1. Gilbert (OLO)
2. F. Schleck (LEO)
3. A. Schleck (LEO)
4. Kreuziger (AST)
5. Uran (SKY)
As three men showed up on the final straight, Philippe Gilbert managed to beat Frank and Andy Schleck to the line. The Belgian captures the third Ardennes Classic of the week after triumphing on the AMstel Gold Race and Fleche Wallonne.
Philippe Gilbert again gives it a go. Impressive. Andy Schleck can no longer follow. Frank Schleck is still in contention. Two men lead the way: Gilbert and F. Schleck.
Philippe Gilbert attacks. The Schleck brothers hang on to his wheel. Van Avermaet is dropped.
The leading four are heading up the Côte de St-Nicolas (1.2km, 8.3%). The gap over the chasing pack led by Rodriguez (KAT): 35".
With under ten kilometres to go, Andy and Frank Schleck are having a quick chat. Which one of the Schleck brothers will attack in the final climb?
With 15 kms to go, the leading four have a 26" lead over the pack. Astana currently lead the pack.
Gasparotto and Pineau have been dropped by the front group. Four men now lead the way: Frank and Andy Schleck, Greg Van Avermaet, Philippe Gilbert.
Frank and Andy Schleck, Philippe Gilbert, Enrico Gasparotto, Jerome Pineau, and Greg Van Avermaet lead the way. The front group has a 20" advantage over a pack led by the Rabobank men.
The Schleck brothers and Philippe Gilbert have caught up with Gasparotto, Van Avermaet. The leading men have reached the top
The Schleck brothers and Philippe Gilbert have caught up with Gasparotto, Van Avermaet. The leading men have reached the top of the Côte
The Schleck brothers and Philippe Gilbert have caught up with Gasparotto, Van Avermaet. The leading men have reached the top of the Côte de
The Schleck brothers and Philippe Gilbert have caught up with Gasparotto, Van Avermaet. The leading men have reached the top of the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons.
With 19kilometres to go in the climb, Alexandre Vinokourov has to stop because of a mechanical problem. Iglinsky stops to give him his bike. What a blow for Vino.
Andy Schleck attacks from the pack. The Leopard Trek leader takes with him brothyer Frank and race favourite Philippe Gilbert (OLO). 21kms to go.
Off goes Enrico Gasparotto (AST). Greg Van Avermaet is the only man able to keep up with the Italian.
The front group of seven are currently heading up the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons (1.5km, 9.5%)
Still seven men in the lead with under 25kms to go. The gap has dropped down to 45".
Van Avermaet (BMC), Gasparotto (AST), Sivtsov (THR), Garate, Ten Dam (RAB), Pineau (QST) and Kadri (ALM). They now have a 30" lead over a pack including around 60 riders.
Enrico Gasparotto (AST) makes it first at the top of the Côte de la Redoute. 7 men remain in the lead. Vorganov, Cataldo, Frank, Caruso and Gallopin have all been dropped by the front group.
Still Fuglsang leading the pack in the climb up the Côte de la Redoute. The Dane leads the way ahead of team mate Frank Schleck. The gap has dropped down to 45".
While Vorganov has been dropped from the front group. Sylvain Chavanel (QST) is no longer in the pack, also dropped.
De Gendt has been dropped by the leading group. The pack is curently led by Jakob Fuglsang (LEO)
The leading men are in the climb up the Côte de la Redoute (2km, 88%), just a few kilometres away from ¨Philippe Gilbert’s native town, Remouchamps.
As the front 13 are moving closer to the famous Côte de la Redoute (in under 10kms now), the gap has reached 1’40.
If he reaches the line, Thomas De Gendt (VCD) is sure of finishing best climber of this 97th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He would do so for the second concecutive year.
Enrcio Gasparotto (AST) makes it first at the top of the Mont-Theux (km 206). With under 50kms to go, the gap has reached 1’12.
The front 13 riders have started their climb up the Mont-Theux (2.6km, 5.9%). The riders have now covered over 200kms.
The gap has increased again: now over 1’ between the leading 13 and a pack led by the Leopard-Trek team.
Once again, Thomas De Gendt has reached the top of the Côte de Maquisard (km 195.5) ahead of his 12 breakaway companions.
Part of the first breakaway group, Jesus Herrada has been dropped by his former companions. The front 13 now have a 45" over the pack.
The leading five riders have been caught by the chasing counter-attackers. 14 riders lead the way: De Gendt (VCD), Vorganov (KAT), Herrada (MOV), Frank (BMC), Gallopin (COF), Siutsou (THR), Van Avermaet (BMC), Ten Dam (RAB), Gasparotto (AST), Pineau (QST), Caruso (LIQ), Garate (RAB), Cataldo (QST) and Kadri (ALM)
Thomas De Gendt leads the way at the top of the Côte du Rosier. The front 5 have a 26" lead over the first group of chasers and just over a minute over the main pack.
