me before the finale!” Finally, the young Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), 5th in the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne, hinted that “the race may open earlier but the favorites remain the same, they’re the ones who’ll have enough strength to hold on in the climbs.”
Strade Bianche, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne… And now La Doyenne? Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) have been battling it out on the classics this Spring and Liège-Bastogne-Liège offers them a final chance to settle things in this campaign. “It’s a dream race for me, one of the hardest, with a long history… It can only be beautiful to win here”, the Frenchman said on Saturday. “In the end there’s no secret, it will only be strong riders at the front and I hope to be up there. Jakob is very strong and I’ll have to fight hard to stay with him in the climbs.” Alaphilippe finished 2nd in Liège in 2015 and 4th last year. Fuglsang’s best result was 9th in 2015. But “I’ve probably never been that strong for Liège”, the Danish star said. “I’ve never actually had a big result here and I’m hoping to change it tomorrow. I feel super and the whole start of the season has been great for me.”

Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) can only be viewed as the hot favorite for the 3rd edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes: she won the first two editions and claimed this Wednesday a historic 5th victory in a row on the Flèche Wallonne. “I’m excited”, the Dutch star said on Saturday. “It’s a beautiful race. The weather doesn’t look that good so I think it will be a different race than other editions, also with the new finish. I feel really good now so it’s always nice to have this kind of race in the right moment, when you have the best condition. I think the previous route suited me better but it’s good to have something different for us and for the fans.” The women’s peloton will start from Bastogne at 10:55 and will face five climbs over 138.5 kilometres of demanding racing.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a unique kind of race, and it shows on the startlist with Grand Tour winners like Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) taking on the challenge against the classics experts. “I hope to win! But I don’t think that’s realistic, I only came back from an altitude camp two days ago”, Dumoulin said. “I’m here with the Giro in my mind but I hope to do well in Liège.” Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), mostly known for his GC abilities (4th in the 2016 Tour de France) but also a winner of La Clasica San Sebastian, hopes to shine despite his crash on Wednesday: “I’m a little bit banged up but I managed not to break anything. The condition is there, I just need a bit of better luck. It’s a hard long race, with a lot of climbing. We’ll see what happens in the finale but I think it’s a good race for me and I hope to have good legs like I’ve had in the past couple of months.” As for Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), he is set to arrive in Liège Saturday afternoon, after finishing 3rd of the Tour of the Alps on Friday.

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) displayed his usual enthusiasm as he lines up for his seventh participation in his “favorite one-day race”. After finishing 3rd last year in Ans, the French climber wants to see what he can do with the new route: “It might change the way many riders race, we’ll have to pay more attention earlier in the race. Right now, nobody knows how and where things will play out, it’s only the first year with these changes. Myself, I’m feeling more like an underdog, because my condition is a bit uncertain.”


Key points:
 Next Sunday, the 105th edition of Liège–Bastogne–Liège will bring down the curtain on a spring classics campaign in which team Deceuninck–Quick-Step and its leader Julian Alaphilippe have consistently trounced the opposition. After taking the Flèche Wallonne for the second time, Alaphilippe is the odds-on favourite to win the Old Lady, a race still missing from his collection.
 The runner-up on the mur de Huy, Jakob Fuglsang, is also a serious contender, but there are many other riders in with a shout, including Michael Matthews, Alejandro Valverde, Romain Bardet, Michał Kwiatkowski, Vincenzo Nibali, Tom Dumoulin and Greg Van Avermaet.

The Old Lady marks the end of the spring classics campaign. Its place as the grand finale of this part of the season only makes victory in the centre of Liège more prestigious and desirable. It could also encapsulate all the battles that have taken place on the roads of France, Belgium, Spain and Italy, where the riders who will animate the race on Sunday have already racked up victories and top placings. Among them are the two champions who stole the show on the Mur de Huy yesterday, Julian Alaphilippe and Jakob Fuglsang, who are leading the charge in the Ardennes for the most prolific teams of the 2019 season so far: Deceuninck–Quick-Step with 25 victories and Astana with 22. By taking his second win in the Flèche Wallonne, the Frenchman who has been dominating the classics season has consolidated his position as the odds-on favourite, but his victory was narrow enough to spark speculation that fatigue is starting to set in, as Alaphilippe himself is ready to admit: „I’m starting to feel tired, I’ve spent a lot since the start of the season“. Despite losing to his nemesis several times (Tirreno–Adriatico, Strade Bianche and Flèche Wallonne), Jakob Fuglsang has closer than ever before to winning a top-flight classic… and the peculiarities of the Old Lady could well play into his hands in a new showdown with „Alaf“.
However, Alaphilippe and Fuglsang will not be facing a two-man duel, but a pitched battle featuring even more contenders than on the Chemin des Chapelles in Huy. Among the men who showed no real signs of weakness, several riders could go on the attack on Côte de la Redoute, on La Roche-aux-Faucons and in the streets of the Ardent City, including young German rider Maximilian Schachmann (5th in Huy), stepping up to the plate after his leader Peter Sagan decided not to take part, as well as Michael Matthews (8th), Enrico Gasparotto (10th), world champion Alejandro Valverde (11th), who has still got an ace or two up his sleeve, Romain Bardet (13th), Dylan Teuns (14th), Michał Kwiatkowski (16th) and former winner Wout Poels (22nd). Others sat out the Flèche Wallonne to save themselves for Liège, including Vincenzo Nibali, as cunning as ever, as well as Tom Dumoulin, Greg Van Avermaet and Lilian Calmejane. They all share the same dream: to conquer the Old Lady.

