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Liège–Bastogne–Liège

Liège–Bastogne–Liège
Race details
Date Late April
Region Wallonia
Belgium, Ardennes
English name Liège–Bastogne–Liège
Local name(s) Liège–Bastogne–Liège (French)
Nickname(s) La Doyenne ("The Oldest")
Discipline Road race
Competition UCI World Tour
Type One-day Classic
Organiser Amaury Sport Organisation
Race director Christian Prudhomme
History
First edition 1892 (1892)
Editions 101 (as of 2015)
First winner  Léon Houa (BEL)
Most wins  Eddy Merckx (BEL)
(5 wins)
Most recent  Alejandro Valverde (ESP)

Liège–Bastogne–Liège, often called La Doyenne ("The Oldest"),[1][2][3][4] is one of the five Monuments of the European professional road cycling calendar.[5] It is run in the Ardennes region of Belgium, from Liège to Bastogne and back.

Liège–Bastogne–Liège is part of the Amaury Sport Organisation.

Contents

  • History 1
    • Spa-Bastogne-Spa 1.1
    • Ardennes Classic 1.2
    • Finish in Ans 1.3
  • Route 2
    • Climbs 2.1
  • Race characteristics 3
    • Demands 3.1
    • Weather 3.2
      • The 1980 race 3.2.1
  • The Ardennes Classics 4
  • Winners 5
    • Multiple winners 5.1
    • Winners by nationality 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

Spa-Bastogne-Spa

Like many of cycling's classics, Liège–Bastogne–Liège was first organized by a newspaper (L'Expresse). Because the paper was published in French, aimed at a French-Belgian audience, the route has always stayed in the southern, French-speaking part of Belgium.[6]

The race had its first running for amateurs in 1892, from Spa to Bastogne and back, over a 250 km distance.[2] As bicycles were expensive in the late 19th century, cycling was considered an exclusive sport for the wealthy, and the event was considered a "gentlemen's affair". 33 riders from the Liège cycling union and the Pesant Club Liégois, all Belgians and most of them from Liège, took the start. Only 17 finished. The course halfway turn point was the train station in Bastogne, chosen because of its convenience for race officials. Some tired riders abandoned the race in Bastogne and took the train back to Spa.[6] Léon Houa, a Liège native, won the race after 10 hours and 48 minutes on the bike. The second-place finisher, Léon Lhoest, came in at 22 minutes, the third, Louis Rasquinet, at 44 minutes.[7] Riders kept arriving for another five hours.

Houa won again the next year, over the same course, this time by a margin of a half hour. In 1894 the first race for professionals was held, and the average speed rose from 23.3 km/h (14.5 mph) to 25 km/h (16 mph). Houa concluded his third win, by seven minutes over Rasquinet. Frenchman Maurice Garin, who would later become the first winner of the Tour de France, finished fourth. After the inaugural three editions, the race was not organized for another 14 years, after which it was sometimes open only to amateurs and semi-professionals.

The race was resumed in 1908, with a start and finish in Liège for the first time. It was won by Frenchman André Trousselier. In 1909 the winner, Eugène Charlier, was disqualified because he had changed bikes. Victor Fastre was declared winner.[7] The event was cancelled during World War I but resumed in 1919. The race was mainly won by Belgians, but started to attract more riders from Flanders, the bike-crazed northern part of Belgium, who began to dominate the event. Fleming Alfons Schepers gained three victories in the Interwar period.

Ardennes Classic

Liège–Bastogne–Liège had some interruptions during World War II, but was again a calendar-fixture as from 1945 and began to attract some of the stars of European cycling. In 1951 the race was added to the Challenge Desgrange-Colombo, the competition that combined cycling's greatest races at the time. Swiss Ferdi Kübler won the race in 1951 and 1952. Belgian favourite Raymond Impanis became the race's eternal runner-up, with four second places but never a victory.

In the late 1950s Fred De Bruyne won the race three times in his first three participations, equalling the former record of Houa and Schepers. In 1957 two riders were declared winner. Germain Derijcke was first over the finish line, but he had crossed a closed trainrail crossing. Derijcke had won by a three-minute lead and judges felt he had not gained that much time from illegally crossing the railway, thereby not disqualifying him. Officials compromised to promote second-place rider Frans Schoubben to first as well.[8] In 1959 Liège–Bastogne–Liège became part of the Super Prestige, successor of the Desgrange-Colombo competition and early precursor of the UCI World Tour, making the Ardennes Classic one of the main cycling events of the year.

