After a grey and wet morning in Liège, the rain abated and blue sky began to emerge through the clouds as the riders began to arrive for the team presentation of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In the auspicious surroundings of the Palais Provincial, the 25 teams were presented to a packed house. Fans lined the barriers that surrounded the entrance of the presentation tent, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite riders.
Race favourites Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) were swarmed as they made their way to the cobbled courtyard of the Palais. But it was home rider Philippe Gilbert (BMC) that was greeted with the biggest cheer of the day. His participation was still in doubt, and reporters crowded around the team’s two mini-vans waiting to see if he was coming out and what he might say.
Gilbert explained that he is still feeling the pain of his crash at Flèche Wallonne but will ride this Sunday. “I have to start and try, because it is one of my biggest goals of the season and out of respect of the work of the team I have to do my best,” he said.
Also present were former champion Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin), defending champion Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
The race will begin at 10:15 local time on Sunday morning, and you can follow the whole event live on Cyclingnews.
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