| LIVE TICKER AND REPORT BY PODOFDONNY & FABIO :
LIEGE BASTOGNE LIEGE - RESULTS TOP 20 PLACES :
1. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei - Quick Step
2. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei - Quick Step
3. Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
4. Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffè - Longoni Sport
5. Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre - Daikin
6. Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Telekom
7. Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto - Adecco
8. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa-Bortolo
9. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
10. Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz - Telekom)
11. Francisco Mancebo (Spa - iBanesto.com)
12. Marcos Serrano (Spa - ONCE-Eroski)
13. Michael Boogerd (Hol- Rabobank)
14. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz - Cofidis)
15. Dave Bruytlands (Bel - Domo-Farm Frites)
16. Axel Merckx (Bel - Domo-Farm Frites)
17. Nicki Sorensen (Den - CSC-Tiscali)
18. Mario Aerts (Bel - Lotto-Adecco-ABX)
19. Laurent Brochard (Fra - Jean Delatour)
20. George Hincapie (USA - USPS)
WORLD CUP STANDINGS - AFTER 4 RACES :
1. Johann Museeuw (Bel - Domo-Farm Frites) - 170 Points
2. Mario Cipollini (Ita - Acqua e Sapone) - 120 Points
3. Paolo Bettini (Ita - Mapei)
4. Andrea Tafi (Ita - Mapei)
6. George Hincapie (USA - USPS)
The Mapei's Masterpiece is complete - Bettini won the race, but Garzelli was simply fantastic working for his captain. An all-Italian podium with Basso taking third, and two more Italians (Celestino 4th and Codol 5th) to complete an unprecedented All-Italian TOP 5 in a WC race (and what a classic with such a top-class field of participants) !!!!!!!!!!!!! Best non-Italian was Telekom's Kessler (sixth).
Peter van Petegem was the best placed among the biggest losers of the day (Belgian riders), just ahead of another loser: Davide Rebellin. Other losers were Boogerd and Etxebarria whilE Armstrong clearly said before the race that he was aiming for Amstel Gold Race victory, so I wouldn't call him a loser in today's race.
(P.S. SVORADA WON THE FINAL STAGE OF SETTIMANA LOMBARDA AHEAD OF ZANOTTI AND LITHUANIA'S RUSKYS - SLOVENIA'S VALJAVEC WON THE OVERALL CLASSIFICATION)
In a post-race interview Bettini thanked Garzelli and said "we are going to have fun in the coming Giro ...")
More about this race to come on the Daily Peloton ...
Liège-Bastone-Liège - LIVE TICKER
BETTINI OUSTPRINTS GARZELLI AND WINS HIS SECOND LBL - BOTH RAISE THEIR ARMS IN TRIUMPH AND BASSO TAKES THIRD - CODOL AND CELESTINO FOLLOW - AN ALL ITALIAN TOP 5 - NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE !!!!!! 6. KESSLER 7. PVP 8. CASAGRANDE 9. REBELLIN .
800 METERS TO GO...
LAST KM... BETTINI or GARZELLI???
2 TO GO - 18" the lead for Garzelli (Still riding tempo) and Bettini now heading for (Small) Cote D'Ans ... eg the FINISH LINE !!!
1637 - 4 TO GO - 15" THE LEAD FOR BETTINI AND GARZELLI (BUT SHALL WE SE A SPRINT BETWEEN TWO TEAMMATES OR GARZELLI LET BETTINI WIN ?)
5 TO GO - ASCENT OVER - MAPEI'S DUO LEADING BY 10" ON BASSO !!
z 1635 - GARZELLI IMMENSE - STILL WORKING FOR BETTINMI ON THE FINAL PART OF SAINT NICOLAS CLIMB - ONLY BASSO CHASING BUT STILL FAR BEHIND THEM
GARZELLI AND BETTINI ATTACK AND DROP EVRYONE - GARZELLI WORKING HARD FOR HIS CAPTAIN
1631- LEADERS ON SAINT NICOLAS ASCENT NOW !!
7 TO GO - 1'13" the gap. Again the leaders nams: Bettini (Mapei) Garzelli (Mapei) Basso (Fassa) Codol (Lampre) Kessler (Telekom) Celestino (Saeco) - 5 Italians, 1 German. Mechanical diffs for Astarloa.
1629 - The 6 leaders now in the outskirts of Liege - some 10 km. to go...
1626 - Some 12 Km. to go - and 5 to the (likely) decisive 800-mt. long Saint Nicolas ascent. A Rabobank rider crashed...
1624 - 58" the Leaders advantage on the chasers - seems the race is going to end in a 5 Italians vs. Kessler duel ...
1623 - Boogerd Rebellin Casagrande and Evans at the front of the chasing group which is 1' down. But none of them really seems to believe they can't catch the 6 leaders. About 15 kms. to go, the last ascent (apart from the usual, very final one inside the St. Nicholas area in Liège city) is over ...
1621 - Leading Peloton on the final part of the final ascent. Still Garzelli leading the leaders, with fellow Italian (and Lombard) Basso in second place.
