The first edition of liège-Bastogne-Liège for ladies came last year in the name of the Dutch Anna van der Breggen. Also now she is once again favourite, partly thanks to its fourth victory in a row in the Flèche wallonne last Wednesday.
Van der Breggen took last season for a historic trilogy with victories in the Amstel Gold Race, the Walloon Arrow and liege-Bastogne-Liege. Last Sunday in the Amstel went the victory to her ploegmate Chantal Blaak, who Wednesday not came at the start in Huy, but a double is still there in Sunday for the olympic champion. “We have with the team multiple assets”, said Van der Breggen after the Walloon Arrow. “I give a ploegmate the victory, as I would have liked to have seen that Megan (Guarnier, in the flight just before the final climb of the Wall of Huy), front remained, and the victory would be better, after such a difficult season last year. That is also the strength of our team: we have several ladies who can win, and give each other the victory. It is a strength that we Sunday in Liège also need to play.”
Van der Breggen is topfavoriete, furthermore, the look to the outsiders: the Frenchwoman Pauline Ferrand Prévot, the duo of Amanda Spratt and Annemiek van Vleuten of Mitchelton-Scott, the South-African Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, the Dutch Ellen van Dijk, the Polish Katarzyna Niewiadoma and the Italian Elia Longo Borghini.
Last year was Van der Breggen the difference on the last climb, and isolated them to the victory. Thanks to her win in the Flèche wallonne is Van der Breggen, incidentally, again in the lead in the Women’s WorldTour and start it up Sunday in the purple jersey.
The ladies start to 10u45 in Bastogne and the finish is expected around 14: 30 in Ans after 136 km. The men are eleven slopes finished, the ladies get four for the wheels pushed: Côte de la Vecquée (6.7 km, 4,9%) after 82,5 km, the Côte de la Redoute (2 km, to 8.9%) after 100 km, the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons (1.3 km, 11%) after 116 km and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas (1,2 km, 8,6%) after 130 km.