Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2015

Liege is an interesting animal; whereas the Cobbled Classics are the sole domain of the specialists known as de Klassiekers in Flemish who rarely show their faces as serious contenders in the other portions of the season (assuming you ignore John Degencobble or Al Kristoff), the Ardennes classics have a strong showing from the Grand Tour GC contenders, rouleurs, and climbing specialists alike. Liege, being the biggest of the lot, is the final showdown and provides the first real glimpse into what might unfold in May and July.

The route is a brute; the road back from Bastogne being packed tight with shortish, punchy climbs. My favorite of the lot is the Cote de Stockeu, which climbs up steeply before taking a hard left turn and dropping right back down to the precise point from where the climb started. Its inclusion in the route is gratuitous in the most sinister sense. From there to the finish the route is bumpy to say the least, and the final uphill grind through town is where the race is lost if you don’t have the legs.

Will Nibbles take it? He’s performed well in the final before. Or will one of the specialists take it this time around? Last year saw Gerrans take the win from a small group, but a solo winner is just as likely. Amstel had a big bunch, so maybe QuietKowski will show again.

Start your Prognostication Machines, ponder the start list, and set your alarms to remind yourself not to Delgado. Good luck, and remember we have a frame from Jaegher and wheels from Café Roubaix on offer for the overall VSP winner after Lombardy.

 

[vsp_results id=”32774″/]

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177 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2015”

  1. @Harminator

    @rockkk

    Can anyone stop the green valley? I ‘m not sure they can . I just hope Gerrans doesn’t wheel suck his way to a good result .

    VSP PICKS:

    1. valverde
    2. kelderman
    3. rodriguez
    4. kiatkowski
    5. bardet

    I’m happy to concede that Gerrans following wheels in Australian races against much weaker domestic riders was totally lame. But in a Monument against the best teams in the world, its just smart racing. The job of the other teams is to unhinge anyone who can finish better than their finisher. If they can’t do that, they have to accept the consequences. How long was Kwiatowski in the wind last weekend?

    All fair enough but how much more exciting is it when you see a rider doing their time in the wind and then still coming good like, like Kristoff at Flanders or Degencobble at Roubaix. There’s a “risk it all” kind of honor in it that is absent in a wheel sucking win.

  2. Good lord, never seen that first photo. What an incredible image!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Valverde
    2. Kwiatkowski
    3. J. Rodriguez
    4. Bardet
    5. Kelderman
  3. VSP PICKS:

    1. Dan Martin
    2. Alejandro Valverde
    3. Michal Kwiatkowski
    4. Domenico Pozzivivo
    5. Pierre Rolland
  4. VSP PICKS:

    1. Joaquim Rodriguez
    2. Alejandro valverde
    3. Sergio Henao
    4. Domenico Pozzovivo
    5. Michal Kwiatkowski
  5. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Rui Costa
    3. Michał Kwiatkowski
    4. Dan Martin
    5. Gallopin
  6. Feeling good about these picks. But I always feel good about my picks.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Valverde
    2. Gallopin
    3. JRod
    4. Kwiatkowski
    5. Dan Martin
  7. VSP PICKS:

    1. Vincenzo Nibali
    2. Rui Costa
    3. Joaquim Rodriguez
    4. Michal Kwiatkowski
    5. Alejandro Valverde
  8. After two poached eggs at Flèche Wallonne I’ll stop picking if this is another one. Promise…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nibali
    2. Alaphilippe
    3. Mollema
    4. Kelderman
    5. Roche
  9. @frank

    @Harminator

    @rockkk

    Can anyone stop the green valley? I ‘m not sure they can . I just hope Gerrans doesn’t wheel suck his way to a good result .

    VSP PICKS:

    1. valverde
    2. kelderman
    3. rodriguez
    4. kiatkowski
    5. bardet

    I’m happy to concede that Gerrans following wheels in Australian races against much weaker domestic riders was totally lame. But in a Monument against the best teams in the world, its just smart racing. The job of the other teams is to unhinge anyone who can finish better than their finisher. If they can’t do that, they have to accept the consequences. How long was Kwiatowski in the wind last weekend?

    All fair enough but how much more exciting is it when you see a rider doing their time in the wind and then still coming good like, like Kristoff at Flanders or Degencobble at Roubaix. There’s a “risk it all” kind of honor in it that is absent in a wheel sucking win.

