Live Report


Route detail


87th Liege-Bastogne-Liege/Luik-Bastenaken-Luik (CDM)

Belgium, April 22, 2001

2000 Results    Start list    Past winners


By Jeff Jones

This Sunday's fourth round of the men's World Cup is the oldest of the spring classics, nicknamed "La Doyenne" in recognition of its age. Although there have been more editions of Paris-Roubaix, LBL was first held in 1892, making it even older than the Queen of the Classics. This year's race is 258 kilometres, 10 kilometres shorter than the maximum distance that this race has been run over (1968, 1989, 1994). As many people know, length doesn't always count - the hardness of the parcours is more important.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege, or Luik-Bastenaken-Luik for Flemish/Dutch speakers, is certainly a tough race. Although cobbles are not in abundance as they are in the Ronde van Vlaanderen or Paris-Roubaix, there are more hills than in either of these two classics. The race therefore is favourable to the more lightly built climber, albeit one who can stand nearly 6 and a half hours of intense racing.

Recent winners include Pascal Richard (1996), Michele Bartoli (1997, 1998), Frank Vandenbroucke (1999) and Paolo Bettini (2000), with the record average speed of 41.079 set in 1999 by Vandenbroucke. In fact, only during the past three years has the average gone over 40 km/h, a testament to the tough nature of the race. The record for the most victories is held by Eddy Merckx, with 5 (1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1975), followed by Moreno Argentin with 4 (1985, 1986, 1987 and 1991).

Mapei's Michele Bartoli goes into this year's race as one of the principal favourites, although he has yet to win a race since Het Volk. His teammate and 2000 winner, Paolo Bettini will be in attendance, but a strong challenge is expected to come from the Rabobank squad with Michael Boogerd, Erik Dekker and the Zberg brothers as key riders.

Fleche Wallonne winner, Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) will be hoping that his form holds good for LBL, and he will be supported by Mario Aerts, Serge Baguet, with Andrei Tchmil a likely starter. World number one Francesco Casagrande will lead a powerful Fassa Bortolo outfit, with Raimondas Rumsas, Dario Frigo, Ivan Basso and Wladimir Belli all dangerous riders.

Domo-Farm Frites are presenting their "other" classics team, led by Axel Merckx and Dave Bruylandts, but they will have a hard time emulating their crushing Paris-Roubaix performance. In the absence of Erik Zabel, Telekom will probably be riding for Alex Vinokourov, with Andreas Kloden a late scratching.

ONCE's Jörg Jaksche put in a good showing at Fleche Wallonne, and he will start in Liege as their top man. US Postal are also presenting a somewhat different team to the cobbled classics, with Tyler Hamilton, Levy Leipheimer, and Christian Vandevelde all good prospects. The other US team, Mercury-Viatel, has brought its stage racers to LBL: Pavel Tonkov, Niklas Axelsson, Chann McRae, Chris Horner, Floyd Landis, Andrei Teteriouk, Wim Vansevenant with Peter van Petegem also due to start.

Davide Rebellin (Liquigas) will be trying to go two places better this year, and is certainly in better form than at the same time last year. Saeco Macchine per Caffe will not have Mirko Celestino in their line-up. The Italian rider who won the Trofeo Laigueglia and who is one of the leaders of the Saeco team, is still suffering from a bad dose of flu which also caused him to miss Fleche-Wallonne on Wednesday. The team should still be strong with Paolo Savoldelli and Laurent Dufaux as leaders.

Another team hoping to break through in LBL is the bright orange Basque outfit, Euskaltel-Euskadi, who have last year's runner up, David Etxebarria as leader. The big question that Lampre-Daikin fans will no doubt ask, is whether former car painter, Ludo Dierckxsens, will finally win a classic. The balding 36 year old is not short of puff, and perhaps could combine with Max Sciandri to take La Doyenne.

Tacconi Sport's Gianluca Bortolami will have a hard time repeating his Ronde van Vlaanderen win, but the canny Italian might be up in the top 10, providing his battered body can take it. Credit Agricole's Jens Voigt was in the action last weekend, although Bobby Julich might find the hillier parcours to his liking.

