Alaphilippe or Van Aert? The champion and the debutant - Liège-Bastogne-Liège preview

LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Michael Woods of Canada and Team Israel StartUp Nation Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates Alejandro Valverde Belmonte of Spain and Movistar Team Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Sprint at arrival during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images
Tadej Pogacar outsprints Julian Alaphilippe at the finish of last year's race (Image credit: Getty Images)

Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the oldest Monument of them all, returns on Sunday to conclude the spring Classics season with its 108th edition and the fourth since La Doyenne abandoned the hilltop finish in Ans for a flat run in the city centre.

The past two editions of the race have seen the finish contested by an elite five-man group, two dramatic sprints to the line after over six-and-a-half-hours of racing. Last year's top two finishers, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), were set to return to headline the 2022 race, while Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) lines up for his race debut to complete a triumvirate of superstars heading up the start list. 

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Dani Ostanek
Senior News Writer

Dani Ostanek is Senior News Writer at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired full-time. Prior to joining the team, they had written for numerous major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly and Rouleur.

 

Dani has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, Road World Championships, and the spring Classics. They have interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Mathieu van der Poel, Remco Evenepoel, and Demi Vollering.

 

As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Dani also oversees How to Watch guides and works on The Leadout newsletter throughout the season. Their favourite races are the Giro d'Italia, Strade Bianche and Paris-Roubaix.

 

Season highlights from 2024 include reporting from Paris-Roubaix –  'Unless I'm in an ambulance, I'm finishing this race' – Cyrus Monk, the last man home at Paris-Roubaix – and the Tour de France – 'Disbelief', gratitude, and family – Mark Cavendish celebrates a record-breaking Tour de France sprint win.

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