Record winner Eddy Merckx won Liège–Bastogne–Liège five times

In 1969 began the era of cycling icon

  • Official website
  • Palmares at Cycling Archives

External links

  1. ^ "Tour de France 2015". Tour de France 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Cycling Weekly, UK, 13 March 1993
  3. ^ Cycling Weekly, UK, 7 March 1992
  4. ^ "Spring Classics: How to win cycling's hardest one-day races". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  5. ^ The title "monument" has no official significance; it is often used by the French daily, L'Équipe, to indicate a race's unchanging place on the calendar but the term has become more widespread because of television commentaries, especially in the USA
  6. ^ a b Cycling Weekly, UK, 13 April 2002
  7. ^ a b "Liège-Bastogne-Liège". Bike Race Info. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c Procycling, UK, May 2000
  9. ^ "1971 Liège-Bastogne-Liège". bikeraceinfo.com. 
  10. ^ "Liège-Bastogne-Liège's cold memories". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  11. ^ "Liège favorite du Tour 2004". lesoir.be. 20 April 2002. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  12. ^ Fabien, Wille (2003). Le Tour de France : un modèle médiatique. Presses universitaires du Septentrion.  
  13. ^ "www.cyclingnews.com presents the Luik-Bastenaken-Luik 1999". cyclingnews.com. 
  14. ^ Hedwig Kröner (24 April 2005). "Vino the Vainqueur". Cycling News. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "sporza video: 2005: Aleksander Vinokoerov". sporza. 
  16. ^ "Schleck takes impressive Liege win".  
  17. ^ MacLeary, John (2010-04-25). "Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2010: Alexander Vinokourov back on summit with Belgian win".  
  18. ^ "Archives - L'illustré". illustre.ch. 
  19. ^ "Vinokourov and Kolobnev charged with bribery". VeloNews.com. 
  20. ^ "Liège-Bastogne-Liège change de visage, délaisse Stockeu et aborde de nouvelles côtes". 24 February 1990. 
  21. ^ "Liège — Bastogne — Liège: The route 2009". letour.com. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  22. ^ Procycling, UK, March 2001
  23. ^ Brecht Decaluwé. "Gilbert nets historic quadruple in Liège-Bastogne-Liège". Cyclingnews.com. 

References

Wins Country
59  Belgium
12  Italy
6   Switzerland
5  France
3  Netherlands
 Ireland
 Kazakhstan
 Spain
2  Germany
 Luxembourg
1  Denmark
 Russia
 United States
 Australia

There have been 101 editions as of 2015.

Winners by nationality

Wins Rider Country Years
5 Eddy Merckx  Belgium 1969, 1971–1973, 1975
4 Moreno Argentin  Italy 1985–1987, 1991
3 Léon Houa  Belgium 1892–1894
Alfons Schepers  Belgium 1929, 1931, 1935
Fred De Bruyne  Belgium 1956, 1958–1959
Alejandro Valverde  Spain 2006, 2008, 2015
2 Louis Mottiat  Belgium 1921–1922
René Vermandel  Belgium 1923–1924
Richard Depoorter  Belgium 1943, 1947
Prosper Depredomme  Belgium 1946, 1950
Ferdi Kübler   Switzerland 1951–1952
Joseph Bruyère  Belgium 1976, 1978
Bernard Hinault  France 1977, 1980
Seán Kelly  Ireland 1984, 1989
Michele Bartoli  Italy 1997–1998
Paolo Bettini  Italy 2000, 2002
Alexander Vinokourov  Kazakhstan 2005, 2010

Still active riders are in italic.