    Degs was definitely the man at Roubaix this year. And Kristoff was clearly dominant at the Rhonde. Both wins were strong and smart. I was in 3 separate conversations on #KT15 where a local renner gave the gallic shrug and said the words “the strongest won”. Its like a Flemish climax. (I couldn’t stop – I just kept going – I came first.) These wins close the discussion from the “what if” and celebrate the rider. There is no doubt.

  10. Betting the break: Nibali will go and almost pulled it off a couple of years ago. The question then becomes “who will go with him?”. Pozzovivo perhaps…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nibali
    2. Pozzovivo
    3. Valverde
    4. Kwiatkowski
    5. Gallopin
  11. Some go with the heads for picks, and others, their hearts.  This is a bit of both for me – head says to pick Piti because I need the points and I can’t stop dreaming about the Jaegher, but my heart hopes to Merckx that one of my other four choices beats that wanker.

    There are not enough hill repeats or showers to rid me of the dirtiness I feel after picking Piti.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
    2. Michal Kwiatkowski
    3. Tony Gallopin
    4. Dan Martin
    5. Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver
  12. @harminator

    @frank

    @Harminator

    @rockkk

    Can anyone stop the green valley? I ‘m not sure they can . I just hope Gerrans doesn’t wheel suck his way to a good result .

    VSP PICKS:

    1. valverde
    2. kelderman
    3. rodriguez
    4. kiatkowski
    5. bardet

    I’m happy to concede that Gerrans following wheels in Australian races against much weaker domestic riders was totally lame. But in a Monument against the best teams in the world, its just smart racing. The job of the other teams is to unhinge anyone who can finish better than their finisher. If they can’t do that, they have to accept the consequences. How long was Kwiatowski in the wind last weekend?

    All fair enough but how much more exciting is it when you see a rider doing their time in the wind and then still coming good like, like Kristoff at Flanders or Degencobble at Roubaix. There’s a “risk it all” kind of honor in it that is absent in a wheel sucking win.

    Degs was definitely the man at Roubaix this year. And Kristoff was clearly dominant at the Rhonde. Both wins were strong and smart. I was in 3 separate conversations on #KT15 where a local renner gave the gallic shrug and said the words “the strongest won”. Its like a Flemish climax. (I couldn’t stop – I just kept going – I came first.) These wins close the discussion from the “what if” and celebrate the rider. There is no doubt.

    I would include Paolinis ride in G W as well . The ride of the year so far , in my opinion.

    I take these words as a sign from above – wheelsucker Kwiatkowski out , young gun alaphilippe in

    VSP PICKS:

    1. valverde
    2. kelderman
    3. rodriguez
    4. alaphillipe
    5. bardet
  13. VSP PICKS:

    1. KWIATKOWSKI Michal
    2. MARTIN Daniel
    3. FARIA DA COSTA Rui Alberto
    4. VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro
    5. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim
  14. @Alex

    Yup. Plus he was strong in flèche but short of willing collaborators. He has unfinished business at Liege. Wants a Monument. Needs a big hit out before the Giro. Is he racing the Giro? Damn I’m drunk.

    i can’t see how Vulverde can win this. Has he ever gone long? The final isn’t hard enough to suit him. Gerrans hates him. Martin has a cross to bear. I’m feeling the fireworks already.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nibali
    2. Kwiatowski
    3. Valverde
    4. Martin
    5. Hermans
  15. Kinda some WTF picks today… good fun

    VSP PICKS:

    1. FUGLSANG Jakob
    2. GALLOPIN Tony
    3. COSTA Rui
    4. BARDET Romain
    5. MARTIN Dan
  16. @harminator

    I was in 3 separate conversations on #KT15 where a local renner gave the gallic shrug and said the words “the strongest won”. Its like a Flemish climax. (I couldn’t stop – I just kept going – I came first.)

    OMG. Too funny. ::: running to tell the VMH :::

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Michal Kwiatkowski
    3. Joaquin Rodriguez
    4. Vincenzo Nibali
    5. Domenico Pozzovivo
  17. eh. At least I got picks in

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Valverde
    2. Gerrans
    3. Kwiatkowski
    4. J-Rod
    5. Domenico Pozzovivo
  18. @PeakInTwoYears

    Oh dear…

    It does not look anywhere as near as cold as Joaquin’s dressed for so musta been taking it easy and I’d swear it sure looks like he has his socks pulled up over his knickers/leg warmers, whatev… and if that’s the case, I just don’t get that.

  19. Nothing but favorites, the Cycling News of prognosticators.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Valverde
    2. Kwiatkowski
    3. Costa
    4. Rodriguez
    5. Martin

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