Liège – Bastogne – Liège 2024

La Doyenne. It doesn’t need an introduction, let’s dive right into it.


It seems that the Côte des Forges is now a permanent addition to the race.

They start in Liège, then they ride to Bastogne and back again. As you can see below, all of the hills are on their way back north.


It starts at Eddy Mercx playground, Côte de Stockeu with 80 km left. A certain man from Slovenia might actually decide to attack here.

Here you have Côte de Stockeu. It starts roughly 80 km from the finish. This is where you must have the snacks and beer ready.

I won’t go saying Côte de la Haute Levée (2200m at 7%), Col du Rosier (4300m at 6%) are easy climbs. They are not, especially since the riders get close to crossing 200 km on the bike. However, most teams are still intact and that means there is usually a strong team controlling this section of the race.

The two abovementioned climbs are used as launchpads. Especially the last of them, Côte de Desnié. It is the penultimate climb before Côte de la Redoute. If I recall correctly, Sepp Kuss attacked here in 2022, while Sivakov and Mollema attacked here in 2023. It is high risk, high reward attack.

Now, Côte de la Redoute. This is usually where the main favorites make their first move. Evenepoel in 2023, with only Pidcock being able to follow before being dropped just after.

What one must remember is this, there is not a descend afterwards. It is more of a plateau with a short climb named Cornémont (1200m at 5.9%). It isn’t hard on paper but after 220 km, it is not easy either.

Côte des Forges has been put in between the two main climbs of the finale. Looking at the hill, it isn’t far from being a bit overlooked. It is tough.

The last climb with a dedicated profile to it is of course Roche-Aux-Faucons. Here Evenepoel dropped everyone in 2022. From the top, just 13.5 km needs to be covered.

This is the remaining terrain.


On Wednesday, the forecast was far from correct. Hopefully, this is what the riders will face tomorrow.

It will be a cold day on the bike but it there is no forecast of heavy rain or hail. The wind doesn’t look very strong but it will mainly be a headwind in the finale from Côte de Stockeu. However, it does look like Côte des Forges and Roche-Aux-Faucons. Then a headwind until the line.

How will the race unfold?

Honestly, there is one man we need to focus on. Tadej Pogacar. He is, as he should be, the overwhelming favorite. Unfortunately, he crashed out last year and broke a few bones in his hand.

How does UAE want to play the game? When I look at their team, I’m not blown away by the quality they’ve brought. Diego Ulissi and Marc Hirschi will likely be the last domestiques standing for him, and luckily for the Slovenian, they are both in fantastic shape. I think Tadej Pogacar will attack early, it is his trademark.

Therefore, I think UAE Team will be in control of the race until Côte de la Redoute. Here, Pogacar will make his move. Then the question is, can anyone follow?


Tom Pidcock – It does look like everything is clicking for Tom this year. I think the most important detail is his consistency in 2024, it is unmatched compared to his other season on the road bike. He was the strongest man in Amstel Gold Race, and I don’t think we should take the LFW DNF too seriously. The weather was extreme. He was second here in 2023, and he was the only one who could follow Evenepoel on Côte de la Redoute. I think he has an excellent chance for a top-3 tomorrow.

Santiago Buitrago – some may call him smart. Others lazy. Smarts is what got him a top-3 in 2023, and in La Doyenne it is also the legs that do the talking. He is excellent on double-digits, we’ve seen that on Alto del Miserat and Mont Bruilly. He does not participate in many one-day races but I doubt his 3rd from 2023 was down to pure luck. However, I think a top-10 is more realistic in 2024.

Ben Healy – it is a race that suits him well. However, I still see him more as a diesel and not a pure puncheur. It will make it difficult for him to cling on to the likes of Pogacar and Pidcock but he has the diesel to get back. His best chance is a long-range hail-mary attempt, and he will likely not be shy from doing so. Another question is, is his shape where it needs to be? His results this Spring has been somewhat underwhelming. A top-10.

David Gaudu – climbing into some form. In 2021, he was one of the best here, finishing third in the five man sprint between Pogacar, Alaphilippe, Valverde, Woods and himself. Is he on that level still? I find that hard to believe despite two very strong climbing performance in Tour du Jura Cycliste and lassic Grand Besançon Doubs. The competition here is superior. Yet, he should fight for a top-10.

Tiesj Benoot – 3rd in Amstel Gold Race and 9th in La Fleché Wallone. He is usually very consistent, hence the 8th in 2022, and 7th in 2021 and 2023. I think he will finish in the top-10 tomorrow.

Mattias Skjelmose – that didn’t look nice on Wednesday. He has learned his lesson and in a tweet yesterday he wrote: “It is better to wear a rain jacket than to be in the front group”. He says he has never been better and I believe him. I think you can make an argument the tactic was wrong in Amstel Gold Race and the weather was his worst enemy in LFW. He should fight for a top-3 tomorrow, it is a race that suits him very well.

Tadej Pogacar – the man to beat. Can they? I don’t think so. He has not raced a lot this this season, which is down to the Giro-Tour double. If I recall correctly, you need to peak extremely late in the Giro d’Italia and hope to carry the form throughout the Tour de France. At least, that was the Froome approach in 2018, while Dumoulin had more of a peak mid-Giro and late-Tour. Pogacar is neither of them, he is a far superior rider.

Marc Hirschi – five starts, four top-10’s. Despite him working for Pogacar, he should still play a vital role in disrupting the chase. It means he will likely get a fairly easy ride to the line in a group behind his leader, which gives him a good chance to sprint for a good result. A top-10.

Dylan Teuns – I think he will get a top-10 tomorrow.

Maxim van Gils – he is an excellent one-day racer, and he is going very well just now. A top-10.

Who will win?

Tadej Pogacar.

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