Multiple winners

Rider Team
1892 Houa, LeonLéon Houa (BEL)
1893 Houa, LeonLéon Houa (BEL)
1894 Houa, LeonLéon Houa (BEL)
1895-
1907
No race
1908 Trousselier, AndreAndré Trousselier (FRA)
1909 Fastre, VictorVictor Fastre (BEL)
1910 No race
1911 Daele, Joseph VanJoseph Van Daele (BEL)
1912 Verschoore, OmerOmer Verschoore (BEL)
1913 Moritz, MauritsMaurits Moritz (BEL)
1914-
1918
No race
1919 Devos, LéonLéon Devos (BEL)
1920 Scieur, LeonLéon Scieur (BEL) La Sportive
1921 Mottiat, LouisLouis Mottiat (BEL) La Sportive
1922 Mottiat, LouisLouis Mottiat (BEL) Alcyon
1923 Vermandel, ReneRené Vermandel (BEL) Alcyon
1924 Vermandel, ReneRené Vermandel (BEL) Alcyon
1925 Ronsse, Georges)BEL(
1926 Smets, DieudonneDieudonné Smets (BEL)
1927 Raes, MauriceMaurice Raes (BEL)
1928 Mottard, ErnestErnest Mottard (BEL)
1929 Schepers, AlfonsAlfons Schepers (BEL)
1930 Buse, HermannHermann Buse (GER) Duerkopp
1931 Schepers, AlfonsAlfons Schepers (BEL) La Francaise
1932 Houyoux, MarcelMarcel Houyoux (BEL)
1933 Gardier, FrancoisFrançois Gardier (BEL) Cycles De Pas
1934 Herckenrath, TheoTheo Herckenrath (BEL) La Francaise
1935 Schepers, AlfonsAlfons Schepers (BEL) Dilecta
1936 Beckaert, AlbertAlbert Beckaert (BEL) Alcyon
1937 Meulenberg, EloiEloi Meulenberg (BEL) Alcyon
1938 Deloor, AlfonsAlfons Deloor (BEL) Helyett
1939 Ritserveldt, AlbertAlbert Ritserveldt (BEL) Dilecta-De Dion
1940-
1942
No race
1943 Depoorter, RichardRichard Depoorter (BEL) Helyett
1944 No race
1945 Engels, JeanJean Engels (BEL) Alcyon
1946 Depredomme, ProsperProsper Depredomme (BEL) Dilecta-Wolber-Garin
1947 Depoorter, RichardRichard Depoorter (BEL) Garin-Wolber
1948 Mollin, MauriceMaurice Mollin (BEL) Mercier-Hutchinson
1949 Danguillaume, CamilleCamille Danguillaume (FRA) Peugeot-Dunlop
1950 Depredomme, ProsperProsper Depredomme (BEL) Girardengo-Garin
1951 Kübler, FerdinandFerdinand Kübler (SUI) Frejus-Fiorelli-Tebag
1952 Kübler, FerdinandFerdinand Kübler (SUI) Frejus-Tebag
1953 Hertog, Alois DeAlois De Hertog (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1954 Ernzer, MarcelMarcel Ernzer (LUX) Terrot-Hutchinson
1955 Ockers, StanStan Ockers (BEL) Elvé-Peugeot
1956 Bruyne, Fred DeFred De Bruyne (BEL) Mercier-BP-Hutchinson
1957 Schoubben, FransFrans Schoubben (BEL) (victory shared with Derycke, GermainGermain Derycke) Elvé-Peugeot
1957 Derycke, GermainGermain Derycke (BEL) (victory shared with Schoubben, FransFrans Schoubben) Faema-Guerra
1958 Bruyne, Fred DeFred De Bruyne (BEL) Carpano
1959 Bruyne, Fred DeFred De Bruyne (BEL) Carpano
1960 Geldermans, AlbertusAlbertus Geldermans (NED) St.Raphael
1961 Looy, Rik VanRik Van Looy (BEL) Faema
1962 Planckaert, JefJef Planckaert (BEL) Flandria-Faema-Clement
1963 Melckenbeeck, FransFrans Melckenbeeck (BEL) Mercier-BP-Hutchinson
1964 Blocklandt, WillyWilly Blocklandt (BEL) Flandria-Romero
1965 Preziosi, CarmineCarmine Preziosi (ITA) Pelforth-Sauvage-Lejeune
1966 Anquetil, JacquesJacques Anquetil (FRA) Ford Hutchinson
1967 Godefroot, WalterWalter Godefroot (BEL) Flandria-De Clerck
