Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2013: Live cycling updates, blog
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Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2013 poster
The 99th edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, with 11 recognised climbs and 261.5 kilometres of rolling roads, promises to be one of the races of the season. Please join us for live updates from 10pm.
Pitting the world’s best climbers against some of the world’s best classic riders is what this race does best.
Think Alberto Contador or Chris Froome going head to head with Philippe Gilbert or Simon Gerrans and you have a race worth watching.
Gilbert has won here before and will be hungry for this last chance to salvage his spring campaign but he faces stiff opposition.
A number of top level climbers will be looking to ride him off their wheels, including an out of sorts Contador who will attempt to ride his way back into form after a lack lustre performance at Fleche Wallone last Wednesday.
Contador has been ill and may not yet be up to full fitness but can never be written off.
He will be joined by other Grand Tour aspirants such as Chris Froome, Giro hero Ryder Hesjedal, Andy Schleck and Joaquim Rodriguez who, along with the likes of Alejandro Valverde, Sammy Sanchez and Damiano Cunego, should ensure that the pace on the climbs is scorching.
But perhaps they will all be outsmarted by an opportunist like Gerrans or the ever improving Moreno Moser. This uncertainty is what makes Liege-Bastogne-Liege the Monument that it is. Anyone can win here on their day.
The route follows a distorted figure eight type pattern that takes it from Liege, out to Bastogne some 98 kilometres away, before looping back past Liege to the nearby finishing town of Ans.
The second half of the race is crammed with climbs with the most important section beginning with the ascent of La Redoute, 38.5 kilometres from the finish.
At two kilometres long and with gradients that peak in double figures, La Redoute may provide the catalyst for attacks, although with two more climbs still to follow, they may not prove decisive.
Cote de Colonster (2.4 kms at 6 %) and Cote de Saint-Nicholas (1.2 kms at 8.6%) still need to be tamed along with an uphill run into the finish line.
Of the Australians, Gerrans seems to be the best chance. His form is good following his third place at Amstel Gold last weekend and he is well rested having not started Fleche Wallone on Wednesday.
The race may also suit Richie Porte, but as he is supporting Froome any personal ambition from the in form Tasmanian will have to be put on hold.
Join me for all the action from 10pm Sunday evening.