The Spring Classics season ends tomorrow (Sunday April 27) with arguably the most prestigious of all the early season races, Liege-Bastogne-Liege – and you can watch it live on television.
La Doyenne will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year and its relentlessly hilly parcours will shred the hopes of many and make heroes of the handful of riders who arrive in Liege to contest victory, as it has done for a century. You can read our in-depth preview here.
Ireland’s Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) won in a shoot out with Purito last year, seeing off the challenge of world number one, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), while fending off the attentions of a giant panda.
This year, however, the Birmingham-born nephew of Triple Crown winner, Stephen Roche, will face challenges from some of the peloton’s best and best-known riders, many of whom have hit top form.
Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing), winner of the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday, and Movistar captain, Alejandro Valverde, who added a second career victory at La Flèche Wallonne to his palmares on Wednesday, will be among those hoping to dethrone him.
Young Polish sensation, Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), second at La Flèche, and fifth at Amstel, will be hoping to seal his first Ardennes Classics campaign as team leader with a win.
The 23-year-old revealed that he had ridden 65km of the route with his team as a recee, and felt recovered from his exertions in the opening two fixtures of Ardennes Week.
“I’m looking forward to Sunday,” he said of race he has already contested twice, but faded in the closing stages. “At 30 or 40 kilometers to go I was suffering all the time. But this year, I hope it will be different. I recovered well. I took the right preparation going into the Ardennes Classics and it helps me to be in shape for this race. I felt good today and hopefully I will feel better on Sunday.”
Kiwatkowski will be backed by a formidable line-up, including Tour de France stage winner and perennial attacker, Jan Bakelants, three-time and reigning world time trial champion, Tony Martin, and Wout Poels, who added a stage of the Tour of the Basque Country to his palmares earlier this month.
Britain’s Team Sky is another of the peloton’s ‘super teams’ to field a formidable line-up, one that will include Tour de France champion, Chris Froome. The Kenyan-born Brit will return to competitive action for the first time since the Volta a Catalunya in March after suffering an enforced lay-off to recover from a back injury. His chief lieutenant at the Tour de France, Richie Porte, will also return to action after seeing his early-season campaign blighted by illness to a degree that he will no longer lead Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia, as intended.
You can watch all of the action live on television and catch highlights packages in the hours following. And don’t forget to check RoadCyclingUK.com for a full report of all the action, galleries of stunning, full-width images from official UCI WorldTour photographer, Stefano Sirotti, and detailed post-race analysis.
British Eurosport – 1pm
Monday April 28
British Eurosport – 10am
British Eurosport 2 – 2am, 8am, 1pm