1968 Sweevelt, Valere VanValere Van Sweevelt (BEL) Smiths
1969 Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Faema
1970 De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL) Flandria-Mars
1971 Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1972 Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1973 Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1974 Pintens, Georges)BEL( MIC-De Gribaldy-Ludo
1975 Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni-Campagnolo
1976 Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyère (BEL) Molteni-Campagnolo
1977 Hinault, BernardBernard Hinault (FRA) Gitane-Campagnolo
1978 Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyère (BEL) C&A
1979 Thurau, DietrichDietrich Thurau (GER) IJsboerke-Warncke Eis
1980 Hinault, BernardBernard Hinault (FRA) Renault-Elf-Gitane
1981 Fuchs, JosefJosef Fuchs (SUI) Cilo-Aufina
1982 Contini, SilvanoSilvano Contini (ITA) Bianchi-Piaggio
1983 Rooks, StevenSteven Rooks (NED) Sem-France Loire
1984 Kelly, SeanSean Kelly (IRL) Skil-Sem-Reydell
1985 Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Sammontana-Bianchi
1986 Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Sammontana-Bianchi
1987 Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Gewiss-Bianchi
1988 Poel, Adri van derAdri van der Poel (NED) PDM-Concorde
1989 Kelly, SeanSean Kelly (IRL) PDM-Concorde
1990 Lancker, Eric VanEric Van Lancker (BEL) Panasonic-Sportlife
1991 Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Ariostea
1992 Wolf, Dirk DeDirk De Wolf (BEL) Gatorade-Chateau d'Ax
1993 Sorensen, RolfRolf Sørensen (DEN) Carrera Jeans-Tassoni
1994 Berzin, EugeniEugeni Berzin (RUS) Gewiss-Ballan
1995 Gianetti, MauroMauro Gianetti (SUI) Polti-Granarolo-Santini
1996 Richard, PascalPascal Richard (SUI) MG Maglificio-Technogym
1997 Bartoli, MicheleMichele Bartoli (ITA) MG Maglificio-Technogym
1998 Bartoli, MicheleMichele Bartoli (ITA) Asics-CGA
1999 Vandenbroucke, FrankFrank Vandenbroucke (BEL) Cofidis
2000 Bettini, PaoloPaolo Bettini (ITA) Mapei-Quick Step
2001 Camenzind, OscarOscar Camenzind (SUI) Lampre-Daikin
2002 Bettini, PaoloPaolo Bettini (ITA) Mapei-Quick Step
2003 Hamilton, TylerTyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC
2004 Rebellin, DavideDavide Rebellin (ITA) Gerolsteiner
2005 Vinokourov, AlexandreAlexandre Vinokourov (KAZ) T-Mobile Team
2006 Valverde, AlejandroAlejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears
2007 Di Luca, DaniloDanilo Di Luca (ITA) Liquigas
2008 Valverde, AlejandroAlejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne
2009 Schleck, AndyAndy Schleck (LUX) Team Saxo Bank
2010 Vinokourov, AlexandreAlexandre Vinokourov (KAZ) Astana
2011 Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Omega Pharma-Lotto
2012 Iglinsky, MaximMaxim Iglinsky (KAZ) Astana
2013 Martin, DanDan Martin (IRL) Garmin-Sharp
2014 Gerrans, SimonSimon Gerrans (AUS) Orica-GreenEDGE
2015 Valverde, AlejandroAlejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team

