Mitchelton-SCOTT head to Liege-Bastogne-Liege looking to end a strong classics campaign in styleThu 25 Apr 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT will be looking to finish off a strong classics campaign with a victory as they head back to Belgium for Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday.
The spring has seen Giro Rosa champion Annemiek van Vleuten finish second on three occasions, with the 36-year-old taking the runners-up spot at the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold and Fleche Wallone.
Van Vleuten will be out to add to her Strade Bianche victory back in March and triple Tour Down Under winner Amanda Spratt will also be back for more after her impressive second place in Liege last season. The duo will be supported by a strong squad, including Sun Tour winner Lucy Kennedy, while fellow Australian Sarah Roy returns to the fold.
Jess Allen (AUS, 25)
Lucy Kennedy (AUS, 30)
Sarah Roy (AUS, 33)
Amanda Spratt (AUS, 31)
Moniek Tenniglo (NED, 30)
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 36)
Despite its name, the race actually begins in Bastogne before finishing 138.6kilometres later in Liege. The peloton will tackle five categorised climbs during the day on a new route from the previous two editions.
The final categorised climb of the day, the Cote de La Roche-aux-Faucons, tops out with 15kilometres left to race and will present a perfect platform for attacks as the peloton race through the streets of Liege.
The 2019 edition will be just the third running of the women’s version of the historic race. Mitchelton-SCOTT stepped onto the podium last season as Spratt climbed to second place ahead of her teammate Van Vleuten. Van Vleuten was also prominent in the first running of the race in 2017 when she took fifth.
Annemiek van Vleuten:
“It was another strong team effort from all the girls at Fleche Wallone, just like it was at Amstel Gold, so that gives me even more confidence and the feeling that we can win this Sunday.”
“I think Liege is a race that suits us the best out of the three Ardennes races, especially the climbs. They suit my style more than the explosive efforts you have to do on climbs like the Mur de Huy.”
“It would be super to finish off a strong classics campaign with a victory. I think this is our strongest spring ever, so to end it win a win at Liege would be perfect!”
"I'm feeling excited and motivated ahead of Sunday. After a personally disappointing race at Amstel Gold, I was much happier with my work for the team at Fleche and I feel like my race form is improving."
"The feeling amongst the team is really positive. We're working very well together to use everyone's strengths and the results reinforce this."
"To finish with a win on Sunday would be a just reward and a perfect way to celebrate what has been a positive and successful Spring campaign."
Martin Vestby (Sports Director):
“Liege is another opportunity for Annemiek and Spratty, but also for Lucy, who did a great job at Fleche Wallone along with the rest of the team.”
“On this type of course I think the longer climbs will suit our strengths even better. We will have to look at how we’re going to play our cards, but we have three really strong climbers and if we play it well, we can win from different scenarios.”
“We’ve had a really strong spring classics campiagn and we’ll be going all out to try and finish it off with a win on Sunday!”
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.