Archive for April 24th, 2021

Searching for the Truth: Liège-Bastogne-Liège

04/24/2021 12:03
liege

Liège-Bastogne-Liège: It isn’t far from Limburg in Holland for the Amstel Gold Race to Liège in the Wallonia region of Belgium (Berg en Terblijt is about 37km) for Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Peter Easton knows the region well, so who better to pass on his experience of La Doyenne.

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

Frank Schleck has hopefully learned that image is, in fact, not everything. As he propelled the 2007 edition of the race known as La Doyenne towards the finish, Schleck, lean and powerful and in full command, methodically charged up the final 500-meter incline. The silver chalice on the podium glistened where his name would soon be etched among the list of greats. As the television camera panned back, a second rider came into view. Danilo Di Luca was bolted to the tip of his saddle, grimacing as he struggled to match Schleck’s effort, his discomfort timed by a rapidly emptying hour glass, his shoulders locked against the pain coursing through his body. As the incline faded 200 meters from the finish line, the sale of Di Luca’s soul was finalized and time stood still just long enough for him to raise his arms in triumph. And while this finish provides the glossy cover image that defines a Spring Classic, it is only one of thousands of snapshots collected over time that tells the story and paints the picture of what is arguably the hardest single day race in the world – Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

I have always felt that if the Tour of Flanders is in your heart and Paris-Roubaix is in your head, then Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a race that is clearly in your legs. But what is it about this race that endures? Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a race that defies the imagination in some ways, so cruelly difficult that it appears almost laughable at times. If the Ardennes region was not so strikingly scenic it would feel as if one was literally riding through hell of earth. The Tour of Flanders has come to define “Belgian” cycling – beer, cobbles, short and steep climbs and a fanatical cycling culture that people dream of belonging to but don’t understand. Paris-Roubaix, in all its infinite chaos, is wrapped in a combination of luck and cunning, neither of which offer any guarantees. But Liege-Bastogne-Liege, it endures precisely because of its script, a script that offers the harsh reality of cycling – it’s an immensely difficult day of racing. The variables? The weather. The tactics? Strength. Attrition. A race for the ‘fondisti’ as four-time winner Moreno Argentin said, an Italian nickname for riders who have the strength and endurance to withstand the demands of such a day.

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

While race organizers ASO have applied some race day gimmickry to some of its Tour de France stages, Liege-Bastogne-Liege requires none of it, and they have fortunately resisted any thought of revising the race’s straightforward formula. It is probably the least popular, from a marketing perspective, of the Five Monuments, because of this no-nonsense approach. There is something simplistic about a ride that centers purely on strength – isolating one to the bike and the terrain. And with Liège-Bastogne-Liège, it’s not as if one needs to design a parcour that goes out of the way looking for hills to string together. While the time trial is referred to as the race of the truth, I tend to view riding in the Ardennes and Liège-Bastogne-Liège as this as well – no tricks, no gimmicks, no luck, no multiple loops over the same climbs, no massive VIP tents. A cyclist and their bete noire. That is Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and it’s this very truth that makes it so great.

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

The Ardennes can wreak havoc on cyclists in the spring time. Chilly rain, wind, snow have all colored past editions of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. And unlike the cobbled classics, severe weather doesn’t necessarily dictate good or bad luck here. It just makes a grueling day of racing even harder. And while the section of the race that runs (typically) from Stavelot to the finish in Ans – what we know as the “race” including the heart of the course and the final eight climbs including the Côte de La Redoute – the previous 160 +- kilometers is some of the best cycling I’ve done, and the fastest way to understand why exactly this race is so hard when it gets to the finalé.

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

If spring can bring unpredictable weather, summer is known primarily for one weather pattern – heat. The survival elements employed during a cold and wet ride give way to hydration, sunscreen and looking for shade wherever available. During the summer of 2010, I was intent on discovering the unknown roads and hills that bring Liège-Bastogne-Liège from Liège to Bastogne and back north to the Côte de Wanne near the village of Trois-Ponts. It was along this route, removed from the cover images that have come to define the race, that I had another cycling epiphany – Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a magnificently beautiful race. Far removed from Liege and the smoke stacks that once heaved and belched plumes of smoke into the sky, the quiet countryside glistens in greens and yellows, the road twisting and rising, descending and then bisecting small villages, its bakery and café and church oblivious to the role it plays but once a year. The only two orchestrated climbs on the official route in the southern portion of the race are the Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne and the Côte St. Roch. The former is a 2.8 kilometer climb out of the town of La Roche-en-Ardenne, rising at an average grade of 6.2%. The latter is well known as it stretches up through the town of Houffalize at a stifling 11+% for just over a kilometer. The route itself contains enough climbing to weaken even the strongest legs, with close to 8,000 feet of climbing in 100 miles.

