David Etxebarria has been Liberty Seguros-Wurth's best rider in the last two classics, Amstel Gold Race and La Fleche Wallonne, where he finished 14th and 7th, respectively. In tomorrow's Liège-Bastogne-Liège, he is aiming for another consistent result in a race where he has finished second (2000), third (2001) and sixth (2005). But Etxebarria has no problem admitting that his team leader will be Alexander Vinokourov, but he warns that it can give him a tactical advantage because he won't be watched as closely.
"In Amstel I did not have very good sensations, but in La Flèche, finally I had the sensations I was looking for, and I hope that it will be the same tomorrow," said Etxebarria on the eve of La Doyenne. His consistency "makes me happy that it is something good for the team, but my intention is only to do well. I believe that the team will be even better in Liège, and besides, here we will have Vinokourov, who is a clear chance of victory."
"[Liège] is a race good for me, although not always. It's clear that Vino is the strong man of the team and we are going to ride with this aim, but for me also it can be a favourable factor tactically, because he will be watched more, and I will be able to move with more ease."
Etxebarria picks Paolo Bettini as his top favourite. "He has already won here two times, and this week we have seen him in good shape. Then there is Boogerd, who is always on the podium, and finally the Spaniards, with Valverde, if he adapts well to the distance, and Perdiguero, who is also always there."
David Etxebarria's tips for doing well in Liège? "To have tranquility, to see how your rivals look and to wait for your moment. There are key places like La Redoute and Saint Nicholas, but last year the race was done before then. Every year is a different race."