Betting on the Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2021

Liege-Bastogne-Liege-Cycling

On Sunday, April 25th, the 107th edition of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, also known as La Doyenne or The Old Lady, gets underway from Liege, Belgium.

This race marks the conclusion of the three Ardennes Classics that are all held within a seven day period including the Amstel Gold Race which was held on April 18th and La Fleche Wallone which was held on April 21st.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege is not only the oldest of the three Ardennes, but it’s also the oldest of the classics as it was first run in 1892.

? Can @lizziedeignan and @rogla conserve their titles?

? Don’t miss the 107th edition of #LBL and the 5th edition of #LBLwomen on Sunday 25th April!

? Follow the 2 races live from your screens! pic.twitter.com/74iOqw4Gao

— Liège-Bastogne-Liège (@LiegeBastogneL) April 16, 2021

Liege-Bastogne-Liege Route

The race will begin in Liege and head to Bastogne before returning back to Liege. This event will be roughly 259.9 km in distance with the following 11 categorized climbs:

Cote de La Roche-en-Ardenne at 183.2 km to go
Cote de Saint-Roch at 135.9 km to go
Cote de Mont-le-Soie at 95.1 km to go
Cote de Wanne at 86.8 km to go
Cote de Stockeu at 80.2 km to go
Cote de la Haute-Levee at 76 km to go
Col du Rosier at 61.8 km to go
Cote de Desnie at 48.4 km to go
Cote de La Redoute at 35.3 km to go
Cote des Forges at 23.4 km to go
Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons at 13.4 km to go

The first 100 km of the race won’t be too eventful as there’s only one climb. More than likely the peloton will allow a breakaway to go before clawing them back later in the race.

The Cote de Desnie is a new addition to the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and it’s a 1.6 km climb with an average gradient of 8.1 percent.

As usual, the Redoute will thin out any large groups left as it’s the toughest of the climbs. Although there’s still 35 km left in the race, two more climbs will dwindle the peloton down to a select few who will most likely sprint at the end for the win.

Previous Liege-Bastogne-Liege Winners

As mentioned, the first Liege-Bastogne-Liege was run in 1892 and won by Leon Houa who would go on to win the next two races as well.

The great Eddy Merckx holds the record for most all-time wins with five. Primoz Roglic is the defending race winner.

?‍♂️ #LBL 2021 ?‍♂️

? Dimanche 25 avril / Sunday, April 25

⛰ 11 côtes/climbs

? Un final identique à 2020 pour La Doyenne !

? La Doyenne 2021 features a final identical to that in 2020! pic.twitter.com/mNbAKHbLhD

— Liège-Bastogne-Liège (@LiegeBastogneL) February 5, 2021

The following is a list of previous race winners dating back to 2006:

2006: Alejandro Valverde
2007: Danilo Di Luca
2008: Alejandro Valverde
2009: Andy Schleck
2010: Alexander Vinokourov
2011: Philippe Gilbert
2012: Maxim Iglinsky
2013: Dan Martin
2014: Simon Gerrans
2015: Alejandro Valverde
2016: Wout Poels
2017: Alejandro Valverde
2018: Bob Jungels
2019: Jakob Fuglsang
2020: Primoz Roglic

Liege-Bastogne-Lieg Betting Odds

The following odds are courtesy of online betting sites:

Primoz Roglic (+325)
Julian Alaphilippe (+600)
Tadej Pogacar (+700)
Alejandro Valverde (+900)
Thomas Pidcock (+1000)
Michael Woods (+1400)
Maximilian Schachmann (+1600)
Adam Yates (+2200)
Richard Carapaz (+2500)
Marc Hirschi (+2500)
Michal Kwiatkowski (+2500)
Jakob Fuglsang (+2800)
Davide Formolo (+3300)
David Gaudu (+3300)
Matej Mohoric (+3300)
Mauri Vansevenant (+3300)
Joao Almeida (+4000)
Warren Barguil (+4000)
Michael Matthews (+4000)
Bauke Mollema (+5000)
Tim Wellens (+5000)
Esteban Chaves (+6600)
Lennard Kamna (+6600)
Guillaume Martin (+6600)
Jonas Vingegaard (+6600)
Alex Aranburu (+8000)
Tiesj Benoot (+8000)
Benoit Cosnefroy (+8000)