1619 - Spezialetti dropped on the last ascent - leading group reduced to 6 riders (5 Italians plus Telekom's Kessler) with Garzelli still doing the lion's share of the work
1617 - Garzelli riding temp at the front - the lead is now heading towards one minute ...
1616 - Leaders tackling the last acent (Cote du Sart-Tillmann Tilff) about 17 km. to go
1613 - 21 km. to - Armstrong now in prson leading the chase of his group, that is 45" down, but doesn't get much help... still 7 MEN (6 ITALIANS) in the lead - Bettini, Garzelli, Codol, Basso, Kessler, Celestino and Spezialetti.
1612 22 kms. to go - a third grouop, led by Euskaltel (and likely including Armstrong), is some 30" behind the leaders.
1609 - Astarloa and Sorensen get away from the chasing bunch and Sorensen starts his own chase (Astarloa not working as he had two teammates in the leading group) - 15" the lead now. No agreement among the other chasers.
1607 - HINCAPIE ONLY POSTIE IN THE CHASING GROUP, BUT THER'S NO BIG COLLABORATION THERE (UNLIKE IN THE LEADING GROUP). THE GAP IS 14" NOW. ALSO CASAGRANDE AND MERCKX ARE AMONG THE CHASERS
1606 - FREIRE - DI LUCA - HINCAPIE and VAN PETEGEM are part of the 15-strong chasing group, baout 100 metres behind the leaders. Frigo struggling after suffering on the Redoute.
1603 - BETTINI attacked using a 53x19 gear on Cote de Sprimont but was soon reeled in by the other leaders
1601 - riders on the penultimate ascent (Cote de Sprimont) BETTINI ATTACKS !!!!!
1600 - USPS riders now leading the main peloton. But still 7 Men in the lead with a small pack including Boogerd Rebellin Moreau Vinokourov and Bruytlands (and others) chasin' 12" down.
1558 - The 7 leaders have a 13" lead only over the chasing group including Boogerd and Rebellin (30 km. to go, on the way to Cote du Sprimont)
1557 - 7 leaders now (6 Italians!) Bettini, Garzelli, Codol, Basso, Kessler Celestino and Spezialetti.
1555 - Leading peloton splintered on the Redoute climb, but 20" behind them a Boogerd-led group is chasing hard
1552 - 4 Italians Garzelli Basso Spezialetti Bettini - leading the bunch on the steepest part of the "Redoute" Climb
1550 - 36 KM. TO GO leading group on the Redoute ascent now - peloton 25" down on the leaders
1549 - Salanson's break definitively over - time for the leading peloton to start the redoute climb (decisive one ??)
1547 - Hi Everyone and Thanks to pod for the great work he has done so far, time for me to cover final part of the race with some 40 km. to go and the riders who are about to tackle the redoute climb, the hardest "cote" of the race
15.45 MESSAGE FROM FABIO - RAI LIVE BROADCAST OF THE RACE JUST BEGUN - MY LIVE TICKER IS ABOUT TO START AND REPLACE POD'S IN A MINUTE - STAY TUNED !!
15.40 the lead group is a danerous one and the USPostal lead the chase - Bettini, Garzelli, Codol, Bolts, Moreau, Basso are in the chasing group while brave Salansons lead is dropping very quickly - down to around two minutes
15.35 with around 52 kilometres to the finish the peloton is starting to get more active Codol and Garzelli have just launched an attack - they reach Bolts as do around ten other riders
Salanson was born in Montereau on 11-17-1979 he has been a professional for three years with the Bonjour team - winning a stage Tour de l'Avenir in his first season - he has now been on the front for nearly 200 kilometres and still has a lead of around 4 minutes.
15.20 Salanson is now on the cote de la Vecquee while just after the feed Udo Bolts puts in an attack
15.15Salanson is still 6.20 minutes ahead of the peloton while Buxhofer and Menchov have only around ten seconds on the peloton
The attack is short lived - and the peloton regroups with Postal and Fassa at the front Buxhofer has escaped the main peloton and is joined by Menchov (BAN) - Kloden has now been cayght by the bunch - while Verbrugghe is chasing to get back on after crash
VandeVelde is also in the attacking group while Salansons lead drops to around the six minute mark
14.55 finally an attack from the peloton ! Gert Veryehen (Rabobank). David Clinger(US Postal), Julich(Telkom), Peron and Haselbaker.
14 .45 Fassa now take up the chase 76 kilometres to go the lead for Salanson is now down to around 7.30
14.35 Salanson has now left Kloden behind on the Cote de Wannernaval (1,4 km @ 10,7%)
14.30 Kloden and Salanson have passed the monument to Eddy Merckx while still around 10 minutes down the peloton reach the cote de Stockeu led by Lotto, Fassa and Postal
14.20 the two leaders Kloden and Salanson are now on the cote de Stockeu 2,5 km long with an incline of 9,6% Kloden loses contact on the climb but rejoins his co-escapee once they are over the top - 90 kilometres to go
14.15 The two leaders are over the top of the Côte Saint - Roch their lead is down to around the ten minute mark
14.00 127 km to go Fabrice Salanson and Andreas Kloden have averaged 40.8kph for the opening three hours of today's race, but now their lead is starting to fall - it is now hovering around the 12 minute mark as the race starts to become more intense.
