Oh… THE OLD (and tough) LADY!
DAN MARTIN and his loyal ISN teammates will face the 128 years old challenge.
Israeli Omer Goldstein will be the first Israeli in this race: “An honor. Bit pressured but super motivated.”
We are facing a race that started 128 years ago for the very first time!
We got TWO winners here. In 1990 it was ERICK VAN LANCKER- now our DS in the race. And in 2013, it was DAN MARTIN – now our candidate to win.
And nothing that those two winners want more than to add a victory here. “With Dan and the team we got here, I believe it’s possible, however difficult, “ said Eric, who was ON FIRE, motivating and preparing the squad in recent days. Besides Dan Martin, we also have a great Co-leader: Strong Krists Neilands.
11 short but nasty climbs altogether as it circles south from Liege to Bastogne and then back, with nine of those climbs coming in the last 100 km.
Amongst the climbs is the 1 km climb at 12.5% up the Cote de Stockeu, also known as the Stele Eddy Merckx. With only 37 km left to go, the riders will face the Cote de la Redoute. Only 2 km, its average gradient is either 8.9% or 9.5%, depending on the source – either will be hard enough. The Cote de Saint-Roch throws an 11% average gradient into the mix, as does the final climb, the Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons, a mere 13.5km before the finish.
If you still ask yourself why is it so SPECIAL, here is a word from DAN :
“It’s a monument of cycling. The history of this race is not lost on me, and it’s one of the races I remember watching when I was young. These same roads have been raced on for over 100 years, and the names are famous among all cyclists. That’s something that makes cycling special among sports; the fact that generations of the best cyclists have all met on these roads to do battle over the decades. It’s a long test of concentration and endurance, but such a beautiful course that ensures a worthy winner every year. The finish has changed since I had my successes in the race, but it’s still a route that I love racing on.”
And what about our Israeli Omer Goldstein? He will have the honor to be the first Israeli in the history of the race: “Frankly, I feel the pressure… it’s a huge honor, and I plan to use it as extra motivation. “
Krists Neilands :
James Piccoli Canada