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Gallery: On the start line of Liège-Bastogne-Liège

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Vincenzo Nibali talks to the press

Vincenzo Nibali talks to the press
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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A last minute text for Michal Kwiatkowski

A last minute text for Michal Kwiatkowski
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka)

Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Vincenzo Nibali's bike got a make-over for Liege

Vincenzo Nibali's bike got a make-over for Liege
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Domenico Pozzovivo has been on good form this week

Domenico Pozzovivo has been on good form this week
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The best mustache in the business Rasmus Quaade

The best mustache in the business Rasmus Quaade
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Nicolas Roche (Team Sky)

Nicolas Roche (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Can Joaquim Rodríguez finally take victory today?

Can Joaquim Rodríguez finally take victory today?
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Spaniards Joaquim Rodríguez and Samuel Sanchez have a catch up

Spaniards Joaquim Rodríguez and Samuel Sanchez have a catch up
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Frank Schleck (Trek Factory Racing)

Frank Schleck (Trek Factory Racing)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana relax before the start

Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana relax before the start
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Jelle Vanendert arrives for sign on

Jelle Vanendert arrives for sign on
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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What will Thomas Voeckler do today?

What will Thomas Voeckler do today?
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Dan Martin waits for the start

Dan Martin waits for the start
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Michal Kwiatkowski rides to sign on

Michal Kwiatkowski rides to sign on
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo)

Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickSte)

Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickSte)
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Romain Bardet is looking for an agressive race

Romain Bardet is looking for an agressive race
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Warren Barguil collects his bike

Warren Barguil collects his bike
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Colombians Jarlinson Pantano and Carlos Betancur

Colombians Jarlinson Pantano and Carlos Betancur
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Former world champion Rui Costa crosses paths with current champion MIchal Kwiatkowski

Former world champion Rui Costa crosses paths with current champion MIchal Kwiatkowski
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Irishmen Philip Deignan and Dan Martin at the start

Irishmen Philip Deignan and Dan Martin at the start
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Tom Dumoulin returns to racing after Amstel Gold

Tom Dumoulin returns to racing after Amstel Gold
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Samuel Sanchez says goodbye to his kids before the start

Samuel Sanchez says goodbye to his kids before the start
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Tony Gallopin talks to the press

Tony Gallopin talks to the press
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Defending champion Simon Gerrans

Defending champion Simon Gerrans
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Philippe Gilbert makes his way to the start

Philippe Gilbert makes his way to the start
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Sergio Henao will be leading Sky today

Sergio Henao will be leading Sky today
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Laurent Jalabert was at the start

Laurent Jalabert was at the start
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Tim Wellens is introduced to the crowd

Tim Wellens is introduced to the crowd
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)

After a week’s build-up with Amstel Gold and Flèche Wallonne, the main event arrived as the riders lined up for the start of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. All were well wrapped up against the elements as the temperature had taken a significant nosedive since they reconnoitred the finale of the course on Friday.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was the most anticipated arrival of the day and a huge cheer among the spectators in the Place de Saint-Lambert signalled that the Ardennes-native was nearby. The 2011 champion is still suffering from his crash at Flèche Wallonne earlier in the week, but will lead BMC today. Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) is another former champion hoping to push through the after-effects of a crash on Wednesday and pull out a good result.

There was a large group of Polish fans who had stationed themselves right in front of the podium, chanting for Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep). The decibel levels rose when the world champion finally made his arrival, decked in his new Oakley jawbreakers. His teammate Julian Alaphilippe was a sought-after man, following his midweek result.

Race favourite, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) looked calm and relaxed at the start as he chatted with teammate Nairo Quintana. Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) has twice finished on the podium at Liège. He arrives at the race after a disappointing Ardennes campaign thus far and is looking to turn his fortunes around.