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

As the race taps Bastogne, its furthest point to the south, it’s a double-edged sword. In one sense, the symbolic “halfway” point pats you on the back for what’s been accomplished. The foreboding of what’s yet to come, unnerving. Part of that may be the haunting legacy of Bastogne, one it will forever be partnered with. 73 years on from its nightmare, the church bells from the reconstructed belfry ring proudly every day. Numerous memorials surround the town, locking in to the horrors of 1944. The town has embraced its legacy as part of La Doyenne, a gesture fittingly displayed with the dedication of Le Rond Point La Doyenne. The final 40 miles before Stavelot and the course swings and dips, rises and descends; what’s so painful on race day becomes manageable in solitude, the heat becoming neutralized as an adversary, outdone by nature’s counterpart and embracing the inevitable journey we pass through as cyclists from all things pain equaling all things pleasure. The whispers of the past follow through the villages of Cetturu, Steinbach, Gouvy, the beckoning of the Brasserie Lupulus in Courtil and on to Bovigny. Quiet streets, flower decked patios, sweeping views, a self-inflicted handshake with a bête noire that may have a happy ending after all. The beauty of a bike race isn’t reserved just for race day, the pain not only for the racers, and the rewards not only for the winner.

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

Historically, as the riders reach Stavelot (though it is bypassing it this year) the true gut check begins. The ruins of the Abbey of Stavelot dominate the center of town, the remains of a once important center of Christianity purposefully destroyed. The village lies at a critical junction in the heart of the Ardennes, and while it is less than 60 kilometers from Liège, its charm is infinitely further from the postindustrial apocalypse that has gripped Belgian’s iron city, and even more from its own scarred past. One, the city on the Meuse, is haunted by the shuttered coal furnaces and abandoned steel plants that once built this region into an industrial power. The other, the village on the Amblève, is simply haunted by blood stained hands. Further souring the haunting aftertaste in Stavelot that lingers from its bloody past is the memorial to the citizens and soldiers killed in World War II, a stark reminder of the ugliness man can paint over nature’s canvas. It is here on race day that a new battle begins, an annual pilgrimage again rewarding the aggressor and condemning the cautious.

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

2014 Velo Classic Tours - Ardennes

There’s a monument to Eddy Merckx that sits atop the Côte Stockeu. A large rock sits atop a wide base, an image of a bike rider emerging, pain on his face, from the rock. By itself, the statue seems randomly placed, neatly placed off the road as the climb decides to continue to the right, or swing back down to town to the left. I imagine the statue was placed here as a gesture, not only to the legend himself and his five victories on these roads, but to the task that lay ahead on race day from that point forward. It’s been chronicled, it’s been written, and it’s been dissected and analyzed. And it seems the conclusion is always the same-the strongest prevail in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Perhaps the great Merckx is there to simply remind one of this, every day.

The post Searching for the Truth: Liège-Bastogne-Liège appeared first on PezCycling News.


Categories:PezCycling News

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Pogacar and Hirschi negative for COVID-19 and clear to race Liège-Bastogne-Liège

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Liège-Bastogne-Liège’86 Photo and Video Gallery!

04/24/2021 0:04
lemond liege

PeloPics: The rolling hills of the Belgian Ardennes took on additional toughness during the 72nd edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege when wind, cold temperatures, and heavy rain fell on the peloton. The 1986 Liège-Bastogne-Liège was a cold hard battle that saw Moreno Argentin take the second of his four wins in ‘La Doyenne’ which included a three-in-a-row ’85, ’86 and ’87. On that cold Belgian Sunday, Dag Erik Pedersen, Adrie van der Poel, Moreno Argentin and Claude Criquielion came to the finish together to fight out the sprint.

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Moreno ARGENTIN  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Moreno Argentin was one of the classiest riders of the 80’s and a big winner

After a five rider breakaway was caught just before the steep Mont Theux the race became animated. A new four rider group containing Flanders winner Adri Van Der Poel formed and opened a 30 second gap. Van der Poel had started the ball rolling by attacking on La Redoute. Argentin and Criquielion felt strong enough to chase the Dutchman down while Hinault, Lemond et al just sat looking at each other. Defending champion Argentin and Criquielion beat the cold temperatures and joined the solo Van Der Poel in the breakaway. Then Norwegian Pedersen crossed to the group and the final selection of the race was made.

