Valverde donates his Liege-Bastogne-Liege prize money to the Scarponi family

Valverde out-sprinted Dan Martin in the final metres of Liege-Bastogne-Liege to take his fourth win in the final Spring Classics race

Valverde dedicated his win to Michele Scarponi who sadly died this week after be hit by a van whilst training near his home in Italy. Valverde said before the race that he would donate the prize money should he win and in an emotional interview said he would dedicate his winnings from the whole week to the Scarponi family after winning La Fleche Wallonne earlier this week to.

Very early on in the race a breakaway of 8 riders has formed including; Tiago Machado (Katusha), Anthony Perez and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Mekseb Debesay (Dimension Data), Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal), Nick Van Der Lijke (Roompot), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) and Aaron Gate (Aqua Blue).

Olivier Pardini (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect team) tried bridge across to the break, but was evetually swallowed up by the Peloton.

What followed was a very long break awaya, over 200 kms, which went out to over 13 minutes with 160 kms to go.

After the second climb of the day, second climb of Cote de Sant-Roch, Movistar's domestique's and Team Sky started the chase. With 100km ot go the lead was down to 11 minutes.

With around 80 km to go, Orica Scott have decided to attack, Simon Gerrans went on the attack but it was soon quashed. Thomas De Gendt from Lotto Soudal has abandoned after his early attack.

68 km to go and the lead is down to 8 minutes, Movistar working really hard for Valverde.

With 48 kms to go the lead was down to 6m 15m and the breakaway must have started to think they could stay away.

With 36 kms to go Pierre Latour from AG2R La Mondiale has attacked at the top of the Col du Maquisard. Nathan Haas and few other riders follow, nothing sticks.

The break reached La Redoute with a 36 kms to go and 5 min advantage. Anthony Perez from Cofidis attacks from the break and gets a gap.

In the Peloton, 7 riders attack from the Peloton and have a 25 sec lead on the La Redoute; Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe), Carlos Betancur (Movistar), Omar Fraile and Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) and Gianluca Brambilla (Quick-Step Floors).

Anthony Perez from Cofidis maintains his lead over the break, 30 kms to go, 3m 40s lead.

The counter-attack is caught, the Peloton has increased the pace, 25 km to go Perez leads with 2m 45s. Sebastian Henao (Sky) attacks and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) joins him.

There's only 2 categorized climbs to go, the Cote de la Roche-Aux-Faucons and the Cote de Saint-Nicolas.

Perez reached the Cote de la Roche-Aux-Faucons with 22 kma to go 2 mins lead, and peloton has split as the pace reaches 50+ kph, the chase is really on.

On the penultimate climb of  the Cote de la Roche-Aux-Faucons, Sergio Henao (Sky), Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Roman Kreuziger (Orica-Scott) attack from the Peloton and a few more rider bridge across.

Wellens, Vuillermoz, Kreuziger are in this lead group, with 15 kms to go, Perez's lead is down to 21 seconds.

The peloton brings the attack back except for Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal). Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) is only 10 seconds away with 10 km to go.

The final climb of the Cote de Saint-Nicolas comes with 5.5 kms to go.

Davide Formillo from Cannondale attacks with 4.5 kms to go and there are only 25 riders left in the peloton including Michal Kwiatkowski, Valverde, Van Avermaet and Bardet.

With 1 km to go, Dan Martin puts in a huge attack but Yates starts to close it down.

Valverde attacks and catches Dan Martin. Valverde outsprints Martin again to take his fourth LBL title.

Alejandro Valverde said after the race “This victory is a tribute to Michele Scarponi. I was close friends with him and it made me really, really sad to see him go pass away so young, in such tragic circumstances. I just couldn't believe it when I saw the news. It wasn't just me, but the whole team, the whole cycling world. All prizes I get here today will go to his family."

"It's a historical win - to be honest, it was a perfect week for us, even though it was so hard to get the victory today. Just like we did Wednesday at Flèche Wallonne, we took command of the race from the very beginning, yet there was a moment we left the front for other teams to take their turns, because the break was a big one and it would have been much more difficult to bring it back without help. Everyone was on the limit today."