Liege-Bastogne-Liege Betting Favorites

The following cyclists are considered the odds on favorites to win the Liege-Bastogne-Liege according to most cycling betting sites:

Primoz Roglic (+325)

As mentioned, Roglic is the defending race winner for Liege. In last year’s race, he edged out Julian Alaphilippe at the line as Julian started celebrating what he thought was going to be a win.

But, don’t cry for the French superstar as he got his revenge on Roglic at La Fleche Wallonne on April 21st. Roglic opened up the sprint with about 400 meters left and Alaphilippe was able to take him with about 25 meters until the line.

The American commentators were blasting Roglic’s strategy for sprinting so soon. He was clearly the best rider on the day and probably would’ve won if he waited another two hundred meters. No rider has ever won at Wallonne from sprinting 400 meters out.

Roglic made the following comments after the race:

“It was a fast race all day and nothing surprising at the end, we were going a bloc [full gas] and Julian had a little more so he definitely deserved to win. I was just finished and if I had more I would go faster, but he deserved to win.”

Roglic has come on strong in April after dominating the Itzulia Basque Country where he won all three jerseys and beat his rival Tadej Pogacar.

He then rode strong in the Amstel Gold Race for his teammate Wout Van Aert by pulling back all of the attacks. Van Aert would go on to win the race. Then came La Fleche Wallonne where Roglic should’ve won.

The Liege will be Roglic’s last race until the Tour de France in a few months. He’s planning on going into altitude training for the 2021 TDF.

Can he win La Doyenne for the second straight year?

Julian Alaphilippe (+600)

Alaphilippe’s performance in La Fleche Wallonne was fantastic. He timed his sprint perfectly and beat Roglic to the line for the win. It was only the second win of the year for the French star, but it was done with a lot of panache.

Many pundits were questioning whether or not Julian had something wrong since he wasn’t riding at the elite form that we’re accustomed to seeing from him over the last few years.

? La bagarre entre les favoris, l’attaque de @rogla et le sprint victorieux de @alafpolak, revivez le dernier kilomètre de la #FlecheWallonne.

? The fight between the favourites, @rogla’s attack and @alafpolak’s winning sprint, relive the last kilometre of #FlecheWallonne. pic.twitter.com/qYBVJCR4Y1

— La Flèche Wallonne (@flechewallonne) April 21, 2021

Alaphilippe finished 42nd at the Tour of Flanders in the beginning of April which was a race he was one of the favorites at. He then took off two weeks to rest and train before returning for the Amstel Gold Race on April 18th where he finished 6th.

The French cyclist made the following comments about his victory at Wallonne:

“I wanted to show people I was strong in the head. I haven’t won a lot since the beginning of the season, it was important to me to raise my arms again. I wanted so much to win again on such a hard race. I’m proud of my team-mates, they did a wonderful job to put me in the best position. I knew it wasn’t gonna be easy with Roglič, Valverde and everyone in my wheel. This one really feels good, with the jersey.”

I wanted to pick Alaphilippe to win La Fleche Wallonne, but I couldn’t look past the struggles he was having at regaining his top form. So, instead, I picked him to finish in the Top 3.

For this race, Alaphilippe should be the favorite due to his performance at La Fleche and his desire to right the wrong of last year’s foolish loss at Liege.

Alaphilippe has three Top 5 results in five previous appearances of this race.

Tadej Pogacar (+700)

Can you imagine how exciting La Fleche Wallonne would’ve been on the final climb of the Mur if we had Pogacar there as well?

Unfortunately, Pogacar and his UAE-Team Emirates were removed from the race due to what turned out to be false positives for covid.

Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar is out of the Flèche Wallonne one-day race after his UAE Team Emirates squad withdrew following two positive tests for the coronavirus.
https://t.co/iPM1d8q8lp

— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) April 21, 2021

As of this writing, it’s believed that Pogacar and his teammates will compete at Liege. That’s good news for fans and bad news for the other cyclists as Pogacar is going to be one of the riders to beat on Sunday. Additionally, his teammate Marc Hirschi will also be a contender for the win.

Pogacar has had a strong 2021 season so far with a win of the UAE Tour, a 7th at Strade Bianche, a win of Tirreno-Adriatico, and a second place at Basque Country. He also won three stages as well.

This will be Tadej’s third appearance at Liege. He finished 3rd last year just behind Roglic and Alaphilippe.

While unable to participate at La Fleche Wallonne, Pogacar and his teammates did a recon ride of the Liege route and apparently put up some great numbers.

Alejandro Valverde (+900)

The “old man” Alejandro Valverde will participate in his 15th Liege-Bastogne-Liege race. He has four victories which is the second most all-time, just one behind the great Eddy Merckx. However, Valverde does have the most podium finishes with seven.

The 41 year old Spaniard is actually hoping to tie Merckx’s record with a win on Sunday:

“I’d love to match the [Eddy] Merckx record and win for a fifth time. I’m feeling good, and if I am the starting line, that will mean I will be racing to win. Winning will be difficult, but the chance to equal Merckx’s record gives me extra motivation.”

Those comments were made on Monday, two days prior to La Fleche Wallonne. On Wednesday, Valverde went out and finished 3rd, just behind Roglic and Alaphilippe.

It was an impressive result for Valverde who appears to be in good form ever since he won the Miguel Indurain GP on April 3rd.

After that victory, he would go on to finish 7th in the GC and 5th in the green jersey for the Basque Country stage race. Valverde finished 5th in the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday.

With good form, a solid team, and the motivation to tie Merckx, Valverde is a legit contender to finish on the podium in what could be his final appearance at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Thomas Pidcock (+1000)

Pidcock came into La Fleche Wallonne with a lot of hype and momentum. He had defeated Wout Van Aert in a sprint at De Brabantse Pijl and then lost to Van Aert in a photo finish at the Amstel Gold Race.

At La Fleche, Team Ineos Grenadiers set Pidcock up perfectly for at least a podium finish. Unfortunately, he faded up the Mur and ended up 6th on the day.

More than likely, that result was due to the effort he had to put into recovering from a crash and getting back to the front of the peloton with 25km left in the race.

His teammate Richard Carapaz actually looked stronger in the race, but did the work for Pidcock instead of going for his own glory. This will be the 21 year old’s first appearance at Liege. He certainly has the firepower to contend and the best team in the race.

Che deliver against the sport’s best?

The Best Liege-Bastogne-Liege Betting Value

Michael Woods (+1400)

With all of the attention on Roglic, Valverde and Alaphilippe, Michael Woods’s 4th place result at La Fleche Wallonne has been largely overlooked.

He was right there at the end of the race with the leaders, but was unable to hang with the final accelerations from Julian and Primoz.

His 4th place result was one of the best finishes of the year. Woods’ best result was a stage win and a 2nd in the GC at the Tour des Alpes Martimes in February. He also had a second place stage result in the Volta a Catalunya.

This will be the 6th appearance for Woods at Liege. His last four appearances resulted in in Top 9 finishes. Woods was 7th last year, which was down from a 5th place result in 2019. His best finish came in 2018 when he was runner up.

Woods is a punchy rider and a decent sprinter who could capitalize if any of the favorites have a bad day.

Maximilian Schachmann (+1600)

Schachman’s 2021 season has been good so far as the 27 year old German cyclist won Paris-Nice last month, finished 3rd in the Amstel Gold Race, and was 10th at La Fleche Wallonne.

Shachmann has showed that he’s more than just a GC contender, but is also a very capable classics rider as well.

