Dan Martin (Quick Step Floors) is looking to add another Monument to his palmarès when he lines up at the start of Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday.
The Irishman is clearly in good form having finished in second place behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) at Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, but feels that La Doyenne actually suits him better.
Martin won the 2013 edition of the race when he made a late attack to distance Joaquim Rodríguez who had to settle for second, with Valverde taking third place. He also came close to victory in 2014 but crashed on the final corner as he was closing in on race leaders Giampaolo Caruso and Domenico Pozzovivo.
“Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a very hard race, one of the toughest out there, and at the same time very different from Flèche Wallonne. I’d say it’s a race which suits me better than Fleche and I won’t hide the fact I would like to finish on top again. I hope to have strong legs on Sunday and will try my best”, said the 30-year-old, one of the only two Irish riders to ever win a Monument.
One of the hardest one-day races in the world, the Belgian event will bring the Grand Tour contenders to the fore. The riders will face a 258-kilometre-long course, which includes ten classified climbs, for a total of nearly 5000 vertical metres.
Côte de La Roche en Ardenne, Côte de Saint-Roch, Côte de Pont, Côte de Bellevaux, Côte de la Ferme Libert, Col du Rosier, Col du Maquisard, Côte de La Redoute, Côte de La Roche-aux-Faucons and Côte de Saint-Nicolas are the steep hills sprinkled all over the route, most of them having double-digit gradients, which will thin out the peloton and make an important selection before the drag to the finish in the suburb of Ans.
Joining Dan Martin in the Quick-Step Floors ranks for Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be Gianluca Brambilla, Eros Capecchi, David De La Cruz, Laurens De Plus, Dries Devenyns, neo-pro Enric Mas (who’ll make his Monument debut) and Petr Vakoc.