Remi Di Gregorio (AST) has been caught by the pack. Caruso (KAT) still has a 100m lead over the main field and is now riding alongside Egoi Martinez (EUS)
Off go Remi Di Gregorio (AST) and Gianpaolo Caruso (KAT), breaking away from the pack. Meanwhile Kessiakoff and Delfosse have been caught by the first counter-attacking group.
The front group of now five riders is currently climbing up the Côte du Rosier (4.4km, 59%). Two riders have beend dropped: Kessiakoff and Delfosse.
Siutsou (THR), Van Avermaet (BMC), Ten Dam (RAB), Gasparotto (AST), Pineau (QST), Garate (RAB), Cataldo (QST), Caruso (LIQ), Delage (FDJ), Talabardon (SAU) and Kadri (ALM) are currently in a counter-attacking group. The gaps in favour of the front seven are as follows: 45" over the first chasing group, 1’27 over the main pack currently led by the Omega Pharma Lotto team.
A group of 9 riders including the likes of Van Avermaet (BMC), Ten Dam (RAB), Gasparotto (AST), Pineau (QST), Garate (RAB), Cataldo (QST), Caruso (LIQ) and Kadri (ALM) is currently on a counter-attack. They’ve caught up with Talabardon and Delage.
Thomas De Gendt (VCD) leads the way at the top of the Côte de la Haute-Levée ahead of Vorganov and Delfosse.
While quite a few riders including Voigt and Kreuziger have tried to breakaway from the pack, David Le Lay has been caught back by the pack.
Mickael Delage, David Le Lay and Yannick Talabardon have been dropped in the climb up the Côte de la Haute-Levée. Seven men remain in the lead: Fredrik Kessiakoff (AST), Eduard Vorganov (KAT), Jesus Herrada (MOV), Mathias Frank (BMC), Thomas De Gendt (VCD), Tony Gallopin (COF), Sebastien Delfosse (LAN) .
The Leopard-Trek team still in the front positions of the pack has caught up with Hoogerland and Nordhaug. The gap has dropped down to 1’10.
The ten front men have started the climb up the Côte de la Haute-Levee (3.6km at 5.6%). A hill that is back on the course of Liège-Bastogne-Liège for this 97th edition.
De Gendt reaches top of the Côte de Stockeu in first position ahead of Vorganov and Delfosse... Meanwhile Hoogerland (VCD) and Nordhaug (SKY) break away from pack in climb up the Côte de Stockeu.
As the front men take on the climb up the Côte de Stockeu (1km, 12.2%), the gap drops down to 1’55.
The Leopard-Trek riders have taken command of the chase and the gap has now dropped down to 2’10 in the descent after the Côte de Wanne (km 158).
Here are the results at the top of the Côte de Wanne:
1. De Gendt (VCD)
2. Delfosse (LAN)
3. Vorganov (KAT)
The leading ten riders are about to take on the climb up the Côte de Wanne (2.7km, 7.3%). The gap has meanwhile dropped down to 3’50.
Before taking on the final 100kms and the major difficulties, the gap has reached the 4’ mark. Still 10 men in the lead and a pach led by the Omega Pharma Lotto team chasing.
The gap reaches now a maximum of 3’40 at km 136. Twenty kilometres to go before the second hill, the Côte de Wanne.
Concerning one-day Classics, 28-year-old Philippe Gilbert has the opportunity today of catching up with Bernard Hinault in terms of victories. Both men have in common the fact of having won the Tour of Lombardy on two occasions. If Gilbert adds his name on the winner’s list of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, it would be his 8th success on a Classic.
Classics won by Hinault: Paris-Roubaix (1981), Amstel Gold Race (1981), Flèche Wallonne (1979, 1983), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (1977, 1980), Tour de Lombardie (1979, 1984)
Classics won by Gilbert: Amstel Gold Race (2010, 2011), Flèche Wallonne (2011), Paris-Tours (2008, 2009), Tour de Lombardie (2009, 2010)
Among the 10 breakaway riders are 4 Frenchmen: David Le Lay (ALM), Tony Gallopin (COF), Mickael Delage (FDJ), and Yannick Talabardon (SAU). The last French rider to have won Liège-Bastogne-Liège was Bernard Hinault back in 1980.
While the pack is at km 126, the gap has dropped down to 2’55. The pace seems to have picked up in the pack.
2006: a group sprint
The favourites remained together and 12 title contenders showed up for the final explanation. The sprint went Alejandro Valverde’s way.
2005: Côte de la Vecquée
Vinokourov broke away from the pack of favourites with Jens Voigt. They remained together for the last 55 kilometres. The rider from Kazakhstan won the day’s battle in the final 300m.
