Mitchelton-SCOTT hoping for better luck at Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Fri 26 Apr 2019

Mitchelton-SCOTT are hoping for better luck in the fourth monument of the season, the final of three Ardennes races, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, after coming close in the final of Amstel Gold Race and crashing out of La Flèche Wallonne earlier this week.

With in-form Adam Yates the team’s leader for the lengthy prestigious one-day race, the squad are hungry to get on the podium and finish off the Spring Classics block on a high. 

Mitchelton-SCOTT Team:

Michael Albasini - (SUI, 38)
Sam Bewley - (NZ, 31)
Damien Howson - (AUS, 26)
Daryl Impey - (RSA, 34)
Dion Smith - (NZ 26)
Nick Schultz - (AUS 23)
Adam Yates - (GB, 26) 

The Course

The 256km race features 11 categorised climbs that are scattered throughout, many of them steep and ranging from one to five kilometres in length, making a real war of attrition.

This year the final of the race has changed to finish in the centre of Liège meaning the last climb of the day, the Cote de la Roche-Aux Faucons, comes after 241km of racing, leaving a full 15km stretch of flat road to the finish line which could see a larger group arriving together.

The Past

The team has finished inside the top 10 on five occasions over the past seven-years, claiming the victory in 2014 with former rider Simon Gerrans. The team came close on another occasion in 2016 with a second place from Michael Albasini. Adam Yates’ best performance was in 2017 with an eighth place finish.

Adam Yates

“After crashing out of La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday and not being able to have a go at the finish I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to Liege on Sunday.

“I’ve got good legs, I’ve had a few wins this first part of the season and so I’m hoping to finish off this Spring with a strong result in Liege.

“My best result in the past was eighth place so it will be good to have a real good go this year. The finish has changed this year and it’s not necessarily to my advantage with a long flat final but let’s see. Anything can happen in these long monuments and the form is there, I just need a bit of luck now.”

Damien Howson

"After the bad luck we had on Wednesday, we are obviously looking to change that and try to get a good result on Sunday with Adam. Everybody knows that he has been in great shape throughout the Spring and this is his final objective of that block, so we are all motivated to help him and try to achieve a result.

"Personally for me I felt pretty good this week in Flèche from the start and likewise I am hoping to carry this feeling into the race on Sunday."

Matt White - Head Sport Director

“The old finish was pretty predictable the best guys won, there was no hiding, it was an uphill drag to the finish and super hard after six and a half hours of racing. This year the Faucon climb is the last, it is a tough climb that goes up in a couple of ramps and the best guys, best climbers will try to escape there. 

“The big question is if a group can get across to them. So we may see a group of four of five coming to the line together, or for the first in a long, long time a 20 up sprint for the win of Liege which hasn’t been seen in this generation.

“It is suppose to be bad weather too with rain and between four to ten degrees. It can be really brutal in these conditions, it’s more than 4000metres of climbing and long descents so the guys get cold. I think it is the toughest one-day race on the calendar in terms of climbing and especially in bad conditions, there is no soft winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege.”

Liège-Bastogne-Liège Race Details:

Sunday, 28th April: Liege - Liege, 256km 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images