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News and Updates for Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2012

The 2012 Liège-Bastogne-Liège is Sunday April 22, 2012

News and Updates for Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2011

2011 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Teams
Team Rosters and Withdrawals
Group riders by: or

2011: Philippe Gilbert completes the Ardennes classics hat-trick

21 Big Photos from Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2011sirotti
Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2011 results
1  Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto           6:13:18   
2  Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek      
3  Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek      
4  Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana                + 0:24   
5  Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling      
6  Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard      
7  Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team              + 0:27   
8  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale            + 0:29   
9  Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro            + 0:39   
10 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
Gilbert the great!cyclingnews
Philippe Gilbert maakt zijn droom waar in L-B-L
Unbeatable: Philippe Gilbert takes Liège-Bastogne-Liègevelonews
Schlecks say they did what they could at 2011 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but Phillipe Gilbert was ‘too strong’velonews
LBL '11: Gilbert Goes Down In Historypezcyclingnews
Gilbertissimo! Liège-Bastogne-Liège analysiscyclesportmag
Schlecks graceful in defeat after missing out at Liège-Bastogne-Liègecyclingnews
Bad luck for Vinokourov in his last Liège-Bastogne-Liègecyclingnews
Video: Andy Schleck insists nothing more could be done to beat Gilbert velonation
Last Km
Graham Watson's Photosgrahamwatson
21 Big Photos from Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2011sirotti
  2011 Race Brief Highlights (01:26 English) — sbs

14 Big Photos from Friday's Recon of Côte de la Redoutesirotti

Also follow steephill on Twitter for the latest race info and video updates.

2011 Race Previews

April 22/23 update:
Gilbert looks to continue dominance at Liègecyclingnews
Katusha vows to race aggressively in Liège-Bastogne-Liègevelonation
Ryder Hesjedal hoping for strong ride at Liège-Bastogne-Liègevelonews
LBL '11 Preview: From Stavelot to Liègepezcyclingnews
2011 official startlist w/ bib
Our course preview from
Gilbert hungry for win at Liège-Bastogne-Liège cyclingnews
Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2011: race
PEZ Previews: Liege-Bastogne-Liegepezcyclingnews
Schlecks: We need aggression and luck to beat Gilbert at Liège-Bastogne-Liègevelonews
Vinokourov rules out coalition to beat Gilbert afp
Video: Jens Voigt talks Liège-Bastogne-Liège tactics cyclingnews
Video: Gerrans expects an aggressive Liège-Bastogne-Liège cyclingnews

April 19 update:
Gilbert confident ahead of Liège-Bastogne-Liègecyclingnews
Schlecks hoping to move up at Flèche, with eyes on Liègevelonews

Live Video Streaming, Text Updates and TV Coverage

April 23 update: A work in progress for Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2011 live and delayed coverage. Check back at race time for the unrestricted live links. Feel free to send in additional sources for live video, tv coverage or text updates/tickers as they become known. — Steve

Start time: Sunday 10:00 CET (); Current Weather for Liège, Belgium
Earliest live video: 14:05 CET (); See all the live video, audio and text options
Approximate finish: 16:38 CET (); Current Weather for Liège, Belgium

Current Situation/Live Text Updates
Team rosters with bib numbers

media source tv or internet comments/restrictions
eurosport    live video (english)
   live video (english)
   live audio (english)
 live ticker (english)
  tv schedule (british)
British Eurosport Live at 13:15 BST/14:15 CET (165 min).
Audio languages: EN | FR | DE | ES | IT
Ticker languages: EN | FR | DE | ES | IT
sporza    live video (flemish)
   live video (unrestricted)
   live video (unrestricted)
 live ticker (english)
  tv schedule
Sporza's Luik-Bastenaken-Luik live video starts at 14:05 CET with flemish updates shortly after the start; First link is restricted to Belgium; check back at race time for an unrestricted link
   live video (french)
  tv schedule
France3 en direct coverage starts at 15:20 CET (120 min); first link is restricted to France and French-speaking regions
rtbf    live video (french)
   live video (french)
RTBF; French commentary; starts at 14:05 CET; first link is restricted to Belgium and nearby countries; check back for an unrestricted link
   live video (rai sport2)
   live video (rai tre)
   live video (unrestricted)
  tv schedule
Liegi-Bastonge-Liegi diretta starts 14:00 CET on RAI Sport 2 before switching to RAI Tre at 15:05 CET (140 min); live video streaming is restricted to Italy.
NOS    live video (dutch)
  tv schedule
NOS TV; live coverage for Luik-Bastenaken-Luik starts at 14:05 first link is restricted to the Netherlands
   live video (spanish)
   live video (unrestricted)
  tv schedule
Spanish; Teledeporte's Lieja–Bastogne–Lieja en directo feed starts at 14:05 CET. First link is restricted to Spain
   live video (english)
  tv schedule
South Africa; Super Sport 7 with english commentary at 14:00 SAST/CET.
   live video (luxembourgish)
  tv schedule
RTL Luxembourg; starts at 14h00 CET
   live audio (english)
English commentary; requires a subscription
versus   tv schedule United States; "April 24 @ 12:30-2:30am" ??
 live text updates English updates
 live ticker Belgium/Flemish ticker
 live ticker live text updates/ticker and key moments; English ticker as well
live text updates ES
live text updates EN
The Spanish website Biciciclismo will have text updates
 live ticker (german) German updates
 steephill text updates
 #lbl twitter group
short text updates from any and everyone
check back at race time for more and updated links; email send a comment or a new live link