25 teams, main contenders
Mitchelton–Scott: Yates (GBR) and Albasini (CHE)
Bahrain–Merida: Nibali (ITA) and Teuns (BEL)
Deceuninck–Quick-Step: Alaphilippe (FRA), Gilbert (BEL) and Mas (ESP)
Lotto–Soudal: Vanendert, Wellens and Lambrecht (BEL)
Sport Vlaanderen–Baloise: Van Gestel (BEL)
Wanty–Groupe Gobert: G. Martin (FRA) and Eiking (NOR)
Wallonie Bruxelles: Jules (FRA)
Ag2r–La Mondiale: Bardet, Cosnefroy and Vuillermoz (FRA)
Groupama–FDJ: Gaudu, Molard and Madouas (FRA)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Simon (FRA) and J. Herrada (ESP)
Total Direct Énergie: Calmejane, Hivert and Grellier (FRA)
Arkéa–Samsic: Gesbert and Ledanois (FRA)
Vital Concept–B&B Hotels: Vichot and Gautier (FRA)
Team Sunweb: Dumoulin (NLD) and Matthews (AUS)
Bora–Hansgrohe: Schachmann (DEU)
Astana Pro Team: Fuglsang (DNK) and Lutsenko (KAZ)
Jumbo–Visma: Gesink and Tolhoek (NLD)
CCC Team: Van Avermaet (BEL) and Ten Dam (NLD)
South Africa
Team Dimension Data: Valgren (DEN), Gasparotto (ITA) and Slagter (NED)
Movistar Team: Valverde, Landa (ESP) and Quintana (COL)
Katusha-Alpecin: Zakarin (RUS)
United Arab Emirates
UAE Team Emirates: Martin (IRL) and Ulissi (ITA)
United Kingdom
Team Sky: Kwiatkowski (POL), Poels (NED) and De la Cruz (ESP)
United States
EF Education First: Martínez (COL) and Woods (CAN)
Trek–Segafredo: Gogl (AUS) and Felline (ITA)

Die Frühjahres-Klassiker live: Eurosport startet ins Radsport-Jahr 2018

Eurosport-Radexperte Jean-Claude Leclercq: „Die Monumente sind besonders, weil die Rennen bis zu über hundert Jahre alt sind.“

• Radsportfans können sich 2018 auf über 200 Tage Live-Radsport auf den Eurosport Plattformen freuen
Nach den ersten Tages- und Etappenrennen stehen im März und April die Frühjahresklassiker im Radsport auf dem Programm. Als „Home of Cycling“ ist Eurosport live dabei und berichtet auch 2018 von allen wichtigen Radveranstaltungen – ob im TV bei Eurosport 1 und Eurosport 2 oder vollumfänglich auf den Eurosport-Digitalkanälen und Eurosport Player. Radsportfans bekommen an über 200 Tagen Live-Radsport und über 2.500 Stunden Berichterstattung geboten.