Other rides to watch include iBanesto's César Solaun, Festina's Christophe Moreau, Team Coast's Alex Zulle, Christophe Detilloux (Collstrop) and Michel Van Haecke (Landbouwkrediet).

Start list

Mapei-Quick Step                   Rabobank
1 Paolo Bettini (Ita)              11 Michael Boogerd (Ned)
2 Michele Bartoli (Ita)            12 Erik Dekker (Ned)
3 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa)    14 Addy Engels (Ned)
4 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita)           15 Marc Lotz (Ned)
5 Andrea Noé (Ita)                 16 Geert Verheyen (Bel)
6 Luca Paolini (Ita)               17 Beat Zberg (Swi)
7 Luca Scinto (Ita)                18 Marcus Zberg (Swi)
8 David Tani (Ita)                 19 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned)
Lotto-Adecco                       Fassa Bortolo
21 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel)            31 Francesco Casagrande (Ita)
22 Mario Aerts (Bel)               32 Ivan Basso (Ita)
23 Serge Baguet (Bel)              33 Wladimir Belli (Ita)
24 Glenn D'Hollander (Bel)         34 Dario Frigo (Ita)
26 Andrei Tchmil (Bel)             35 Luca Mazzanti (Ita)
27 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel)        36 Andrea Peron (Ita)
28 Stive Vermaut (Bel)             37 Oscar Pozzi (Ita)
29 Christophe Brandt (Bel)         38 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu)
Domo-Farm Frites                   Cofidis
41 Axel Merckx (Bel)               51 David Millar (GBr)
42 Dave Bruylandts (Bel)           52 Ińigo Cuesta (Spa)
43 Steve De Wolf (Bel)             53 Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz)
44 Leif Hoste (Bel)                54 Andrei Kivilev (Kaz)
45 Steven Kleynen (Bel)            55 Claude Lamour (Fra)
46 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel)        56 Laurent Lefevre (Fra)
47 Koos Moerenhout (Ned)           57 Massimiliano Lelli (Ita)
49 Johan Museeuw (Bel)             58 Guido Trentin (Ita)
Deutsche Telekom                   ONCE
62 Udo Bölts (Ger)                 71 Jörg Jaksche (Ger)
63 Alberto Elli (Ita)              72 José Azevedo (Por)
64 Jens Heppner (Ger)              73 Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa)
65 Matthias Kessler (Ger)          74 Igor Gonzalez Galdeano
66 Kevin Livingston (USA)          75 Jan Hruska (Cze)
67 Andrey Mizurov (Kaz)            76 Mikel Pradera (Spa)
68 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz)      77 Marcos Serrano (Spa)
69 Rolf Aldag (Ger)                78 Mikel Zarrabeitia Uranga (Spa)
US Postal                          Mercury-Viatel
81 Tyler Hamilton (USA)            91 Pavel Tonkov (Rus)
82 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor)        92 Niklas Axelsson (Swe)
83 Levy Leipheimer (USA)           93 Chris Horner (USA)
84 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa)   94 Floyd Landis (USA)
85 Christian Vandevelde (USA)      95 Chann McRae (USA)
86 Cédric Vasseur (Fra)            96 Andrei Teteriouk (Kaz)
88 David Zabriskie (USA            97 Peter Van Petegem (Bel)
89 Jamie Burrow (GBr)              100 Chris Wherry (USA)
Liquigas-Pata                      Saeco
101 Davide Rebellin (Ita)          111 Laurent Dufaux (Swi)
102 Fausto Dotti (Ita)             112 Oscar Cavagnis (Ita)
103 Cristiano Frattini (Ita)       114 Pavel Padrnos (Cze)
104 Fabio Malberti (Ita)           115 Igor Pugaci (Mda)
105 Fabio Marchesin (Ita)          116 Marius Sabaliauskas (Ltu)
106 Ellis Rastelli (Ita)           117 Fabio Sacchi (Ita)
107 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo)          118 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita)
CSC-Worldonline                    Euskaltel-Euskadi
121 Bo Hamburger (Den)             131 David Etxebarria (Spa)
