Apr 22, 2016

Friday File: Neige Bastogne Neige?

Recon,
Heavy favorite, Valverde and teammates riding up the final 'new' climb.








If the weather gods make their appearance Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege could be called, Neige-Bastogne-Neige. But whether the weather steps in or someone can dethrone heavy favorite Alejandro Valverde is all in the air. If it was up to me, I want it to snow (aka. 1980 edition won by Hinault, frozen fingers and all) and yes an upset winner would be a nice change. But, tempting fate it may just snow and spoil it for many riders. Can a 36 year snow drought come to an end? I love to watch foul weather alter the cycling equilibrium universe. Of course, not so extreme that the Extreme Weather Protocol steps in and cancels it. 




La Doyenne is the oldest one-day classic, first raced in 1982. First edition 124 years ago this year is the 102nd edition of this Belgian Monument. 253km route with 10 categorized climbs. The final climb is the newly added Cote de Saint-Nicolas (6km avg. 10.5%) with cobbles replaces the Cote de Stockeau. This great race was made for the mountain specialists that's why I'm by passing the powerful and crafty Valverde and going for the two prong attacking style (reminiscent from Flèche Wallonne but with a better outcome) from Etixx for a 1-2 punch Monument victory...





Start List.




The 1-2 punch...

On today's recon.




















Memorable quotes: 

5 time champion The Cannibal says...








The 1980 iconic winner says...





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