On Sunday, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka lines up for Liège-Bastogne-Liège with a strong and determined team, eager to take on the last of the Ardennes Classics.
The race starts out in Liège at 10:10 local time. From here, 258 km awaits the peloton. The terrain is very lumpy with constant hills and descents. Ten of the climbs are categorized but there are just as many that aren’t. This year, the organizers have introduced three new ascents, Côte de Pont, Côte de Bellevaux and Côte de la Ferme Libert, which come one right after each other within 12 km of racing in the last third of the race. The classics hills like Côte de la Redoute and Côte de La Roche-aux-Faucon are still on the menu before the final categorized climb of the day, Côte de Saint-Nicolas appears with just about 5 km left to go.
The final stretch towards the line is an uphill drag, which serves as the last chance to attack before the riders turn left and it’s flat for the remaining 250 meters. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka sends a team of climbers to Liège-Bastogne-Liège, aiming to finish off the Ardennes Classics with a strong result.
Lineup: Igor Antón, Serge Pauwels, Nathan Haas, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Jaco Venter, Omar Fraile, Mekseb Debesay and Ben O’Connor.
Oli Cookson – sports director:
“With the three new climbs, I think the selection will happen earlier this year so it will be important to be in a good position already at that point in order to save energy. Igor [Antón] is going very well at the moment and obviously, Nathan [Haas] was good last weekend. Unfortunately, Nathan and Serge [Pauwels] have since suffered a bit from a cold and we are doing what we can to help them recover from that. Our main plan is to look after Igor, Omar [Fraile], Nathan and Serge and then, once the real selection starts to get made towards the end of the race, we need to follow the top favorites and go for the best result possible”.