Argentin covered numerous Criquielion attacks on the final 20 kilometres into Liège, but at the 1 kilometre to go marker the Belgian escaped. Argentin patiently waited while former teammate Pedersen closed the gap on Criquielion. Moreno Argentin, perfectly placed, jump past Van Der Poel and easily took his second consecutive L-B-L victory.

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Laurent FIGNON  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Laurent Fignon wasn’t too keen on the press, but he knew how to win a race. The Frenchman didn’t finish Liège ’86

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Rolf GOLZ pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
German, Rolf Gölz was 11th in ’86, but he had a good palmarès: Tour du Haut-Var, Tour of Ireland, Vuelta a Asturias, Flèche Wallonne, Tour de France stages, Paris–Brussels, Vuelta a Andalucia, Milano–Torino, Giro del Piemonte, Milano–Torino and the Trofeo Baracchi with Tom Cordes

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Bernard HINAULT   pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Bernard Hinault, what can you say, he won just about everything in his time including Liège in ’77 and ’80, but 1986 was his last year as a pro and he didn’t finish Liège

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Guiseppe SARONNI pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Double Giro winner along with World and National Road Race Championships, Milan–San Remo, Flèche Wallonne, Giro di Lombardia – Guiseppe Saronni was another DNF in 1986

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -   Dietrich »Didi» THURAU  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Didi Thurau rode for twelve teams in his 16 year professional career, in 1986 it was Supermercati Brianzoli – The stylish German probably didn’t live up to his early promise, but he did win in Liège in 1979

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Charly MOTTET pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Charly Mottet was a complete rider, but maybe was lacking something and didn’t achieve as much as he should have

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -   Kim ERIKSEN - Ricardo MAGRINI  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
A cold, wet day in Belgium – Kim Eriksen doesn’t look too happy and no gloves for Ricardo Magrini

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Joel PELIER  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Sean Kelly’s KAS teammate Joel Pelier had his time off the front

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Franky VAN OYEN - Marc SERGEANT  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
The Lotto team had a good day with Marc Sergeant finishing 6th – Sergeant is now team boss at Lotto Soudal

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -   Sean KELLY pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Hard-man Sean Kelly was well wrapped up at the start

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  HINAULT (Frankreich  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Hinault might have been in his last season, but he could still make the others suffer

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Links Joop ZOETEMELK -Acacio DA SILVA pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
World champion Joop Zoetemelk looked as though he wasn’t having much fun

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Steve BAUER  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Canada’s Steven Bauer also didn’t finish

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  illustration - scenery - carte postal scenic shot - postcard sfeerfoto - sfeer - illustratie climb La Redoute pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
A day of suffering

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Greg LEMOND pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
14th place for Greg Lemond in Liège, but he did win his first Tour de France in 1986

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Frederic BRUN - Kim ANDERSEN and Pascal SIMON  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Frederic Brun (DNF), Kim Andersen (37th) and Pascual Simon (29th)

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  illustration - scenery - carte postal scenic shot - postcard sfeerfoto - sfeer - illustratie climb La Redoute pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Not much fun at the back of the peloton

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Sean KELLY pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Kelly ready for action, but he missed the important move

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Sean KELLY  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
The Irishman finished at 1:13 in 12th place

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Joop ZOETEMELK   pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Joop Zoetemelk must have warmed up during the race to finish in 17th place in the same group as Sean Kelly

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Serge DEMIERRE pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Serge Demierre – Swiss road champion and Tour de France stage winner and the Tour Combativity award. He also won the 2-up time trial; Trofeo Baracchi with Daniel Gisiger

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Adri VAN DER POEL   pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Adrie Van der Poel (father of Mathieu) was looking to emulate his Tour of Flanders win earlier in 1986, but he had to wait until 1988 for the Liège win. The Dutchman also won the Amstel Gold Race (1990), Brabantse Pijl (1985), Clásica de San Sebastián (1985), Paris–Brussels (1985), Paris–Tours (1987), Scheldeprijs (1985), Züri-Metzgete (1982) and the National Road Race Championship (1987)

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Moreno ARGENTIN   pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Moreno Argentin and Claude Criquielion knew not to let Van der Poel get too far ahead

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -   Erik PEDERSEN pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Dag-Erik Pedersen made it to the break and took a fine 3rd place

