The oldest of the monuments, Liège–Bastogne–Liège or La Doyenne (“the oldest”) as it’s often called will be run this Sunday and wraps up the Ardennes classics. First run in 1892 the winners list is a who’s who of cycling history. Winners include Merckx, Anquetil, Argentin, Van Looy, Bettini, and who could forget the 1980 epic snow covered race won by Bernard Hinault.

This year’s winner is likely to come from one of Alejandro Valverde, Philippe Gilbert who won the Amstel Gold Race, Dan Martin who have all won the race previously. Or from Simon Gerrans, Joaquim Rodriguez, Vincenzo Nibali or possibly Roman Kreuziger who have good form going into Sunday’s race and have shown well here before.

The Course

The total route is 263km and includes ten categorised climbs. After a temporary absence last year due to road works the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons returns to its rightful place inside 20km from the finish

2014 Liege Bastogne Liege course map

2014 Liege Bastogne Liege route
2014 Liege Bastogne Liege route

2014 Liege Bastogne Liege course profile

2014 Liege Bastogne Liege course profile
2014 Liege Bastogne Liege course profile

Climbs of the 2014 Liege Bastogne Liege

Km 70.0 – Côte de La Roche-en-Ardenne2.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.2%
Km 123.0 – Côte de Saint-Roch1 kilometre-long climb at 11.1%
Km 167.0 – Côte de Wanne2.8 kilometre-long climb at 7.2%
Km 173.5 – Côte de Stockeu1 kilometre-long climb at 12.4%
Km 179.0 – Côte de la Haute-Levée3.6 kilometre-long climb at 5.6%
Km 201.0 – Côte de la Vecquée3.1 kilometre-long climb at 6.4%
Km 218.5 – Côte de La Redoute2 kilometre-long climb at 8.9%
Km 231.5 – Côte des Forges1.9 kilometre-long climb at 5.9%
Km 243.5 – Côte de La Roche-aux-Faucons1.5 kilometre-long climb at 9.3%
Km 257.5 – Côte de Saint-Nicolas1.2 kilometre-long climb at 8.6%


The first race was run in 1892 and was won by Léon Houa of Belgium, Houa also won the race for the following two years. Like most of the major classics and Grand Tours Liege Bastogne Liege was created to publicise a newspaper, in this case it was L’Expresse.

It’s no surprise that a race of Liege-Bastogne-Liege’s status has Belgium’s Eddy Merckx as its most frequent winner, having won a total of five wins between 1969 and 1975. Of the 99 races to date, 59 have been won by Belgian riders, with Italy next on 12 wins and Switzerland third on 6 wins. The best results from an Australian are Phil Anderson’s second in 1984 and third in 1989, both of those races were won by Sean Kelly from Ireland.

One of the most epic of all races was the 1980 race won by Bernard Hinault. Heavy snow started falling moments after the race started creating the worst possible conditions for the riders. Hinault attacked with 80km to go and ploughed a lonely path to the finish, of the 174 riders that started the race only 21 finished and Hinault won by over 9 minutes.So cold and frost bitten was Hinault that it took weeks to regain movement in his fingers.

1980 Winner Bernard Hinault on a snow covered Liege Bastogne Liege
1980 Winner Bernard Hinault on a snow covered Liege Bastogne Liege

How The Race Was Won – Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2013

Here’s a good wrap up of last year’s race from Cosmo Catalano of Cyclocosm

Results – Top 20 2013 Liege-Bastogne-Liege

1. Daniel MARTIN, Garmin-Sharp, in 6:38:07
2. Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Katusha, at :03
3. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at :09
4. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :09
5. Michele SCARPONI, Lampre-Merida, at :09
6. Enrico GASPAROTTO, Astana, at :18
7. Philippe GILBERT, BMC Racing, at :18
8. Ryder HESJEDAL, Garmin-Sharp, at :18
9. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, Movistar, at :18
10. Simon GERRANS, Orica-GreenEdge, at :18
11. Benoît VAUGRENARD, FDJ, at :18
12. Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at :18
13. Romain BARDET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :18
14. Rinaldo NOCENTINI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :18
15. Lars Petter NORDHAUG, Blanco, at :18
16. Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA, Sky, at :18
17. Nicki SÖRENSEN, Saxo-Tinkoff, at :21
18. Jelle VANENDERT, Lotto-Belisol, at :26
19. Simon GESCHKE, Argos-Shimano, at :56
20. Diego ULISSI, Lampre-Merida, at :56

2013 Liege Bastogne Liege winner Dan Martin
2013 Liege Bastogne Liege winner Dan Martin

Previous Winners – Last 20 years

2013 Daniel Martin (IRL)
2012 Maxim Iglinsky (KAZ)
2011 Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
2010 Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ)
2009 Andy Schleck (LUX)
2008 Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
2007 Danilo Di Luca (ITA)
2006 Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
2005 Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ)
2004 Davide Rebellin (ITA)
2003 Tyler Hamilton (USA)
2002 Paolo Bettini (ITA)
2001 Oscar Camenzind (SUI)
2000 Paolo Bettini (ITA)
1999 Frank Vandenbroucke (BEL)
1998 Michele Bartoli (ITA)
1997 Michele Bartoli (ITA)
1996 Pascal Richard (SUI)
1995 Mauro Gianetti (SUI)
1994 Eugeni Berzin (RUS)

Liege Bastogne Liege will be on SBS and Eurosport on Sunday night. Join The Bike Lane on twitter #LBL


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