2017 Leige-Bastogne-Leige Top 10

2017 Leige-Bastogne-Leige Top 10

VIDEO: Final Kilometers

VIDEO: 2017 Leige-Bastogne-Leige Highlights

VIDEO: Valverde wins the final Sprint at the 2017 Leige-Bastogne-Leige

 

2017 Liege-Bastogne-Liege LIVESTREAM Replay

15:56 CET - Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) out sprintedDan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) in the final hundred metres to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège for the fourth time. Michal Kwiatkoswki (Sky) was third on the finish line.

15:55 CET - I dedicate this win to my close friend Scarponi. RIP.

15:54 CET - All my money this week goes to my friend Scarponi

15:53 CET - For Scarponi

15:52 CET - Top 10 official results

15:50 CET - Valverde wins his fourth Liege-Bastonge-Liege

15:50 CET - Valverde will give the prize money to the Scarponi family

15:49 CET - Valverde has done it again, with a late attack to the line.

15:49 CET - Valverde and Dan Martin 200kms to go!

15:48 CET - Dan martin goes again, Valverde is going!

15:48 CET - Yates is closing it down!

15:47 CET - Dan Martin has attacked!

15:46 CET - 1 km to go, who is going to win the sprint?

15:46 CET - 1 km to go, who is going to win the sprint?

15:45 CET - Michal Kwiatkowski is in this group 2kms to go!

15:44 CET - Valverde, Van Avermaet, Bardet in this group, 3 kms to go

15:44 CET - 25 riders left in the Peloton!

15:41 CET - Davide Formillo from Cannondale has attacked with 4.5 kms to go

15:39 CET - The final climb of the Cote de Saint-Nicolas attacks come, 5kms to go

15:38 CET - Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal). Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) reach the final climb with 14 secs

15:36 CET - The peloton is 10 seconds behind the two leaders with 9 km to go

15:33 CET - The peloton brings the attack back except for Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal). Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) is only 10 seconds away with 10 km to go.

15:31 CET - The final climb of the Cote de Saint-Nicolas comes with 5.5 kms to go

15:29 CET - Seven riders are chasing perez down

15:26 CET - Wellens, Vuillermoz, Kreuziger are in this lead group chasing, 15 kms to go

15:25 CET - 7 riders have attacked off the peloton and got a gap

15:24 CET - Kreuziger attacks again. Peloton shattered.

15:23 CET - 17kms to go and the lead is down to 36 seconds!

15:22 CET - Sergio Henao (Sky), Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Roman Kreuziger (Orica-Scott) attack from the Peloton

15:20 CET - ATTACK! Sergio Henao goes. Dumoulin follows!

15:18 CET - Here we go, BMC take up the chase on the Cote de la Roche-Aux-Faucons

15:17 CET - Expect fireworks on the  Cote de la Roche-Aux-Faucons!

15:14 CET - The break has been away for over 200km. 20km to go 2 mins lead

15:13 CET - Perez is reaching the Cote de la Roche-Aux-Faucons, 22km to go 2 mins lead

15:11 CET - The peloton has split as the pace reaches 50+ kph, the chase is really on

15:09 CET - The counter-attack is caught, the Peloton has really increased the pace, 25 km to go Perez leads with 2m 45s

15:07 CET - Sebastian Henao (Sky) attacks and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) joins them

15:05 CET - 2 categorized climbs to go, the Cote de la Roche-Aux-Faucons and the Cote de Saint-Nicolas

14:59 CET - Anthony Perez from Cofidis maintains his lead over the break, 30 kms to go, 3m 40s lead

14:57 CET - 7 riders attack from the Peloton and have a 25 sec lead on the La Redoute; Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe), Carlos Betancur (Movistar), Omar Fraile and Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) and Gianluca Brambilla (Quick-Step Floors) 

14:54 CET - Anthony Perez from Cofidis attacks from the break on the Cote de la Redoute

14:51 CET - Break is on La Redoute with a 36 kms to go and 5 min advantage

14:48 CET - Next climb the famous La Redoute, a climb of 2 km with an average gradient of 8.9 percent

14:42 CET - Pierre Latour from AG2R La Mondiale has attacked at the top of the Col du Maquisard. Nathan Haas and few other riders follow.

14:40 CET - The peloton reaches the bottom of the Col du Maquisard with 44km to go

14:36 CET - Nibali wins the 2017 Tour of Croatia. In memoriam Michele Scarponi

14:35 CET - 6m 15m to bring the break back with 48km to go, can the Peloton do it?