Shachmann’s main focus this year is the Olympics. He will skip the Tour de France in order to race at the Olympics in Japan this July:

“The race for the Games has a classic profile that may suit me. I consider myself a candidate for the podium, provided I can withstand the heat. But playing both, the Tour and the Games, is too much.”

With that said, I expect Shachmann to have a better performance at Liege than Wallonne. There won’t be a steep climb at the finish. I believe we’ll see the Borah rider in the small group of select riders sprinting for the win by time it’s all said and done.

Marc Hirschi (+2500)

Like with Pogacar, Marc Hirschi was pulled from La Fleche Wallonne due to false positive covid tests on his team. The 22 year old Swiss rider was expected to be one of the best of the peloton and fulfill the potential that has been lacking this year.

This will be Hirschi’s 3rd appearance at Liege. Last year, he finished 2nd overall after Alaphilippe was relegated to 5th.

We talked to @MarcHirschi about his breaktrough season and future goals.. check the whole interview on our website:@TeamEmiratesUAE https://t.co/jVrlzh84Az pic.twitter.com/VvDjdrn3Yq

— Tour de Suisse (@tds) April 19, 2021

Hirschi has the potential to win this race. He’s a powerful rider with a strong kick. The concern is that he hasn’t looked in great form this year after transferring to a new team.

However, there is some encouraging news for Hirschi fans. By all accounts, Hirschi and Pogacar apparently looked really good on their recon ride of Liege this week. At +2500, I believe he offers solid betting value.

Richard Carapaz (+2500)

Once again, Team Ineos Grenadiers will come into a race as the clear-cut best squad. Ineos will bring the same lineup to Liege that was in Wallonne where they had two riders in the Top 10 as Pidcock finished 6th and Carapaz finished 9th with the same time.

Carapaz actually animated the race with less than 2 km left. He looked in good form, but appeared to be riding for Pidcock just like the rest of the team did.

The difference between Wallonne and Liege is that “The Old Lady” is more of a GC type race with numerous climbs and a longer stage. That’s why we see the top GC riders like Roglic, Carapaz, Yates and Pogacar competing at Liege.

I really like what I saw from Carapaz at Wallonne. His 2021 season has been one of supporting other riders, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the former Giro d’Italia winner is the best of Ineos on Sunday.

I like his value at +2500, he appears to be in good form, and Carapaz has proven that he can hang with the best GC riders in the sport.

Top Longshot to Win Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Warren Barguil (+4000) was my longshot pick for La Fleche Wallonne and he didn’t disappoint. The French rider finished 5th overall. It was the best performance of his 2021 season so far and an encouraging sign of his chances this weekend at Liege.

This will be his 7th start at Liege. His best result was 6th in 2016. Barguil finished 9th last year.

Like at Wallonne, the race winner will come from one of the favorites. But, if you are looking for a longshot pick then Barguil certainly fits that bill at +4000 odds.

Who Wins the 2021 Liege-Bastogne-Liege?

My Top 5 riders for Sunday’s race are: Alaphilippe, Roglic, Pogacar, Pidcock and Valverde. I wouldn’t be surprised if Carapaz or Hirschi cracked the Top 5, but I am going with the old man Valverde instead.

I think Pogacar will look great after missing La Fleche Wallonne and be extra motivated to beat his rival Primoz Roglic. I also think that Roglic will race a smarter race this weekend instead of opening the sprint too early.

I expect Pidcock to perform well and crack the Top 5 as long as he doesn’t crash again. Valverde is chasing history and could have one last magical run in his legs.

As for the winner, I don’t see how you can pick against Julian Alaphilippe. He showed that his form is back with a great ride at Wallonne. Furthermore, he should’ve won this race last year, but celebrated too soon and was penalized on top of that.

I believe Alaphilippe will be super motivated to win this race and avenge his self-inflicted loss from last year.

With his confidence restored and the return of his race winning form, I see Alaphilippe winning the Liege-Bastogne-Liege by outsprinting the bunch.

Who Wins the 2021 Liege-Bastogne-Liege? –Alaphilippe (+600)

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …

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