Winners

In 2011 Belgian Philippe Gilbert won Liège–Bastogne–Liège, completing a unique streak of classics victories in a span of ten days. Gilbert had previously won the Brabantse Pijl, Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne, thus achieving a historic quadruple of victories in the hilly classics of April. Gilbert beat Luxembourg brothers Fränck and Andy Schleck in a sprint of three.[23]

Only seven riders have won both races in the same year: Swiss Ferdi Kübler twice (in 1951 and 1952), Spaniard Alejandro Valverde twice (2006 & 2015), Belgians Stan Ockers (1955), Eddy Merckx (1972), and Philippe Gilbert (2011) and Italians Moreno Argentin (1991) and Davide Rebellin (2004).

The Flèche Wallonne ("Walloon Arrow"), although younger than Liège–Bastogne–Liège, was longtime considered the more prestigious event of the two Ardennes Classics, showing how prestige and importance of a race can sometimes change over time. At one time, Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège were run on successive days known as Le Weekend Ardennais, with Liège–Bastogne–Liège organized on Saturday and the Flèche Wallonne on Sunday.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the concluding race of the ASO.

The Ardennes Classics

Bernard Hinault, the winner, was one of just 21 riders to finish the race of 174 starters. It took three weeks for proper movement to return to two fingers of his right hand.[8]

A cold wind that blew across Belgium brought snow flakes and then a heavy fall within moments of the race starting. (...) Riders struggled on, with hands to faces to keep a view of the road. The race was an anonymous mass of plastic jackets and windcheaters. Spectators stood in goggles like upmarket snowmen, red-faced in the bitterness. Within the hour some teams had barely a man left on the road. They pulled out two dozen at a time, men like Gibi Baronchelli and Giuseppe Saronni, Lucien Van Impe and Jean-René Bernaudeau.[8]

A feature published by the British magazine, Procycling in 2000, described the infamous race:

The edition of 1980 was exceptionally hard: snow fell from the start and temperatures were near freazing point, leading commentators to call it 'Neige-Bastogne-Neige' (Snow-Bastogne-Snow). Bernard Hinault attacked with 80 km (50 mi) to go and finished nearly 10 minutes ahead.

The 1980 race

The weather in April is often unpredictable and the race has repeatedly been affected by harsh weather conditions. In 1919, 1957 and 1980 there was severe snowfall.

Weather

Liège is a race of trial by elimination, where it's very unlikely that a breakaway can go clear and decide the race before the final 100 km [62 mi]. You need to be strong and at the same time clever and calculating — in this sense it's a complete test of a cyclist's ability.[22]
Riders who win in Liège are what we call fondisti - men with a superior level of stamina. [The climb of] La Redoute is like the Mur de Huy in that it has to be tackled at pace, from the front of the peloton. The gradient is about 14 or 15 per cent, and it comes after 220 or 230 kilometers, so you don't have to be a genius to work out how tough it is. I remember that we used to go up with a maximum of 39 x 21 - it's not quite as steep as the Mur de Huy. A lot of riders mistakenly think you should attack on the hardest part, but in reality you hurt people on the slightly flatter section that comes after this.
Profile of the 2012 edition

Moreno Argentin said:

Liège–Bastogne–Liège is one of the most arduous one-day races in the world because of its length and succession of steep climbs. The British magazine Cycling Weekly stated: "In purely physical terms, this is probably the toughest classic: the climbs are long, most of them are pretty steep as well, and they come up with depressing frequency in the final kilometers.[2]

Demands

Race characteristics

(Climbs in Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2009)

km mark Name Distance Slope
57.7 Côte de Ny' 1.8 km 5.7%
82.0 Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne 2.8 km 4.9%
128.0 Côte de Saint-Roch 0.8 km 12.0%
172.0 Côte de Wanne 2.7 km 7.0%
178.5 Côte de Stockeu 1.1 km 10.5%
184.0 Côte de la Haute-Levée 3.4 km 6.0%
196.5 Côte du Rosier 4.0 km 5.9%
209.0 Côte de la Vecquée 3.1 km 5.9%
226.5 Côte de la Redoute 2.1 km 8.4%
241.5 Côte de la Roche aux Faucons 1.5 km 9.9%
255.5 Côte de Saint-Nicolas 1.0 km 11.1%
the foot of the Côte de La Redoute in Aywaille
The climbs in the 2012 edition

Course changes are frequent from year to year. Climbs are sometimes cut or others included. These are the climbs in recent editions:[21]

Climbs

Since 1992 the route usually has some minor changes every year, with some climbs being skipped and others included, but the traditional finale containing the Côte de La Redoute, Roche-aux-Faucons and Saint Nicolas has remained a fixture for the last 25 odd years. In the final 15 km of the race, the course makes a remarkable transition from the meadowy and agrarian landscapes in the Ardennes to the post-industrial scenery of Liège.

As in many cycling races, the decisive stretches have evolved towards the final climbs of the day. The Côte de Saint-Nicolas is the last categorized climb of the race, with the top at 6 km from the finish in Ans. It is a precipitous and atypical climb because it is not part of the forested hills in the Ardennes, but located in the middle of the industrial suburbs of Liège along the Meuse river. Because of the composition of its immigrant population, and the many Italian flags hanging out the windows, Saint-Nicolas is also nicknamed the "Italian hill".

