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88th Liege-Bastogne-Liege / Luik-Bastenaken-Luik - (CDM)

Belgium, April 21, 2002

2001 Results    Preview     Start List    Past winners    Live report

Battle of the Ardennes resumes in Liège

By Jeff Jones
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

The oldest classic on the cycling calendar is Liège-Bastogne-Liège, now in its 111th year after having celebrated 87 editions. It was first held in 1892 and won by Belgian Léon Houa, who then went onto win the next two years before the race stopped until 1908. After that it was interrupted during both World Wars, resuming in 1945 since which time it has been run every year.

It's considered a climber's race, with a number of steep "côtes" included in the 258 kilometre journey from Liège to Bastogne and back to Ans, a suburb of Liège. There are no long flat sections as in Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix, and riders who have done well in this race include a number of winners of the major tours.

Eddy Merckx heads this list with five wins, between 1969 and 1975, also his best Tour de France years. Five time Tour winners Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil (Fra) won it, as did Evgeni Berzin (Giro d'Italia winner). Notable runners up include Lance Armstrong (1994 and 1996), Laurent Jalabert (1997 and 1998), Toni Rominger (1993) and Stephen Roche (1987). Italian classics guru Moreno Argentin managed to win it four times between 1985 and 1991.

Despite an overall Belgian domination (61 wins) in 'La Doyenne' as it's affectionately nicknamed, the past 25 years has seen a mixture of Italian, Swiss, French, Russian, Irish, Dutch, Danish and German riders share the bulk of the victories. The last Belgian winner was Frank Vandenbroucke in 1999, who prevented Michele Bartoli from taking his third LBL in a row. Before that it was Dirk De Wolf in 1992, Eric Van Lancker in 1990, and before that Joseph Bruyere in 1976.

The favourites for 2002

In the absence of defending champion Oscar Camenzind, this year's number one will be worn by World Cup leader and Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Museeuw (Domo-Farm Frites). Age has not wearied Museeuw as shown by his second place in the Tour of Flanders and last weekend's win. He's not the type of rider to win Liege, but could pick up a few points if he still has the legs after last week's mighty effort.

Domo's hopes of a win in Liege probably rest on Axel Merckx, who rode well in Fleche Wallonne for sixth place, after he instigated the final breakaway but didn't have the legs on the Mur de Huy.

Fleche Wallonne winner Mario Aerts is calm and eager to do well in Liege. His team Lotto has a strong co-leadership with Rik Verbrugghe, Serge Baguet and Peter Van Petegem, all capable of doing well in this sort of terrain.

Mapei-Quick Step boasts 2000 winner Paolo Bettini, who along with Oscar Freire will be supported by Andrea Noè (5th in FW), Cadel Evans, Fabien De Waele, Luca Paolini and Paolo Fornaciari.

Rabobank's Michael Boogerd came close to making the final break on Wednesday, and is obviously in good shape. He finished 2nd to Vandenbroucke in 1999 and should be right up there in 2002. Tacconi Sport's Dario Frigo was another who was prominent in the action, and could figure again in Liege.

US Postal will feature two time runner up Lance Armstrong, who is riding Liege for the first time since his cancer days. Given his current condition, he would surprise nobody if he were to win, although he may be looking to next week's Amstel Gold Race to do that.

1997-1998 winner Michele Bartoli, who finished third in last Wednesday's Fleche Wallonne, will again be at the start in Liege. Riding for Fassa Bortolo, Bartoli is not quite back to his former best, but Sunday may be his day. His very able teammate Francesco Casagrande is also worth watching.

Euskaltel's David Etxebarria has made no secret of the fact that he wants to win Liege. Third last year and second the year before, the pocket climber from the Basque Country is in perfect condition, as is his team, evidenced by namesake Unai Etxebarria's second place in Fleche Wallonne.

Saeco-Longoni Sport will be without Gilberto Simoni, but Danilo Di Luca is aiming to do well in LBL. His form seemed a little bit off on Wednesday so he may struggle to make the selection in when it counts.

Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin finished 11th in La Fleche, making the first group of chasers that finished 6 seconds behind Aerts. He finished second last year and is in good enough form make the podium again.

Don't miss Cyclingnews' Live coverage of the 88th Liege-Bastogne-Liege - starts at 9:45 local time (3:45am USA eastern time, 12:45am USA west, 5:45pm Australian east).