Vor dem ersten Eintagesklassiker Mailand-San Remo (17. März) blickt Eurosport-Radexperte Jean-Claude Leclercq auf die Monumente des Radsports voraus und spricht über die Besonderheiten der Frühjahrsklassiker: „Die Monumente sind besonders, weil die Rennen bis zu über hundert Jahre alt sind. Sie haben eine große Tradition und eine lange Geschichte. Wenn man als Rennfahrer ein Monument des Radsports gewonnen hat, dann hat man eine höhrere Dimension erreicht.“

Mailand – Sanremo am Samstag, 17. März, live ab 14:30 Uhr bei Eurosport 2
Die „Classicissima“ Mailand-Sanremo eröffnet wie jedes Jahr die Reihe der Frühjahresklassiker. Das mit fast 300 Kilometern längste Eintagesrennen der Saison steht bei jedem italienischen Fahrer ganz oben auf der Sieges-Wunschliste. „Auch als Rennfahrer empfindet man es als eine Fahrt in den Frühling.“, so Leclercq über das 291 km lange Rennen, das die Tifosi liebevoll „La Primavera“ nennen. Im Vorjahr sicherte sich Michal Kwiatkowski als erster Pole überhaupt den prestigeträchtigen Sieg. 2015 gewann der Deutsche John Degenkolb den Klassiker.

Flandern-Rundfahrt am Sonntag, 1. April, live ab 11:45 Uhr bei Eurosport 1
Der Klassiker in Belgien ist berühmt-berüchtigt für seine Helligen, kurze knackige Anstiege auf zum Großteil nicht asphaltierten Straßen. Insgesamt 17 solcher Steilpassagen stehen bei der 263km langen Ronde van Vlaanderen auf dem Programm, darunter auch wieder die bekannte „Muur“. Die gefürchtete Mauer von Geraardsbergen ist etwas mehr als einen Kilometer lang, bis zu 20 Prozent steil und führt zum Großteil über Kopfsteinpflaster. „Für einen belgischen Rennfahrer ist der Gewinn der Flandern-Rundfahrt genauso viel Wert wie ein Titel bei einer Weltmeisterschaft.“, so Jean-Claude Leclercq über den Stellenwert der Flandern-Rundfahrt in Belgien. Mit einem Doppelerfolg machten Philippe Gilbert und Greg Van Avermaet die Flandern-Rundfahrt 2017 zu einem belgischen Feiertag und auch 2018 wird „De Ronde“ das Highlight für alle flämischen Radsportfans sein.

Paris-Roubaix am Sonntag, 8. April, live ab 11:30 Uhr bei Eurosport 1
„Wenn die Fahrer in Roubaix ankommen, haben sie das Gefühl die Hölle hinter sich gelassen zu haben. Denn es ist ein Rennen aus einer anderen Zeit.“, so Jean Claude Leclercq über die „Königin der Klassiker“ Paris-Roubaix, der wohl berühmt-berüchtigtste Klassiker der Radsportsaison. Das 257,5 km lange Rennen, das den Beinamen „Hölle des Nordens“ trägt, verlangt Fahrern und Material gleichermaßen alles ab – besonders auf den rund 50 Kilometer langen Kopfsteinpflasterpassagen. Die schwierigsten Pavéabschnitte beginnen nach rund zwei Dritteln der Rennes mit dem Wald von Arenberg, eine ca. 2,5km
lange Waldpassage mit tiefen Pflastersteinrinnen der höchsten Schwierigkeitsstufe. Hier fällt oft die Vorentscheidung, bevor im altehrwürdigen Velodrom von Roubaix mit einer
Schlussrunde das Rennen traditionell endet. Im Vorjahr holte sich der Belgier Greg Van
Avermaet im Zielsprint den begehrten Klassikersieg, 2015 triumphierte der Deutsche John

Lüttich-Bastogne-Lüttich am Sonntag, 22. April, live um 14:00 Uhr bei Eurosport 1
„La Doyenne“ – das älteste Monument des Radsports hat seinen ganz eigenen Charakter.
Die rund 250km lange Runde durch die wallonischen Ardennen ist maßgeschneidert für
kletterfeste Allrounder, denn das hügelige Profil hat rund ein Dutzend knackige Anstiege zu bieten. Vor allem zum Ende des Rennens stehen mit dem Côte de la Redoute, dem Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons und fünf Kilometer vor dem Ziel mit dem Côte de Saint-Nicolas
rennentscheidende Anstiege an. Um das Rennen für sich zu entscheiden, haben laut Jean-
Claude Leclercq die Rundfahrten-Spezialisten einen Vorteil: „Bei Lüttich-Bastogne-Lüttich
benötigen die Rennfahrer den richtigen Punch, um mit viel Power und Explosivität über die Berge zu fahren.“ Der Spanier Alejandro Valverde sicherte sich nach hartem Kampf auf der Zielgeraden gegen den Iren Daniel Martin den Sieg 2017 und gewann den Klassiker bereits zum vierten Mal.

Die Frühjahres-Klassiker live: Eurosport startet ins Radsport-Jahr 2018 weiterlesen