2004: Côte de Saint-Nicolas
A trio took off in the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, including Rebellin, Boogerd and Vinokourov. The Italian eventually beat his two rivals.
2003: Côte de Saint-Nicolas
Tyler Hamilton and a small pack of favourites caught up with Lance Armstrong while he was leading the race after a solo effort. Hamilton carried on, on his own, all the way to the finish.
2002: Côte de la Redoute
A group of 7 riders, including 6 Italians, managed to break away from the pack, just after catching the early escapees. Paolo Bettini proved to be the fastest to the line.
2001: Côte de Saint-Nicolas
Five riders took the advantage over the pack. Switzerland’s Oscar Camenzind eventually went on to win the Classic.
Still leading the way ever since the first 30 kilometers are: Fredrik Kessiakoff (AST), Eduard Vorganov (KAT), Jesus Herrada (MOV), Mathias Frank (BMC), David Le Lay (ALM), Thomas De Gendt (VCD), Tony Gallopin (COF), Mickael Delage (FDJ), Sebastien Delfosse (LAN) and Yannick Talabardon (SAU). The gap: 3’15 while the rider is at km 114.
On the second part of the course, heading back to Liège, the Ardennes Classic gives the riders quite a few possibilities to attack. Looking back at the last ten editions of the race, one can notice that 50% of the winning moves including one or several riders took place on the climb up the Côte de St-Nicolas.
2010: 17 km from the finish
Alexandre Vinokourov takes off with Alexandre Kolobnev before conquering his second Liège-Bastogne-Liège, outsprinting his rival on the final straight.
2009: Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons
Andy Schleck catches up with Philippe Gilbert with 20 kilometres to go, before breaking away on his own and winning the 95th edition.
2008: Côte de la Redoute
Andy Schleck pulls away in the Côte de la Redoute taking with him the race favourites and does so again in the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, but among the front group, Alejandro Valverde manages to sprint to victory.
2007 : Côte de Saint-Nicolas
Frank Schleck and Danilo Di Luca manage to break away from all the race favourites in the climb up the Côte de Saint-Nicolas. The Italian eventually flies to victory.
The gap has dropped down to 3’15 at the end of the feeding zone.
The leading ten riders have reached the city of Bastogne and have started the long way back up north again. Still 151kms to go. Meanwhile the pack is at km 98 with a 3’40 deficit over the front men.
Letour.fr just caught up with AG2R La Mondiale race director Vincent Lavenu who has one of his boys, David Le Lay in the early breakaway group. Lavenu also gives us news on Nicolas Roche who had suffered a fall last Wednesday during the Fleche Wallonne.
“Nicolas Roche is doing well. He just has burns and bruises but nothing serious. He’s in better shape than last year at the same period. It’s always good to have a rider (David Le Lay) at the front in a breakaway group, although the Lotto team has taken control of the race. They don’t want a breakaway group to take off too far away and are assuming their role as the favourite’s team. They are maintaining a decent gap. When you have a rider in a breakaway, you never know what to expect from the pack. They’ve decided to chase. We’ll need to see how the race develops with the hills to come”.
While the pack, and chase are still under the control of the Omega Pharma Lotto team, the gap has slightly increased: now 3’30 at km 92. Nothing too serious for the main field.
41 kilometres have been covered during the second hour of racing by the leading group of ten riders. The average speed since the start of the day’s race: 42.1km/h
While the pack has reached kilometre 81, the gap remaine around the 3’ mark: 3’10 exactly for the front ten.
Best French rider of the last edition of the Fleche Wallonne, Christophe Le Mevel is full of confidence for Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Garmin-Cervelo rdier even believes he has better chances on the Sunday Classic.
“Whether it’s Ryder Hesjedal or myself, we would like to aim at the top 10. I believe both of us can be with the best in the finale. I’m not that surprised by my shape because I had focused on being ready for the Giro. So I took it easy at the beginning of the season. Because the Giro is in two weeks now, it’s logical to be in such good shape. I really have great legs. I’ve never had such good legs at this period of the season, but then again, in the past I wasn’t preparing for the Giro. I like the finish climb at the Fleche but I believe I’m more adapted for Liège with longer climbs. Normally Liège should suit me a lot more.”
The pack has reached the top of the Côte de St-Roch (km71.5) with a 3’15 deficit over the leading group of ten riders.
Here is the result of the first hill climb counting for the best climbers’ jersey:
1. De Gendt (VCD)
2. Delfosse (LAN)
3. Gallopin (COF)
While the pack is currently at km 65, the front ten men have started the climb up the first hill on the course, the Côte de St-Roch (1km, 11%).
The pack seem to have good control over the front ten riders and have set a decent tempo. The gap is now of 3’10 at km 60.