Past winners

Year First Second Third kms AVS
2001 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Davide Rebellin (Ita) David Etxebarria Alkorta (Spa) 258 38.507
2000 Paolo Bettini (Ita) David Etxebarria (Spa) Davide Rebellin (Ita) 264 40.769
1999 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Michael Boogerd (Ned) Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) 262 41.079
1998 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Rodolfo Massi (Ita) 262 40.077
1997 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Gabriele Colombo (Ita) 262 36.650
1996 Pascal Richard (Swi) Lance Armstrong (USA) Mauro Gianetti (Swi) 263 37.700
1995 Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Gianni Bugno (Ita) Michele Bartoli (Ita) 261 39.305
1994 Evgeni Berzin (Rus) Lance Armstrong (USA) Giorgio Furlan (Ita) 268 36.838
1993 Rolf Sörensen (Den) Toni Rominger (Swi) Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) 261 36.072
1992 Dirk De Wolf (Bel) Steven Rooks (Ned) Jean-François Bernard (Fra) 262 35.882
1991 Moreno Argentin (Ita) Claude Criquielion (Bel) Rolf Sörensen (Den) 267 36.627
1990 Eric Van Lancker (Bel) Jean-Claude Leclercq (Fra) Steven Rooks (Ned) 256 35.560
1989 Sean Kelly (Ire) Fabrice Philipot (Fra) Phil Anderson (AUS) 268 36.243
1988 Adrie Van der Poel (Ned) Michel Dernies (Bel) Robert Millar (GB) 260 38.801
1987 Moreno Argentin (Ita) Stephen Roche (Ire) Claude Criquielion (Bel) 258 38.700
1986 Moreno Argentin (Ita) Adrie Van der Poel (Ned) Dag-Erik Pedersen (Den) 253 37.673
1985 Moreno Argentin (Ita) Claude Criquielion (Bel) Stephen Roche (Ire) 245 37.021
1984 Sean Kelly (Ire) Phil Anderson (AUS) Greg LeMond (USA) 247 36.366
1983 Steven Rooks (Ned) Giuseppe Saronni (Ita) Pascal Jules (Fra) 246 35.516
1982 Silvano Contini (Ita) Fons de Wolf (Bel) Steffan Mutter (Swi) 244 34.033
1981 Josef Fuchs (Swi) Steffan Mutter (Swi) Ludo Peeters (Bel) 244 35.362
1980 Bernard Hinault (Fra) Hennie Kuiper (Ned) Ronny Claes (Bel) 244 34.716
1979 Dietrich Thurau (Ger) Bernard Hinault (Fra) Daniel Willems (Bel) 242 36.713
1978 Joseph Bruyere (Bel) Dietrich Thurau (Ger) Francesco Moser (Ita) 242 36.464
1977 Bernard Hinault (Fra) André Dierckx (Bel) Dietrich Thurau (Ger) 243 37.654
1976 Joseph Bruyere (Bel) Freddy Maertens (Bel) Frans Verbeeck (Bel) 247 37.396
1975 Eddy Merckx (Bel) Bruno Thévenet (Fra) Walter Godefroot (Bel) 247 38.247
1974 Georges Pintens (Bel) Walter Planckaert (Bel) 3rd rider declassified 246 38.537
1973 Eddy Merckx (Bel) Frans Verbeeck (Bel) Walter Godefroot (Bel) 236 37.869
1972 Eddy Merckx (Bel) Wim Schepers (Ned) Herman van Springel (Bel) 239 36.488
1971 Eddy Merckx (Bel) Georges Pintens (Bel) Frans Verbeeck (Bel) 251 36.115
1970 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) Frans Verbeeck (Bel) Eddy Merckx (Bel) 235 35.971
1969 Eddy Merckx (Bel) Vic Van Schil (Bel) Barry Hoban (GB) 253 37.024
1968 Valeer Van Sweevelt (Bel) Walter Godefroot (Bel) Raymond Poulidor (Fra) 268 36.380
1967 Walter Godefroot (Bel) Eddy Merckx (Bel) Willy Monty (Bel) 256 35.971
1966 Jacques Anquetil (Fra) Vic Van Schil (Bel) Willy In 't Ven (Bel) 253 36.164
1965 Carmine Preziosi (Ita) Vittorio Adorni (Ita) Marten Vanden Bossche (Bel) 253 36.051
1964 Willy Bocklandt (Bel) Georges Vanconingsloo (Bel) Vittorio Adorni (Ita) 245 34.615