News and Updates for Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2010

2010 Post Race Coverage

Big Photos from Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2010sirotti

Also follow steephill on Twitter for the latest race info and video updates.
2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège results:
1  Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)           6:37:49
2  Alexandr Kolobnev (Team Katusha)         + 0:06
3  Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)    + 1:04
4  Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
5  Cadel Evans (Astana)
6  Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)
7  Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
8  Chris Horner (RadioShack)                + 1:07
9  Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) 
10 Alberto Contador (Astana)
Full Official
Vinokoerov verrast de favorieten in
Vinokourov victorious at Liège-Bastogne-Liègecyclingnews
Vino’ wins L-B-Lvelonews
Vinokourov leaves no doubts with Liège-Bastogne-Liège winvelonation
Vinokourov gets 'revenge' at
Emotional Vinokourov talks about his returnvelonation
Alberto Contador: 'It's as if I had wonvelonation
  Last Km (03:42 flemish) —
Extended Highlights:
Graham Watson photosgrahamwatson
Big Photos from Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2010sirotti
Vinokourov fights back against the presscyclingnews
Inside Cycling with John Wilcockson: Vinokourov’s unpopular victoryvelonews

If you missed it earlier this week, see how Alexandre Vinokourov tuned up for his impressive L-B-L win by winning the GC (by the narrowest of margins) at Giro del Trentino

Also follow steephill on Twitter for the latest race info and video updates.

2010 Previews

April 23/24 update:
Provisional startlist with bib numbers
Last call for spring classics at Liègecyclingnews
Our 2009 course preview applies to this year's
Can Devolder salvage his spring?velonation
Evans, Gilbert and the Schlecks top the list of favorites at Liègevelonews
Gilbert forging his place in Classics historycyclingnews
Harder Liège suits Hornervelonews
Evans plays down his chances of taking the Flèche-Liège doublevelonation
  Vino talks about his win in Italy and the upcoming Liege-Bastogne-Liege (02:00) — specialized
Andy Schleck promises attacks at Liège-Bastogne-Liègecyclingnews
Liège-Bastogne-Liège teams are presented in Belgiumcyclingnews
Valverde ready to go for his third Liège-Bastogne-Liègevelonation
[Age] number-driven picks for LBLpodiumcafe
more previews coming...

News/Updates for Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2009

2009 Post-Race Links:

Andy Schleck solos in from 23k out; takes a Monumental leap forward to stardom

95th Liège-Bastogne-Liège  Results
1 Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank                                          6.34.32
2 Joaquím Rodríguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                 1.17
3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli                   1.24
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                         
5 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha                                                 
6 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Cervélo TestTeam                                         
7 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-NGC                                              
8 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux                                   
9 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Saxo Bank                                            
10 Samuel Sánchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                      
11 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Slipstream  <---
Full Resultscyclingnews
  Post race talk show... now off the air — tourdetweets
Andy Schleck wins
Andy Schleck solos to victory in L-B-Lvelonews
Andy Comes Of Age!pezcyclingnews
9 Big Photos from L-B-L 2009sirotti
Graham Watson Photosgrahamwatson
José Serpa slips out cornering over road painteurosport germany
  It is hard to keep your video camera steady when you are cheering at the same time — spectator
  How the race was wonCosmo Catalano
... more to come ...

Pre-race day warm-up

April 25 update:
9 Big photos from the pre-race day warm up on Côte de la Redoutesirotti (link fixed)

2009 Race Preview by Gavia

April 24 update: The oldest running major classic, Liège-Bastogne-Liège dates from 1892, when men were men and bike races were very very long. Known as La Doyenne in tribute to its age though perhaps not its wisdom, the Ardennes monument originally served as a prelude to the more important Liège-Paris-Liège. Its original secondary status likely accounts for its (almost) human scale: The course totals 260 kilometers.