The leading ten riders, Fredrik Kessiakoff (AST), Eduard Vorganov (KAT), Jesus Herrada (MOV), Mathias Frank (BMC), David Le Lay (ALM), Thomas De Gendt (VCD), Tony Gallopin (COF), Mickael Delage (FDJ), Sebastien Delfosse (LAN) and Yannick Talabardon (SAU), now have a 2’50 at km 52.
The pack still led by the Omega Pharma Lotto team mates of Philippe Gilbert is slowly moving closer to the front ten men. Latest gap: 3’15 at km 48.
Winner of the Biot stage on the last edition of Paris-Nice, Frenchman Remi Di Gregorio, speaking to Letour.fr, admits he’ll do all he can to help his Astana team leader Alexandre Vinokourov retain his title.
“Since Paris-Nice, I’ve been in great condition. And it’s been the case since the start of the year. I’ve always had a good feeling on Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The last time, in 2009, I finished 19th. But this time I’ll have the role of a team mate, it’s been my mision for the whole Classics’ campaign . Gilbert is strong but anything can happen on Liège. There’s a favourite but also many outsiders!’’
43.200 kms have been covered by the front ten during the first hour of racing. The pack led by the Omega Pharma Lotto team is 3’20 adrift.
Fredrik Kessiakoff (AST), Eduard Vorganov (KAT), Jesus Herrada (MOV), Mathias Frank (BMC), David Le Lay (ALM), Thomas De Gendt (VCD), Tony Gallopin (COF), Mickael Delage (FDJ), Sebastien Delfosse (LAN) and Yannick Talabardon (SAU).
The pack is now 1’45 adrift.
Mathias Frank (BMC) has managed to close the gap on the front nine. We now have ten men in the breakaway at km 35.
Mathias Frank (BMC) has broken away on a counter-attack. He’s now 10" away from the front group while the pack, at km 32, is now 1’ adrift.
Thomas De Gendt, winner of stage 1 on Paris-Nice a few months ago is like last year in the early breakaway group of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Belgian had actually finished best climber of last year’s edition.
Kristof Vandewalle (QST), David Loosli (LAM) and Laurens De Vreese (TSV) have broken away from the pack on a counter-attack. A vain effort. They’ve just been caught again. Meanwhile the leading 9 have a 30" advantage.
The front men have a 25" advantage over the pack at kilometre 27. After trying, again, to break away, Simon Geschke has been caught, again by the pack.
The 9 leading riders are: Fredrik Kessiakoff (AST), Eduard Vorganov (KAT), Jesus Herrada (MOV), David Le Lay (ALM), Thomas De Gendt (VCD), Tony Gallopin (COF), Mickael Delage (FDJ), Sebastien Delfosse (LAN) and Yannick Talabardon (SAU).
The leading three riders, Sebastien Delfosse (LAN), Jesus Herrada (MOV) and David Le Lay (ALM) have just been caught by a group of 6 men. The 9 escapees have a 12" advantage.
After managing to break away, Simon Geshke has been caught by the pack. At km 11.5, the front three have a 17" lead over the pack.
The pack remains within shooting distance of the three escapees (Delfosse, Herrada and Le Lay). The gap is only of 15". A rider has taken off on a counter-attack: Simon Geshke (SKS).
Ten hills will be climbed all along the course of this 97th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège:
Km 71.5: Côte de St-Roch (1km, 11%)
Km 157.5: Côte de Wanne (2.7km, 7.3%)
Km 164.5: Côte de Stockeu (1km, 12%)
Km 170: Côte de la Haute-Levée (3.6km, 5.6%)
Km 183: Col du Rosier (4.4km, 5.9%)
Km 195.5: Col du Maquisard (2.5km, 5%)
Km 206: Mont-Theux (2.6km, 5.9%)
Km 220.5: Côte de la Redoute (2km, 8.8%)
Km 236: Côte de la Roche aux Faucons (1.5km, 9.5%)
Km 250 : Côte de St-Nicolas (1.2km, 8.3%)
After 8 kilometres the gap is increasing between the leading three riders and the pack: 20".
At kilometre 3, local rider Sebastien Delfosse (LAN) has managed to take off from the pack taking with him Jesus Herrada (MOV) and David Le Lay (ALM).
The pack has started the race under a beautiful clear sky. The temperature is currently of 18°C with almost no wind.
After a first breakaway immedialtely after the start including seven riders, the pack is bunched again at kilometre 2.
The 199 riders representing 25 teams have officially started this 97th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The pack will have to take on the demanding 255.5km course from Liège to Bastogne and back, including 10 hills.
The riders are off and are currently heading to kilometre 0 after riding through the streets of Liège. The official start will take place 6.9km away from the Place St-Lambert from where the riders took off.
Hello and welcome to the live coverage of Liège-Bastogne-Liège on letour.fr. In a few minutes now, the riders will take off from Liège’s Place Saint-Lambert, by the Palais des Princes-Eveques for the 97th edition of the race.