Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2015: Favourites

Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2015: Favourites

philippe gilbertIn Liège-Bastogne-Liège it’s up to the hilly specialists and puncheurs. In over 250 kilometres the gruelling race through the Ardennes is the last spring classic. Cyclingstage.com brings you all top-favourites and dark horses. (Slideshow route/profile)

Alejandro Valverde
No less than five times on the podium and winner in 2006 and 2008. Could be he is not as explosive as he used to be, but the old warrior definitely knows how to win. His victory in La Fleche Wallone and three (!) stage wins in the recent Volta a Catalunya are a fine example of this. The day before the race he turns 35, what better way to congratulate himself with a win in Liege after a seven years hiatus!

Philippe Gilbert
Home-rider and winner in 2011, Gilbert knows all the climbs in the area inside out. Last year he finished eight, after having won Amstel the week before. In the 2011 edition he was omnipotent after winning both the Fleche Wallonne and the Amstel Gold Race that week. Crashed out of La Fleche Wallone, let’s hope he is fully recovered.

Simon Gerrans
The Australian is like a good wine, getting better with age. He is title-holder after outsprinting Valverde en Kwiatkowski on the line. Injuries plagued his season, hopefully he is fully recovered.

Michal Kwiatkowski
Third in last year’s La Doyenne after a brilliant pre-season with wins in Strade Bianche and Volta oa Algarve. Still only 24 years of age and almost certainly a future winner in Liège. Can he do it in the rainbow jersey? He certainly could last week in the Amstel!

Daniel Martin
Crashed out last year after being the Liège’s party-boy in 2013. With crashing out again in the Giro 2014 threatened to be one big disaster, until he tasted the sweetness of revenge by winning the Tour of Lombardy in October.

Joaquim Rodriguez
Was on the podium several times, but never on the top shelf. His recipe is and should be a jump at the steeper parts of one of the last climbs, as he will have no chance when it comes to sprinting. In the Tour of the Basque Country he showed brilliant form by winning two stages and the overall. Finished fourth in La Fleche Wallone last wednesday.

Vincenzo Nibali
Not really a classics specialist, but when he is gone, he is gone good. Think the 2nd stage of last year’s Tour de France – classified as a Liège-Bastogne-Liège English-style. With 2 kilometres left Nibali escaped and soloed to victory. Showed good form in last week’s Amstel.

Rui Costa
The former world champion was in excellent form at the end of 2014, with strong performances in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal and the Tour of Lombardy. Liège-Bastogne-Liège has not yet been his forte, by why not – he definitely has got the right talent. After all, looking at the circuit the World Championships in Florence were a kind of Ardennes classic…

Liège–Bastogne–Liège: Route, time tabe, profiles, and more

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