When it comes to Liège – Bastogne – Liège, IPT is fielding its most experienced team to date at the third Monument of the season with 2019 winner Jakob Fuglsang and 2018 runner up Mike Woods leading the team on Sunday.
257.5 kilometers, 10 climbs, and 4400 elevation meters set the stage for one of the hardest one-day races in the calendar, but Fuglsang knows what it takes to win.
“I’m expecting it to be a hard race like always. But I expect we can be there with two guys in the final if we play our cards well. I think the La Roche-aux-Faucons is the decisive climb for us with the new finish. We just have to see how we can play our cards but the team is riding really well and we were in the right position throughout La Flèche Wallonne so if we ride the same at Liège – Bastogne – Liège, then it makes life a lot easier for us. I have a lot of hope for the race on Sunday,” said Fuglsang.
After finishing with a strong sixth place at La Flèche Wallonne, Woods is hoping to improve on his impressive palmarès which includes a top ten result in all five participations, including second place in 2018 and fifth place last year.
“The way I felt on Wednesday was great and I expect to feel even better at Liège. I’m not as explosive as I was last year but I feel like I’m stronger aerobically so that will play to the Liège course more. The way the team rode on Wednesday was really good so we have a strong team going into the race. I’m really excited to be doing it and hopefully I can improve on my best position there,” added Woods.
Fuglsang won’t be the only former Liège – Bastogne – Liège winner in IPT colors on Sunday. 1990 winner Eric Van Lancker sits behind the wheel in the race car and believes the guys are on track for a good result at La Doyenne.
“We are going into Liège – Bastogne – Liège with a lot of confidence and as a team, we are motivated to finish the Classics with our best result. I’d say we are not lining up with a top favorite but in Jakob Fuglsang and Mike Woods, we have two strong contenders. Of course, Jakob is a former winner and Mike has finished in the top ten in all five of his participations, including second in 2018,” explained Van Lancker.
“We saw at La Flèche Wallonne that both riders have recovered from illness and are hitting their best form at the right time. I was also really impressed with the teamwork we saw and if we race like that again on Sunday, I know we can come away from the race with a good result. Jakob and Mike give us multiple cards to play so we can see how the race plays out on Sunday.”
Liège – Bastogne – Liège (24 April)
Rider roster: Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Omer Goldstein (ISR), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Hugo Houle (CAN), Daryl Impey (RSA), Mike Woods (CAN).
Sports Directors: Eric Van Lancker (BEL), Rik Verbrugghe (BEL), Steve Bauer (CAN)