13.30The UCI carried out blood tests on 39 riders from six teams -- Crédit Agricole, Lotto-Adecco, Euskaltel, ONCE, Mercatone Uno and Landbouwkrediet-Colnago -- happily all riders were clear to ride in today's race and so 197 riders started the race this morning
13.20 -150 km to go Fabrice Salanson and Andreas Kloden lead is now at 17.30 on a peloton enjoying the sunshine - the weather which was a concern to many riders is unusually pleasant - which bodes well for the likes of Davide Rebellin who is not so happy in the cold and wet
13.10 last years winner Oscar Camenzind is not riding today - his new team the Phonak Hearing Systems specialise in making hearing aids. They have also apparently developed a new race radio system that incorporates the riders' sunglasses!
The Mapei team trained over the last 100 kilometres of the course on Friday - “We chose this part of the race – explains Paolo Bettini winner of 2000 edition of the Liege – as this is where the race explodes. By now I already know the route of the race, but it is always a good idea to refresh one’s mind. This year the Sprimont section has been changed slightly in that we will be using a secondary road for this part”.
12.50 - 160 km to go - the two leaders are now in Bastogne - their lead has dropped slightly to 19.50 - it is worth remembering exactly how leg sapping the climbs still to face the riders are the côte de la Redoute,for example is 240 meters of climbing with an average grade of 7.6 per cent as it ascends out of the Amblève valley
12.30 - Bartoli was disappointed about his final position in the Fleche on wednesday - but more confident about his chances today - the main dangermen in his opinion are "Michael Boogerd, David Etxebarria, Dario Frigo and Paolo Bettini. Do not forget Armstrong. If Lance has decided to ride here it is because he thinks he can win." The two leaders still have a massive lead but speed of the peloton is starting to increase
In the history of the race only five men have won La Doyenne and the Fleche Wallonne in the same season they are -
1951 Ferdi Kübler
1952 Ferdi Kübler
1955 Stan Ockers
1972 Eddy Merckx
1991 Moreno Argentin
So Mario Aerts will be in great company if he can win today's race - the breakaway by Salanson and Klöden reminds me of last year when Marc Streel (Collstrop) gained a similar advantage.
12.15 the two leaders, Salanson and Klöden reach the top of the Saint-Roch climb, they have a huge lead of 22 minutes over the peloton - interestingly in yesterday's Spainish press Oscar Freire was discussing the prospects of moving to a Spanish team next season and his chances in the race. He does not think he has too good a chance and considers Lance Armstrong to be the main favourite
As the leaders pass through Stoumont it is worth recalling the principal challenges of the 260 kilometre race. This of course lies in the endless hills, after a gentle uphill ride through the Ardennes they face the first real climb at 70 kilometres at Saint Roch, the real action begins at Cote de Wanne at around 150 kilometres, from there on in the succession of hills including the Côte de Stockeu, Côte du Rosier and Côte de la Vecquée gradually have there effect on the peloton. The Côte de la Redoute is neither the longest or steepest but it has the biggest reputation - however it is the rider first over the top of the final climb the Côte de Saint-Nicolas who has the best chance of winning.
Remember to hit F5 button to refresh - and that Fabio will be along shortly with his exclusive commentory.
10.00 welcome to the Daily Peloton‘s coverage of the classic of classics: Liège - Bastogne - Liège - La Doyenne.
Liege Bastogne Liege has always been dependent on the weather. And such is the nature of the Ardennes the weather at this time of year can change very quickly. It should continue to be a sunny but cold day. Weather: Temperatures for the day are forecast at between 0 and 19 Centigrade.
It will be a race of the hard men. The weather could quite easily change - Indurain, a rider who could not ride in the cold never won the race - but showed his natural affinity to the course when he rode everyone but Johann Bruyneel off his wheel over essentially the same course in the 1995 Tour.
The most successful US rider in the race has, of course, been Lance Armstrong - these are his best two performances -
1994 Evgeni Berzin (RUS), Lance Armstrong (USA), Giorgio Furlan (ITA)
1996 Pascal Richard (SWI), Lance Armstrong (USA), Mauro Gianetti (SWI)
In addition he is the only USA rider to win the occasional title of weekend winner - that is best placings in Liege Bastogne Liege and Fleche Wallonne.
With large crowds at the Place St. Lambert in the centre of Liège to see the start of the race, we can normally expect to see a rider from one of the lesser teams try for a suicidal lone effort in order to gain publicity for his team - early on in the race.
Well it is Fabrice Salanson (Bonjour) who is first off down the road who is joined by Andreas Klöden (Telekom) - the pair have quickly gained two minutes on the peloton.