14:33 CET - The break is being reeled back in slowly

14:27 CET - Movistar's Rory Sutherland and Petr Vakoc for Quick-Step Floors lead the chase after summiting the Col du Rosier, the lead is doen to 6m 30s, 49 km to go

14:06 CET - Please click here to refresh video stream and press play. Thank you.

14:03 CET - 68 km to go and the lead is down to 8 minutes, Movistar are working really hard for Valverde

13:54 CET - 70 kms to go the breakaway has reached the feed zone with a lead of 9 minutes

13:51 CET - Break reached the Cote de la Ferme Libert with 75 kms to go

13:45 CET - Thomas De Gendt from Lotto Soudal has abandoned after his early attack

13:44 CET - Orica Scott have decided to attack, Simon Gerrans goes

13:20 CET - The Peloton has increased pace and the break is down under 10 minutes

12:32 CET - 100 kilometres to go and the break holds 11 minutes lead

12:24 CET - Daryl Impey from Orica-Scott had a minor crash and is chasing back on

12:22 CET - Favorites for today's race are Valverde, Kwiatkowski and Van Avermaet

12:21 CET - Team Sky are now helping Movistar to lead the chase, the last time gap was 12m 25s after 109 km

12:08 CET - Bart De Clercq from Lotto Soudal was the first rider summiting the Côte de Saint-Roch in the break

11:57 CET - The breakaway is reaching the second climb of Cote de Sant-Roch

11:49 CET - 160 km to go and the breakaway has over 13m lead

11:42 CET - The breakaway have reached the halfway point in Bastogne after 94 kms and have turned for the much harder way back to Liège, with nine climbs left to face. The next climb is the Côte de Saint-Roch in around 20 km

11:37 CET - The breakaway has over 11 minutes lead after 90 kms

11:26 CET - After 90km of racing, the treakaway of 8 riders have a 10 mins lead over the chasing Peloton. Movistar are leading but expect Team Sky to help in the chase. 

11:22 CET - Kenneth Van Rooy from Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise has abandoned after 74km or racing

11:14 CET - Team Astana have released a video tribute to the late and great Michele Scarponi

11:12 CET - Very cold start today, 6C in Belgium

10:56 CET - if Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) or Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) won today, they would match the great Eddy Merckx with a second Monument win this Spring. He won Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1973.

10:52 CET - Valverde at today's start "Scarponi's death has been a massive blow. If I win today, all prizes I get will go to his family."

10:49 CET - After 50km of racing, the breakaway has a lead of 10 minutes, Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) leads the break

10:41 CET - After 45km of racing, the breakaway have a lead of 9m 50s

10:18 CET - It has been rumoured that the prize money from the men's race will be donated to Scarponi's family are yesterday's terrible and shocking news 

10:10 CET - Movistar is leading the Peloton 6m 15s behind the day's breakaway after 25 kms of racing

10:06 CET - Olivier Pardini (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect team) is trying to bridge across to the break

10:02 CET - A breakawy of 8 riders has formed including; Tiago Machado (Katusha), Anthony Perez and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Mekseb Debesay (Dimension Data), Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal), Nick Van Der Lijke (Roompot), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) and Aaron Gate (Aqua Blue) 

10:01 CET - The breakaway of the day has been formed. They now have an advantage of 2 min

Liège–Bastogne–Liège starts at 10:25 CET and the finish is expected around 16:50 CET this Sunday April 23rd. We'll be providing live coverage of the whole race starting 05:00 EST to 12:00 EST in North America.

That's 09:00 GMT to 16:00 GMT in the United Kingdom and 10:00 CET to 17:00 CET in Europe, local time and 20:00 AEST onwards in Australia.

Pro Cycling fans in North America can tune in at a more reasonable time of around 09:00 EST to watch the final 3 hours of racing, which at that point should see fireworks!

We'll also be bringing LIVE VIDEO FEEDS from a number of soures, combined with our live updates on our live stream and on twitter.

Our live stream has been optimized so viewers can follow the race and access live video on mobile devices and tablets too.

PREVIEW: Liège - Bastogne Liège

Liège-Bastogne-Liège draws the curtain on the Spring Classics and the first part of the Pro Cycling season
The 103rd edition Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the final race of the three Ardennes Classics, which includes Flèche Wallonne, the Amstel Gold Race. Brabantse Pijl is seen by many to be part of the series too. La Doyenne – as the race is nicknamed – is one of the oldest classics on the cycling calendar.

