Alejandro Valverde, to say goodbye in a big way in 'his' Liège: the loss of Pogacar opens the range of favorites

Llow at the last minute Tadej Pogacar offers even more chances of victory to Alexander Valverde, who faces his last partition in Liège-Bastogne-Liège ultra-motivated. The Slovenian, champion in the previous edition, announced yesterday on social networks that he would not start today due to a family problem.

“Sadly, I won’t be able to be”, published the double winner of the Tour de France, who aspired to repeat victory in the 108th edition of the dean of the classics. His position in the UAE will be filled by McNulty. In the Belgian race, of 257.2 km with start and finish in Liège, Valverde will seek his fifth victory against the Van Aert, Alaphilippe, Daniel Felipe Martínez, Vlasov, Evenepoel, Teuns and company. As for the Spaniards, Landa and Izagirre will also seek to be protagonists in what should be the great Bala party, which last year climbed on the podium and has just finished second in the Flecha Wallona.

A demanding journey

La Liège presents this year a route of 257.1 kilometers, with few differences compared to last year; the main one, will not climb the Côte des Forges, which in 2021 was located between La Redoute and La Roche-aux-Faucons. There were some offensives, but this 2022 will be different. They will face 10 levels, 8 of them located in the last 90 km. In that final zone where the race would be said, the Cóte de Mont-le Soi (1.7 km at 7.9%), Wanne (3.6 km at 5.1%), Stockeu (1 km at 12.5 %) and La Haute-Levée (2.2 km at 7.5%).

Before reaching the finish line, it is also Rosier (4.4 km at 5.9%) and Desnié (1.6 km at 8.1%), before the famous La Redoute (2.1 km at 8.9%, with maximum gradients of 13%) and La Roche-aux-Faucons (1.3 km at 11%). There he will finish deciding a demanding race that aims to be the last for ‘aLIEJAndro’, as they titled it on his team’s website. And, beyond the play on words, it will be nice to see Bala once again at the heights that have made him one of the best classics of all time.

a hopeful ending

It is not the end, Ans, where he won four times, but already in 2021 he showed that he is still capable of fighting among the greatest in current cycling. In the women’s event that is also held today, Van Vleuten faced the Vollering, Longo Borguini, Cavalli, Mavi and company on a 142.1km track. It will be another magical Sunday for cycling.

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