On Saturday the Palais Provincial in Liege became the central point of the cycling world with some of the best riders in the world arriving for the teams' presentation of Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali, Joaquim Rodriguez, Ryder Hesjedal and last year's winner Maxim Iglinskiy all took part in the festivities but with less than 24 hours to go until the start of the final Classic of the spring, the excitement was already rising.
For many teams Liege-Bastogne-Liege represents a last chance saloon for their Classics aspirations. Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Sky and BMC all have a point to prove after missing out on a major Classics win, while Belgium has had a disappointing campaign all-round with their two brightest stars in Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert coming up short.
The latter has one more chance to break his 2013 duck but just like in Fleche Wallonne earlier in the week the world champion will be a marked man.
With a predictively significant course change inside the final third of the race and no single clear favourite for the race, Liege-Bastogne-Liege could be the most open Classic of the season so far.
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