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Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2018 odds

Who wins Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2018?

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Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2018

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege (known as 'La Doyenne') is a one day UCI World Tour professional cycling race, taking place on the 22nd April 2018. It is the oldest of the five ‘Monuments’, and one of the three Classics races that take place in the Ardennes. As the name suggests, the one day race begins in Liege and takes the riders to Bastogne and back, along a 258 km route. In it’s 104th year, the race includes eleven of the famous Ardennes hills and is characterised by some tough climbs and a final 1 km at a 5% climb.

The 2018 route

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege route is a fairly straightforward affair between Liege to Bastogne. The cyclists will have to go via Cote de Bonnevue, with Cote de Mont-le-Soie testing the peloton on the way back. Additional climbs of note include Pont, Bellevauxand Ferme Libert, La Redoute, Roche-aux-Faucons and Saint-Nicolas.

The start of the route is relatively flat, with the first real climb (Cote de Bonneure) coming around 70 km in. 30 km later, the riders will reach Bastogne and begin a much harder journey back to Liege. The onslaught of the Ardennes hills begins with the Cote de Saint-Roch - a 1 km climb at 11%. After 152 km of racing, the cyclists will then ascend Cote de Mont-le-Soie. 

The next section providers a real test for the riders. Within a short 12 km period, they will climb the Cote du Pont, Cote de Bellevaux and Cote de la Ferme Libert. This is followed by the ascent of Col du Rosier - the longest climb of the day.

The route then sees the riders continue to take on the iconic Col de la Redoute. The 2 km climb has an average gradient of 9% and is 13% at its steepest. The peloton will then tackle the final few climbs before the final 5 km starts with a quick descent. However, the race comes to a head with the final 1.5 km going up a tough 5% climb to the finish.

The race for the title

The current title holder is Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who beat Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) in a sprint for the line. Joining them on the podium was Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky). Valverde continued his fine form last year, having already won the mid-week La Fleche Wallonne.

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege is deemed a tough one-day race because of the numerous steep climbs to the finish. Because of the climbs, which vary in length, gradient and difficulty, there are plenty of opportunities for aggressive cycling moves. Therefore, the race favours those who are good climbers and punchers.

In the 2018 race, the UCI World Tour teams will be out in force as they can bring eight riders each. They will be joined by seven guest teams. Favourites will include Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing), Mikel Landa (Movistar), Rigoberto Uran (Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale), Fabio Aru (UAE-Team Emirates) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).