The Ardennes which straddle the Belgian Wallonia and Dutch Limburg regions is suited to climbers and puncheur who can hit out and cope with the short, sharp climbs with steep and varying gradients.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège is one of the hardest one day races, at 258 kilometers, contains 10 climbs, totalling around 4,000 metres of climbing - harder than some Tour de France mountain stages.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the hardest of the three races, at 258 kilometers contains 10 climbs, totalling around 4,000 metres of climbing - harder than some Tour de France mountain stages.

PREVIEW: Liège - Bastogne Liège

The Route

The 258 kilometre route contains ten "official" climbs. There's hardly any flat roads, which will make for a seriously tough days racing. It's not until 70 kilometres that the "official climbs" start, with the 2.8 kilometres climb of the Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne.

The peloton pass through Bastogne and up the Cote de Saint-Roch. It's not until the Cote du Pont after 168 km of racing that the real racing begins.

The Col du Rosier is the longest climb at 4.4 kms with an average gradient of nearly 6.0%. It tops out at 566 metres, the highest point of the race. For the favorites and their teams it's a war of attrition, trying to stay at the fromt of the race and conserve energy for when the fireworks start.

It's likely that there will be a breakaway established but it will more than likely be swallowed up as the last 100 kms contains eight of the ten climbs.

The iconic Col de la Redoute, at 2 kilometres at an average 8.9% with gradients of up to 13% will soften up the lgs of those riders still in contention.

First the short, steep Côte de la Roche aux Faucons (1,3 kilometres at 11%) and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas (1.1 kilometres at 8.6%) with the maximum gradient of 10.9%at the start will provide some more hammer blows to the legs of riders.

At the top of the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, there is only 4.5 kilometres left, the first 3 kilometres a descent and the last 1.5 kilometres go up at 5% making a final sprint for the line that much harder.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège is one of the hardest one day races going and it's one of the oldest too.

2017 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Profile

PREVIEW: Liège - Bastogne Liège

The Teams

WorldTour

A2gr La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
Bahrain-Merida (Bhr)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Bora-Hansgrohe (Ger)
Cannondale-Drapac (USA)
FDJ (Fra)
Lotto Soudal (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Orica-Scott (Aus)
Quick-Step Floors (Bel)
Team Dimension Data (RSA)
Team Katusha-Alpecin (Sui)
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (Ned)
Team Sky (GBr)
Team Sunweb (Ger)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)
UAE Abu Dhabi (UAE)

Pro Continental wildcard teams

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
Direct Energie (Fra)
Roompot Nederlandse Loterij (Ned)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect (Bel)
Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Bel)
Aqua Blue Sport (Irl)

The Favorites

Greg Van Avermaet is one the top favorites with a amazing streak of wins at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix. However team BMC racing looked under pressure at the Tour of Flanders an Van Avermaet missed the break. It's hard to hold onto such great form all season.

Alejandro Valverde has won Liege three times before. He recently won Fleche Wallone four a record fifth time. The Liège–Bastogne–Liège course seems to suit the Spaniard, and he'll be looking for a fourth victory - a feat only bettered by Eddy Merckx. He's also backed up by Movistar who proved they can pull for their leader all day

Michal Kwiatkowski is also in great form winning Milan San Remo and Strade Bianche and has some good team mates to work for him at Team Sky.

Peter Sagan has passed on this race, his next outing is at "Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt” on May 1st, onto one of his favorite races the Amgen Tour of California, to the Tour de Suisse, to the Tour de France start in Düsseldorf.

LIVE STREAM

You can follow and watch the race on our LIVE STREAM this Sunday April 23rd.

Liège–Bastogne–Liège starts at 10:25 CET and the finish is expected around 16:50 CET this Sunday April 23rd. We'll be providing live coverage of the whole race starting 05:00 EST to 12:00 EST in North America.

That's 09:00 GMT to 16:00 GMT in the United Kingdom and 10:00 CET to 17:00 CET in Europe, local time and 20:00 AEST onwards in Australia.

Pro Cycling fans in North America can tune in at a more reasonable time of around 09:00 EST to watch the final 3 hours of racing, which at that point should see fireworks!

We'll also be bringing LIVE VIDEO FEEDS from a number of soures, combined with our live updates on our live stream and on twitter.

Our live stream has been optimized so viewers can follow the race and access live video on mobile devices and tablets too.

 
Tag: procyclingclassics
 
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