Why we love Liège-Bastogne-Liège

    Our cobbles squad will tell you that Paris-Roubaix is the hardest one-day race on the WorldTour calendar. The Ardennes crew? They insist Liège is the single day standard. Sunday’s race will likely not settle this argument, but the fourth Monument of the season will inevitably produce an exhilarating race with a worthy winner. What Liège lacks in narrow roads and brutal cobbles, it more than makes up for in climbs. While none are terribly lengthy or fearsome, the sheer volume of climbs produces a relentless route. By the time the race reaches its conclusion in Liège, the peloton will have covered nearly 5000 vertical meters.

    We asked the EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale riders racing Liège on Sunday to tell us what they love about the oldest race on the calendar. They obliged us with their varied responses below.

    Alex Howes:

    “You don’t have the pounding of the cobbles that something like Roubaix or Flanders would have, but just sheer numbers, it’s up there. Every year it blows my mind what the human body can do. Liège is one of then most extreme demonstrations of what the human body is capable of.”

    Pierre Rolland:

    “For me, Liège is the best one-day race. It’s my dream to win this race one time. I’m always excited to ride it. It’s a really different race for me than all the others.”

    Dani Martinez:

    “It’s a very emotional race for me. It’s a classic and a Monument, and I consider it the most important race in Belgium.”

    Kim Magnusson:

    “It’s my first Liège. I don’t really know what to expect, but this is a race I always followed growing up. It means something to me to have a chance to race it.”

    Mike Woods:

    “Liège is a slow burn. I love how it progressively gets harder and harder until it’s a group of hard men. I’m also fascinated by the sense of history.”

    Lawson Craddock:

    “I like Liège because it’s the hardest one-day race on the calendar. At the end of the race, the strongest guy wins. It’s an honest race, and races like that are special.”

    Rigoberto Uran:

    “Any monument is important. This one is special because it’s a classic for the climbers. There are more than 4000 meters of climbing on Sunday. For riders like me, there are not many chances to win a classic. I only have the options in Lombardy and Liège.”

    EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale for 2018 Liège-Bastogne-Liège: 

    Sport Directors:
    Andreas Klier (DEU)
    Tom Southam (GBR)

    Riders:
    Lawson Craddock (USA)
    Alex Howes (USA)
    Kim Magnusson (SWE)
    Daniel Martinez (COL)
    Pierre Rolland (FRA)
    Rigoberto Uran (COL)
    Mike Woods (CAN)