Fresh from their strong performances in Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne, Colombian climber Esteban Chaves and Australian puncheur Michael Matthews will be joined by 25-year-old Australian Lucas Hamilton on Sunday, as the trio headline Team BikeExchange’s three-pronged approach to the third monument of the 2021 season, Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Having won the iconic event in the past, the team know what it takes and with no less than 11 challenging and historical climbs to tackle throughout the lengthy 259km day, the squad head into this year’s edition with options for the various racing scenarios that could unfold.
To support the trio of leaders, the Australian outfit recruit the climbing prowess of Tanel Kangert and Mikel Nieve, while Brent Bookwalter and Chris Juul-Jensen provide the additional firepower to assist the team with covering moves and navigating into the important key climbs.
Team BikeExchange at the 2021 Liege-Bastogne-Liege:
Brent Bookwalter (USA)
Esteban Chaves (COL)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Tanel Kangert (EST)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Mikel Nieve (SPA)
“These two races, Amstel and Flèche, have given me good confidence going into Liège-Bastogne-Liège this weekend. Liège is a race that I am really looking forward to and I think it suits me a bit better than the other two races of the Ardennes week.
I have had some time to recover after Flèche and we will do a good recon of the course and then be prepared for Sunday.
We have a very strong team; we have Matthews who is obviously riding really well, and we will also have Lucas Hamilton coming in fresh. It is always a hard race; it is a monument, and I am really looking forward to it.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director
“We have won this race before; it is a special race for us. This year we have options, we have two climbers with Esteban and Lucas and we of course have Matthews. It will all depend on how the race is raced and we know these three riders are all going well.
Lucas hasn’t raced since Catalunya, but we know he has been training really well and Esteban obviously has shown in every race that he has done, that he is in a really good place.
I expect the race to be very different to last year. Last year it was at a very different place in the season, you had different riders preparing for it, guys coming off the Tour de France, while others were at the Giro. The Classics period is a very different intensity, everybody traditionally peaks for this period and we expect a more selective race this Sunday.”
2021 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Race Details:
Sunday, 25th April: Liège to Liège, 259.5km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images