True to its name the race begins in Liège, travels 90 kilometers South to Bastogne, then returns by a different route to Liège. Charleroi serves as the start town, while the finish lies across the Muese river in Ans.

steephill is also on Twitter with race info and video updates
The terrain rarely lies flat, and constant sharp climbs serrate the profile. Look closely, and a flat kilometer appears, but those flat bits come few and far between. The combination of age and difficulty makes Liège-Bastogne-Liège the most prestigious of cycling’s one day classics.

The Climbs

Eleven named côtes, none more than three kilometers, give La Doyenne her character. Though they are short, the côtes of the Ardennes are typically steep. Little wonder that Damiano Cunego will rock a 35t inner chainring for the occasion. Here are the main climbs:

• Km 57.5: Côte de Ny 1.8 km avg. 5.7%
• Km 82.0: Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne 2.8 km avg. 4.9%
• Km 128.0: Côte de Saint Roch 0.8 km avg. 12%
• Km 172.0: Côte de Wanne 2.7 km avg. 7%
• Km 178.5: Côte de Stockeu 1.1 km avg. 10.5%
• Km 184.0: Côte de la Haute-Levée 3.4 km avg. 6%
• Km 196.5: Côte du Rosier 4.0 km avg. 5.9%
• Km 209.0: Côte de la Vecquée 3.1 km avg. 5.9%
• Km 226.5: Côte de la Redoute 2.1 km avg. 8.4%
• Km 241.5: Côte de la Roche aux Faucons 1.5 km avg 9.9%
• Km 255.5: Côte de Saint-Nicolas 1.0 km avg. 11.1%

Where to Win

In a typical year, a sizable group arrives together at the base of La Redoute. There, the real race begins. Named after a battle fought during the French Revolutionary wars, La Redoute lasts 2.1 kilometers and has an average gradient of 8.4%. The average gradient doesn’t tell the whole story, though. Sections of La Redoute wall up to nearly 21%. The climb is plenty sufficient to force a selection, and sometimes the winning move is done and sealed by the summit. In 1999, Frank Vandenbroucke attacked on La Redoute and stayed away to the finish in Ans. More typical is an edition like 2006, when Ivan Basso set a furious tempo up on the climb, whittling the field down to just 15 riders. Alejandro Valverde celebrated his first victory that year. Basso finished tenth.

Philippe Gilbert is always looking for the right moment

A bumpy 15 kilometers follows La Redoute. Then comes the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons, averaging 9.9% over 1.5 kilometers. Anyone bluffing strength will sit exposed here, as the steep gradient leaves nowhere to hide. In 2008, Andy Schleck attacked on the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons, while his brother Fränk sat on in the chase. Alejandro Valverde won that edition in a three-up sprint, after Davide Rebellin did much of the work to keep Andy Schleck from riding away with the whole burrito.

A steep descent follows the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons, which sometimes leads to a regrouping. From there, the race turns onto a highway to cross the Meuse River. Here is one of the few flat stretches of road in the entire race. If any teams have the legs to chase, this section is often their best hope of bringing back an inconvenient breakaway.

For the attackers, meanwhile, one last chance comes a few kilometers later on the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, a climb of one kilometer averaging 11 percent. From the top of the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, there remains just nine kilometers to ride. This short, steep climb lies in the neighborhood of Tilleur, home to many Italian immigrants. It provided the spring board for Paolo Bettini’s 2002 win, when Bettini and his Mapei team-mate Stefano Garzelli attacked there together. Over the top of the Saint-Nicholas the two Italians held a 10 second gap, enough to survive to the finish. Ivan Basso finished third that year for an all-Italian podium.

Fittingly, Liège-Bastogne-Liège finishes on a climb. The road to the Rue Jean Jaurès rises 65 meters in the final kilometer or so (the profile is not especially precise). I was told there would be no math, but my back of the envelope calculations put the average gradient somewhere in the neighborhood of 6.5%. The finishing climb begins with a steep bite before flattening out at the line. The finish favors riders Alejandro Valverde and Damiano Cunego, who have a big finishing kick. A rider like Cadel Evans or Fränk Schleck will find it much harder to win in Ans, unless they can escape before the finish.

The drawn out, uphill sprint finish suits the two-time champ and last year's L-B-L winner, Alejandro Valvarde, perfectly

The Favorites

Two-time winner Alejandro Valverde is the hot favorite for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a race which suits him to perfection. The Caisse d’Épargne rider flourishes in the côtes and has one of the fastest finishes in racing, outside the pure bunch sprinters. Valverde did not show especially well at the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday where he finished outside the top 20, despite significant work on the front by his team-mates. I still don’t quite know what they were trying to accomplish by all that effort. Was the Spanish rider saving his legs last Sunday? Or, is the form just not there?

At Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne, Valverde moved up the ranks to seventh. It was a better result, but still far from a dominating performance. All the same, it’s hard to dismiss Valverde’s chances of winning at Ans. He will have a strong team to support him, and in a group finish, his sprint is a deadly weapon. Do you have a license for that thing, young man?

Damiano Cunego, by contrast, is considerably less enigmatic. At Amstel, he seemed to hold back, looking for an opportunistic win if it came his way. Always at the front, the Italian never attacked. Lack of legs or waiting for Liège? His interviews suggest the latter, as Cunego consistently says that Liège suits his characteristics.

At Flèche Wallonne, he could not follow the acceleration of winner Davide Rebellin on the Mur de Huy, but still finished third for the second year in a row. The steep finish in Huy does not seem to suit him, or perhaps he needs a few more attempts to learn better to time his effort. All the same, the young Italian is on screaming form and can count on strong team support. Since the beginning of the season, he has named Liège-Bastogne-Liège as one of his main objectives for the season. He may not win, but he will certainly be at the front in the closing kilometers.

Second at Flèche Wallonne, Andy Schleck takes over leadership of Saxo Bank for his injured brother Fränk. Some talk has surfaced that Fränk Schleck may start after all, but after his crash at Amstel, it’s hard to imagine he will bring much in the way of form to Charleroi. In the 2008 edition of Liège, Andy Schleck nearly rode away with the race, while playing the rabbit for Fränk. Andy flattened the steep gradients of the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons, and only the determined efforts of Davide Rebellin could contain him. The younger Schleck finished the day in fourth. To better that result, he will need to escape alone or in a small group. A climber, Schleck will find sprinting against Valverde or Cunego a losing proposition.

Wednesday's winner of Fleche Wallonne, Davide Rebellin, being interviewed after his 2nd place finish at L-B-L last year

Winner of Flèche Wallonne this year for the third time in his career, Davide Rebellin also deserves mention among the favorites for Liège. In 2004, Rebellin swept the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. This year, Rebellin did not figure in the finale of the Amstel Gold Race, perhaps saving his legs for the mid-week classic, and ended the day somewhere in the 40s. In last year’s edition of Liège, Rebellin all but towed Valverde to the line, where he promptly lost to the Spanish riders screaming fast sprint. No doubt Rebellin will want to avoid a repeat of that experience, but ridding himself of Valverde may prove difficult.

Over at Silence-Lotto, meanwhile, Philippe Gilbert and Cadel Evans have shared leadership duties this week, and it’s unclear who will lead the team on Sunday. At the Amstel Gold Race, Gilbert won the sprint for fourth just ahead of Damiano Cunego. Certainly, the Belgian, who lives near La Redoute, has good form — he’s already reached the podium of Ronde van Vlaanderen this season. Though Liège runs on his local roads, Gilbert has said that Amstel suits him better.

At Flèche Wallonne, meanwhile, Gilbert rode in service of Cadel Evans, who ended the day in fifth after attacking twice in the finale. Evans still seems not to have mastered the Mur de Huy, repeatedly coming close to victory, but just not quite getting the win. Maybe next time. The Australian, meanwhile, has a mixed record at Liège. His highest finish is fifth, last year, he finished seventh. Evans hasn’t much sprint and has never won a major one day classic, despite several close calls.

Other riders to watch include Serguei Ivanov of Katusha, who won the Amstel Gold Race; classics talent and descending genius Samuel Sanchez of Euskaltel-Euskadi, who finished fourth at Flèche Wallonne; Thomas Lövkvist, who won Monte Paschi Eroica and finished sixth at Flèche Wallonne; Simon Gerrans of Cervélo TestTeam who has consistently finished in the top ten at this week’s races; Michael Albasini also a solid top tenner; Christian Pfannberger, ninth at Amstel Gold Race this year, fifth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2008; and last week’s long-shot shout-out, Vincenzo Nibali who finished 19th at Amstel Gold Race after riding an aggressive race. Nibali said post-race that he is still “in school” when it comes to the major classics.

No Long Shot Shout-out this time around. Really, does anyone unknown ever win Liège? I'm going to say... no.

Gavia (Thanks to Elvisgoat at for reminding me of the Vandenbroucke story.)

more previews...
The Official
A coterie of côtes to challenge the championscyclingnews
LBL: Ranking the Favorites!podiumcafe
  Gesink fit voor
Y! Just posted April 26th 2009, 66 Big Photos from last year's 2008 Liège-Bastogne-Liège ()
  Highlights from previous