1963 Frans Melckenbeeck (Bel) Pino Cerami (Bel) Vittorio Adorni (Ita) 237 37.179
1962 Jos Planckaert (Bel) Rolf Wolfshohl (Ger) Claude Colette (Fra) 254 36.581
1961 Rik Van Looy (Bel) Marcel Rorhbach (Fra) Armand Desmet (Bel) 251 37.224
1960 Abe Geldermans (Ned) Pierre Everaert (Fra) Jos Planckaert (Bel) 248 36.401
1959 Alfred De Bruyne (Bel) Frans schoubben (Bel) Frans de mulder (Bel) 240 35.511
1958 Alfred De Bruyne (Bel) Jozef Zagers (Bel) J. Theuns (Bel) 246 34.480
1957 Frans Schoubben (Bel) Germain Derycke (Bel) Marcel Buys (Bel) 255 34.386
1956 Alfred De Bruyne (Bel) Richard Van Genechten (Bel) Alex Close (Bel) 247 37.973
1955 Stan Ockers (Bel) Raymond Impanis (Bel) Jean Branckaert (Bel) 238 34.747
1954 Marcel Ernzer (Lux) Raymond Impanis (Bel) Ferdi Kubler (Swi) 236 34.016
1953 Alois De Hertog (Bel) Maurits Diot (Fra) Raoul Remy (Fra) 236 34.215
1952 Ferdi Kubler (Swi) Henri Van Kerkhove (Bel) Jean Robic (Fra) 229 35.400
1951 Ferdi Kubler (Swi) Germain Derycke (Bel) Wout Wagtmans (Ned) 211 37.124
1950 Prosper Depredomme (Bel) Jean Bogaerts (Bel) Edward Van Dyck (Bel) 263 35.427
1949 Camille Danguillaume (Fra) Adolf Verschueren (Bel) Roger Gyselinck (Bel) 256 36.775
1948 Maurice Mollin (Bel) Raymond Impanis (Bel) Louis Caput (Fra) 205 34.943
1947 Richard Depoorter (Bel) Raymond Impanis (Bel) F. Mathieu (Bel) 218 36.286
1946 Prosper Depredomme (Bel) Albert Hendrickxs (Bel) T. Verstraeten (Bel) 205 33.974
1945 Jean Engels (Bel) Edward Van Dyck (Bel) Jos Moerenhout (Bel) 204 32.929
1943 Richard Depoorter (Bel) Jos Didden (Bel) Stan Ockers (Bel) 211 37.679
1939 Albert Ritserveldt (Bel) Cyriel Van Overberghe (Bel) E. Vissers (Bel) 211 37.345
1938 Alfons Deloor (Bel) Marcel Kint (Bel) Felicien Vervaecke (Bel) 211 37.051
1937 Eloi Meulenbergh (Bel) Gustaaf Deloor (Bel) J. Heirnaert (Bel) 211 36.188
1936 Albert Beckaert (Bel) Gilbert Levae (Bel) K. Horemans (Bel) 211 36.067
1935 Alfons Schepers (Bel) Frans Bonduel (Bel) Louis Hardiquest (Bel) 240 36.219
1934 Theo Heckenrath (Bel) M. Cardinaels (Bel) Jos Moerenhout (Bel) 213 34.171
1933 Francois Gardier (Bel) R. Dewolf (Bel) A. Bolly (Bel) 213 34.975
1932 Marcel Hoyoux (Bel) Leopold Roosemont (Bel) G. Lambrechts (Bel) 214 32.752
1931 Alfons Schepers (Bel) M. Houyoux (Bel) J. Deschepper (Bel) 213 28.435
1930 Herman Buse (Ger) Georges Laloup (Bel) Francois Gardier (Bel) 231 27.445
1929 Alfons Schepers (Bel)        
1928 Ernest Mottard (Bel)        
1927 M. Raes (Bel)        
1926 D. Smets (Bel)        
1925 Georges Ronsse (Bel)        
1924 René Vermandel (Bel) Adelin Benoit (Bel) Jules Matton (Bel) 245 28.053
1923 René Vermandel (Bel) Jean Rossius (Bel) Félix Sellier (Bel) 218 29.376
1922 Louis Mottiat (Bel) Albert Jordens (Bel) Laurent Seret (Bel) 218 29.229
1921 Louis Mottiat (Bel) Marcel Lacour (Bel) Jean Rossius (Bel) 209 28.306
1920 Léon Scieur (Bel) Lucien Buysse (Bel) Jacques Coomans (Bel) 245 28.710
1919 Léon Devos (Bel) Henri Hanlet (Bel) Arthur Claerhout (Bel) 237 24.101
1913 M. Moritz (Bel)        
1912 Omer Verschoore (Bel) Jacques Coomans (Bel) André Blaise (Bel) 257 29.941
1911 Joseph Van Daele (Bel)        
1909 Victor Fastre (Bel)        
1908 A. Trousselier (Fra)        
1894 Léon Houa (Bel) Rasquinet (Bel) Nullens (Bel) 223 25.150
1893 Léon Houa (Bel)        
1892 Léon Houa (Bel)        

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