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On the start line at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

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Alejandro Valverde at the start

Alejandro Valverde at the start
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Adam Yates at the start

Adam Yates at the start
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Chris Froome at the start

Chris Froome at the start
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Simon Gerrans at the start

Simon Gerrans at the start
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Ion Izagirre at the start

Ion Izagirre at the start
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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(Image credit: Barry Ryan)

With snow already falling 80 kilometres south in the Ardennes, the riders of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège peloton were understandably reluctant to leave the sanctuary of their team buses to go and sign on ahead of the race on Sunday morning.

Half an hour before the start, the general mood of foreboding darkened still further when leaden drops of rain began to fall over the Place Saint-Lambert, with only the rare brave soul such as Ion Izagirre (Movistar) venturing out early to sign the start sheet and speak with the television crews beneath the dais.