122 Koen Beeckman (Bel)            132 Mikel Artetxe (Spa)
123 Michael Blaudzun (Den)         133 Angel Castresana (Spa)
124 Marcelino Garcia (Spa)         134 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa)
126 Nicolay Bo Larsen (Den)        135 Txema Del Olmo (Spa)
127 Martin Rittsel (Swe)           136 Unai Etxebarria (Ven)
128 Nicki Sorensen (Den)           137 Iker Flores (Spa)
129 Jacob Moe Rasmussen (Den)      138 Alberto Martinez (Spa)
Lampre-Daikin                      Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
141 Oscar Camenzind (Swi)          151 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita)
142 Sergio Barbero (Ita)           152 Patrick Calcagni (Swi)
143 Massimo Codol (Ita)            153 Massimo Donati (Ita)
144 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel)         154 David George (RSA)
145 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa)       155 Sandro Giacomelli (Ita
146 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita)       156 Peter Luttenberger (Aut)
147 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr)      157 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita)
148 Johan Verstrepen (Bel)         158 Pietro Zucconi (Swi)
Mercatone Uno                      Credit Agricole
161 Marco Velo (Ita)               171 Bobby Julich (USA)
162 Michael Andersson (Swe)        172 Frédéric Bessy (Fra)
163 Igor Astarloa (Spa)            173 Sébastien Hinault (Fra)
164 Maurizio Caravaggio (Ita)      174 Christopher Jenner (Fra)
165 Daniel Clavero (Spa)           175 Ludovic Martin (Fra)
166 Riccardo Forconi (Ita)         176 Anthony Morin (Fra)
167                                177 Benoît Poilvet (Fra)
168 Gian Mario Ortenzi (Ita)       178 Jens Voigt (Ger)
Kelme-Costa Blanca                 iBanesto.com
182 José De Los Angeles (Spa)      191 Unai Osa (Spa)
183 Joaquim Lopez Torella (Spa)    192 José Luis Arrieta Lujambio (Spa)
184 Jesus Manzano (Spa)            193 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol)
185 David Munoz (Spa)              194 Alberto Benito (Spa)
186 Leandro Navarette (Spa)        195 Thomas Brozyna (Pol)
187 José Angel Vidal (Spa)         196 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa)
188 Constantino Zaballa (Spa)      197 Denis Menchov (Rus)
                                   198 César Solaun (Spa)
Festina                            Team Coast
201 Christophe Moreau (Fra)        211 Alex Zulle (Swi)
202 Pascal Chanteur (Fra)          212 Niki Aebersold (Swi)
203 David Clinger (USA)            213 Anton Chantyr (Rus)
204 André Korff (Ger)              214 Mauro Gianetti (Swi)
205 Pascal Lino (Fra)              215 Jason Phillips (Aus)
206 Laurent Madouas (Fra)          216 Sascha Henrix (Ger)
207 Arnaud Pretot (Fra)            217 Rolf Huser (Swi)
208 Ivan Sastre (Spa)              218 Roland Meier (Swi)
Ville De Charleroi                 Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
221 Renaud Boxus (Bel)             231 Michel Van Haecke (Bel)
222 Marc Chanoine (Bel)            232 Bert De Waele (Bel)
223 David Debremaeker (Bel)        233 Jeff Louder (USA)
224 Geoffrey Gremelpont            234 Gordon McCauley (NZl)
225 Morten Hegreberg (Nor)         235 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel)
226 Jurgen Landrie (Bel)           236 Masahiko Mifune (Jpn)
227 Sébastien Laroche (Fra)        237 Andrei Tcherviakov (Rus)
228 Sébastien Mattozza (Fra)       238 Johan Vanderberg (Bel)
241 Marc Streel (Bel)
242 Vincent Cali (Fra)
243 Christophe Detilloux (Bel)
244 Roger Hammond (GBr)
246 Karl Pauwels (Bel)
247 Kristof Trouve (Bel)
248 Peter Wuyts (Bel)
249 Thierry de Groote (Bel)

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