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Moreno ARGENTIN - Adri VAN DER POEL and Claude CRIQUIELION pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Moreno Argentin was too good for the others in the sprint

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Moreno ARGENTIN  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
It was a cold Argentin who had to wear a jacket on the podium

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Steven ROOKS  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
5th placed Steven Rooks had a hard ride to finish only 20 seconds behind Argentin

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Greg LEMOND   pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
Greg Lemond’s face says it all

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Claude CRIQUIELION  - Adri VAN DER POEL (and Sieger Moreno ARGENTIN  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
TV interviews are a bit more professional these days

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Moreno ARGENTIN  pictured during Luik - Bastenaken 1986 - Luik - photo Cor Vos © 2018
1986 Liège-Bastogne-Liege winner Moreno Argentin tells it like it is for Italian TV

219 starters, 54 classified finishers – 252 km at 37.66 kph average speed.


1986 Liège-Bastogne-Liège finalé

Liège-Bastogne-Liège 1986 Result:
1. Moreno Argentin (Ita) Sammontana-Bianchi in 6:41:21
2. Andrie Van der Poel (Ned) Kwantum Hallen-Decosol-Yoko
3. Dag-Erik Pedersen (Nor) Ariostea
4. Claude Criquielion (Bel) Hitachi-Marc-Splendor
5. Steven Rooks (Ned) PDM at 0:20
6. Marc Sergeant (Bel) Lotto
7. Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande (Bel) Hitachi-Marc-Splendor at 0:44
8. Roberto Pagnin (Ita) Malvor-Bottecchia
9. Hubert Seiz (Swi) Supermercati Brianzoli 0:55
10. Heinz Imboden (Swi) Cilo-Aufina at 1:00
11. Rolf Gölz (Ger) Del Tongo at 1:05
12. Sean Kelly (Irl) KAS at 1:13
13. Patrick Versluys (Bel) Fangio-Lois-Mavic
14. Greg Lemond (USA) La Vie Claire
15. Yvon Madiot (Fra) Système U
16. Régis Clère (Fra) Miko-Carlos-Tonissteiner
17. Joop Zoetemelk (Ned) Kwantum Hallen-Decosol-Yoko
18. Acacio Da Silva (Por) KAS
19. Jan Nevens (Bel) Lotto
20. Peter Harings (Ned) Lotto
21. Silvano Contini (Ita) Gis Gelati
22. Etienne de Wilde (Bel) Hitachi-Marc-Splendor
23. Eddy Schepers (Bel) Carrera
24. Tony Rominger (Swi) Cilo-Aufina
25. Rudy Pevenage (Bel) Del Tongo
26. Alfio Vandi (Ita) Ariostea
27. Theo de Rooy (Ned) Panasonic
28. Luc Wallays (Bel) Fangio
29. Pascal Simon (Fra) Peugeot-Shell
30. Jean-Claude Bagot (Fra) Fagor
31. Robert Millar (GB) Panasonic
32. Gert-Jan Theunisse (Ned) Panasonic
33. Stefan Mutter (Swi) PDM at 6:10
34. Marco Vitali (Ita) Cilo-Aufina at 6:50
35. Maarten Ducrot (Ned) Kwantum Halle-Decosol-Yoko at 10:32
36. Johnny Broers (Ned) Skala-Skil
37. Kim Andersen (Den) La Vie Claire
38. Bruno Huger (Fra) RMO
39. Marco Giovannetti (Ita) Gis Gilati
40. Eric Caritoux (Fra) Fagor
41. Nico Emonds (Bel) Kwantum Hallen-Decosol-Yoko
42. Patrick Verschueren (Bel) Roland-Van De Ven
43. Brian Holm (Den) Roland-Van De Ven at 15:00
44. Michel Dernies (Bel) Lotto at 15:25
45. Raoul Bruyndonckx (Bel) Roland-Van De Ven
46. Peter Hoondert (Ned) PDM at 18:10
47. Rene Beuker (Ned) PDM
48. Franck Pineau (Fra) Reynolds
49. Sergio Santimaria (Ita) Ariostea
50. Paul Kimmage (Irl) RMO
51. Mario Beccia (Ita) Malvor-Bottecchia
52. Jean Habets (Ned) Skala-Skil
53. Antonio Bevilacqua (Ita) Supermercati Brianzoli
54. Jacques van Meer (Ned) Skala-Skil.

The post Liège-Bastogne-Liège’86 Photo and Video Gallery! appeared first on PezCycling News.


Categories:PezCycling News

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Categories:Latest topics for ZDNet in Hardware

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