Thirty six years have passed since a French rider last won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the bleak forecast for the Ardennes on Sunday has inevitability dredged up memories of Bernard Hinault’s snowbound 1980 victory.
After finishing second to Alejandro Valverde a year ago, Julian Alaphilippe is viewed as the man most likely to succeed Hinault on the roll of honour, but Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) sets out from Place Saint-Lambert with no less ambition.
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