The most famous hill is probably the Côte de La Redoute, the 2.1 km climb in Aywaille at an average gradient of 8.4% with slopes of over 20%. For a long time in the 1980s and 1990s La Redoute, at ca. 40 km from the finish, was the breaking point of the race and often the place where decisive breakaways were launched. In recent years the climb seems to have lost that particular role, as many riders are able to keep up with the pace on the climb and race favourites often wait until the last stages of the race to make a break.

Until 1991 the race finished in Liège's city center, with a flat run-in to the finish. In 1992 the finish moved to the industrial suburb of Ans, on the northwestern side of the city. The steep Côte de Saint Nicolas was added to the final kilometres, along with a final climb to the finish in Ans.[20] This implied profound changes to the character of the race, as climbers with a strong uphill-sprint in recent years often wait until the final stretches to launch their ultimate attack.

The route of Liège–Bastogne–Liège crosses the two eastern Walloon provinces, Liège (province) and Luxembourg, from north to south and back north. Its distance is more or less fixed at 250–260 km. The race starts in the center of Liège, after which the course follows a straightforward 95 km (59 mi) route southwards to Bastogne, and a winding 163 km (101 mi) route back to Liège. The second half contains most of the climbs, such as the Stockeu, Haute-Levée, La Redoute, and Saint-Nicolas before finishing in the Liège suburb of Ans. The many hills offer opportunities to attack.

Map of the 2011 edition

Route

In recent years Spanish allrounder Alejandro Valverde won three times, all three sprint-victories of a select group at the finish. Valverde's third win in 2015 was also his seventh podium finish in La Doyenne, equalizing the total of Eddy Merckx.

Other memorable editions were the races of 2009 and 2010. In 2009 young Luxembourger Andy Schleck produced a solo breakaway to beat a strong field and win the race.[16] In 2010 Alexander Vinokourov concluded his second victory by outsprinting his breakaway companion Alexander Kolobnev.[17] The victory was controversial, not only because Vinokourov had recently returned to cycling after a doping ban, but also because it was suggested he had 'bought' the victory: Swiss magazine L'Illustré published e-mail correspondence between the winner and runner-up that suggests Vinokourov paid Kolobnev €100,000 not to contest the final sprint. Both riders were later charged with bribery by Belgian authorities.[18][19]

In 2005 Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov and German Jens Voigt broke away from the peloton 80 km from the end. Although the escape seemed unlikely to stay away in modern cycling, the two riders made it to the finish ahead of the peloton, with Vinokourov beating Voigt in the sprint.[14][15]

Peloton in Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2007 near Tavigny

In the late 1990s Italians Michele Bartoli and Paolo Bettini continued a tradition of Italian victories in La Doyenne, with two wins each. In 1997 Bartoli and Laurent Jalabert made a decisive breakaway on the climb of La Redoute, 40 km from the finish. Both riders worked together and Bartoli broke away from the Frenchman on the steep slopes in the final kilomter of the race. Jalabert, a specialist of the Ardennes races, finished second two years in a row but failed to win the Doyenne. In 1999 Bartoli sought a third consecutive win, but his effort was thwarted by young Belgian Frank vandenbroucke who controlled the race and stunned followers with his victory.[13]

[12] partnered with the Pesant Club Liégeois In 1990 the

Finish in Ans

In the 1980s, Italian classics specialist Moreno Argentin won the race four times, narrowly missing Merckx' record. Argentin also gained three victories in the sister classic La Flèche Wallonne, earning him the title of King of the Ardennes in his day.

French cycling greatness Bernard Hinault won the race twice, both times in harrowing weather conditions. In 1977 Hinault made a late escape from a six-strong group including a faltering Eddy Merckx; three years later he won the epic contest of 1980 under torrential snowfall (see below).[10]

. La Doyenne sealed his fifth and final victory, making him the sole record-holder of The Cannibal, 15 km from Liège, but because of fans' protest, this was a one-year occasion. The edition was again won by Merckx. In 1975 Verviers In 1972 the finish moved to [9]

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