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Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2022: Route, riders and all you need to know

Will Strickson
22 Apr 2022

Key info about the 2022 Liège-Bastogne-Liège men's and women's races on Sunday 24th April: Route, riders, live TV guide

Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Famous editions

1969 – first Merckx victory

By 1969, Eddy Merckx had been a professional for eight years but had yet to win at Liège. ’69 had been a great year for Merckx as prior to Liège he had won every major classic in the calendar apart from Paris-Roubaix.

With just under 100km to go to the finish, Merckx broke clear on the Stockeu and caught two of his team mates, Roger Swerts and Vic Van Schil, who had been in the early breakaway.

Swerts was eventually dropped, so Merckx and Van Schil rode to the finish together. Merckx wanted to give the win to Van Schil but Van Schil insisted Merckx claim it. This was the first of five victories – a record that still stands.

1980 – Hinault in the snow

The 1980 edition of Liège is perhaps the most well known thanks to the appalling conditions that the riders had to endure. A blizzard began within minutes of the race starting and after an hour only 60 riders, approximately one third of the starters, were still left in the race.

Two riders broke away and had a lead of just over two minutes by Le Stockeu but were caught by Hinault and two other chasers on the Haute Levée.

With 80km to go Hinault attacked again and, after seven hours of racing, finished in Liège 10 minutes ahead of the second place finisher Hennie Kuiper.

Hinault suffered frostbite in his right hand and he claims it took over three weeks for movement to return.

1985, ’86 and ’87 – the Argentin years

Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the mid-1980s is remembered for the complete domination of Moreno Argentin. Argentin, also known as ‘Il Capo’ [The Boss] was a one-day specialist that had great success in the Ardennes Classics.

What makes his wins most special is the calibre of rider he defeated: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche, Phil Anderson, Guiseppi Sarroni, Greg LeMond, Robert Millar – the list goes on.

Argentin ultimately went on to win the race a fourth time in 1991. 

2011 – Philippe Gilbert 

2011 was Philippe Gilbert’s year and he topped off a storming ‘Ardennes week’ with his win at Liège, making him one of only two people to ever do the triple – Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallone and Liège (he also won Brabanste Pijl too).

The win was especially sweet as he displayed his complete dominance over the race. Gilbert broke away with the two Schleck brothers with approximately 20km to go.

Everyone expected the two brothers, who were teammates, to work together to beat Gilbert but he put the power down on the final straight and dropped them both to become the first Belgian winner since 1999.

2020 – Primož Roglič

Moved to October due to Covid, the 2020 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège provided a serious dose of schadenfreude. With the Tour de France behind them, its climax saw an in-form group of four, including Tour winner, Tadej Pogačar, second-placed Primož Roglič, plus stage winners Julian Alaphilippe and Marc Hirschi contest the sprint.

Assumed to be the strongest finisher in the bunch, Alaphilippe kicked things off but quickly cut across the road putting both Hirschi and Pogačar out of the running. Assuming the race was sewn up, he then took his hands off the bars to celebrate, unaware his sweep across the road had failed to collect the still pedalling Roglič.

A lunge of the bike was all it took for the Slovenian to nab victory, a win few begrudged a man who’d weeks before seen his Tour win slip away. Even more embarrassment followed for Alaphilippe, who found himself demoted to fifth for deviating from his line.