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Liège - Bastogne - Liège - Road race - Men

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  1. - So a brave and very smart effort from Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) only to run out of steam and have to hand the victory to Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) with Amstel Gold winner Enrico Gasparotto taking third. Thanks for keeping with us for what turned out to be a great day of racing.

  2. - Gilbert comes home on his own with a disappointed look on his face. Not up to the challenge today.

  3. - Gasparotto takes third ahead of Thomas Voeckler and Daniel Martin. Another great finish for the Irishman in some very accomplished company.

  4. - Maxim Iglinsky has time to sit up and savour his 2012 LBL win after an epic final 10km. Nibali hangs on for second as the chasers drive around the corner.

  5. - 1km - Nibali fighting hard to keep second as the chasing group is coming thick and fast up to him. Iglinsky is turning the final corners to take the title.

  6. - 1km - Nibali will have to settle for second - if he can hold on to that as Iglinsky drives past him and looks like our winner here today.

  7. - 2km - Nibali is gone. He weaves around the corners, a spent force as Maxim Iglinsky looks full of steam.

  8. - 2km - Nibali hanging on for grim death but it looks like he may be doomed as we rise up towards the finish.

  9. - 3km - Martin and Rolland swallowed up by chasers. Nibali has his head down but Iglinsky can now see him up the road. It's going to be tight.

  10. - 4km - Nibali chews his handlebars as he crests the Cote de Saint-Nicolas. Not far to go, but the line can't come soon enough as Iglinsky charges down after him.

  11. - 5km - Nibali finds a second wind as he nears the top of the climb. There's no shortage of support for him. Martin still dragging Rolland up the hill as they pass Rodriguez.

  12. - 6km - Iglinsky attacks Rodriguez. Can he catch him in what's left of this climb? Gilbert falls off the back of chase group. He's done.

  13. - 7km - Rolland continues to sit on Martin's wheel as Rodriguez and Iglinsky continue to try and claw back Nibali who looks to be in severe pain.

  14. - 8km - Martin motions to Rolland to help him, but Rolland has no interest. Could be over for this group if they don't something as we hit the climb.

  15. - 9km - Rodriguez and Iglinsky are 13 seconds down on Nibali as Daniel Martin and Pierre Rolland leave the second chase group behind to see if they can reel in the now 42 second gap to Nibali.

  16. - 10km - Joaquim Rodrigeuz (Katusha) and Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) sit in between the group of chasers and Nibali. Not sure how far back they are as the gap to Nibali has pushed out to 38 seconds. Too much to catch?

  17. - 12km - At least the roads are dry around these parts.

  18. - 12km - Nibali does a Liquigas special and descends like a stone as the dozen or so chasers do all they can to take him back.

  19. - 14km - Nibali looks to be in good nick. Hard to tell if he has the legs to take the final climb on his own. Samuel Sanchez is sitting on the back of the chasing group as Jelle Vanendert pushes at the front.

  20. - 15km - Daniel Moreno (Katusha) joins Gasparotto. Daniel Martin (Garmin Barracuda) is also still in the chase group as Gilbert looks to be struggling slightly. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali has 23 seconds.

  21. - 16km - Gasparotto, winner of Amstel Gold last Sunday, pushes out of the chase group to see if he can pull back Nibali.

  22. - 17km - Vincenzo Nibali pushes away from what's left of the group of favourites as Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) and Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) join the chasers.

  23. - 18km - Gilbert, Nibali, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) and Nibali all testing each other on the descent as we hit for the Cote de Saint-Nicholas (1.2km at 8.6%).

  24. - 18km - The riders are all back together - and the main group has been whittled down to about 20. Nibali, Vanendert and Gilbert look around to see who has what left.

  25. - 18km - Pierre Rolland (Europcar) makes one last dig to see how far he can get. Kiryienka (Movistar) and Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) blown. Nibali takes up the drive on the front of the bunch.

  26. - 20km - Coming in to the foot of the penultimate climb and the lead trio are being hounded by a BMC led train. Nibali (Liquigas) gets on Gilbert's (BMC) wheel.

  27. - 23km - The gap is down to 14 seconds as the leaders continue to work together. BMC still not managing to get rid of too many out of the lead bunch.

  28. - 24km - Watch out for the big guns as things get a bit disorganised. If BMC ease off at all there will be at least a dozen men ready to go for broke. Frank Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan) won't be there as he has been dropped off the main group.

  29. - 25km - BMC continue to drive it on and keep what's left of the bunch in single file. Gilbert sits third in line with Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) in his wheel. Three breakaway riders continue to hold on with a gap of 30 seconds and working well together, surely they will be swallowed up once we hit the Cote de La Roche aux Faucons?

  30. - 28km - Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) hanging on from grim death on the penultimate climb of the day. He has two strong riders in front of him, but he's had a long day in the break.

  31. - 29km - Not long now until we hit the Cote de La Roche aux Faucons (1.5km at 9.3%). Will there be fireworks? It seems like a dangerous game to leave it too late with wet roads and such a big group in tow.

  32. - 30km - Rolland (Europcar) and Kiryienka (Movistar) now alone with 43 seconds only. Cataldo still close behind, but only just hanging in at this stage. BMC continue to drive the pace on the descent.

  33. - 33km - Van Garderen (BMC) continues to drive the chase, while Nibali (Liquigas) and Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol) sit tight and wait for the right time to attack. Who's your money on?

  34. - 34km - Valverde (Movistar) loses ground due to a mechanical on the climb. Looks like that's his race done.

  35. - 34km - Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) jumps in front of Phillipe Gilbert to control the climb of La Redoute. David Laley (Saur-Sojasun) losing ground up front.

  36. - 35km - Kiryienka and Rolland pushing on in the breakaway.

  37. - 35km - The Cote de la Redoute (2.2km at 8.8%) is a killer for the bunch. Riders pinging out of the front of the bunch. One Katusha rider and Garmin Barracude rider go for broke.

  38. - 38km - GreenEdge driving towards La Redoute for Gerrans and Michael Albisini.

  39. - 40km - Mads Christensen (Saxo Bank) takes a flyer off the front of the peloton to see how far he can get as the Schelck brothers find themselves at the rear of the peloton. BMC again at the front and GreenEdge looking focused. Temperature down to 6 degrees, wet roads and spots of rain. Tense times in the bunch you'd imagine.

  40. - 43km - We have a bit of a lull between now and the final three ascents. The main bunch seem to be keeping their powder dry and not pushing too hard to chase down the lad group. Garmin Barracuda on the front now, but all well bunched.

  41. - 45km - As we're left at the business end of things here's how it stands - five leaders up the road at 1.25. They are Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1), Vasili Kiryienka (Movistar), Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and David Lelay (Saur-Sojasun) heading towards the Redoute. The peloton is not in full chase mode just yet.

  42. - 48km - Phillipe Gilbert (BMC) dropping back to the car for a quick chat with his directeur and get some arm warmers. Doesn't seem too bothered about losing touch with the bunch temporarily.

  43. - 50km - Interesting to see AG2R massing towards the front. Do they have a plan or are they just staying out of trouble?

  44. - 50km - Horrible conditions as we approach Mount Theux, a 2.7km climb, with some false flats and steep steps. BMC and Lotto-Belisol remain on the front of the peloton while the gap to our leaders hangs out at 1.18.

  45. - 55km - Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Vasili Kiryienka (Movistar) flying down the rain soaked descent. Are they on solo runs, or more likely, getting as far up the road as possible so that they can help their team leaders later in the stage?

  46. - 60km - Lotto-Belisol get a move on at the front of the peloton. Working for Jelle Vanandert and Jurgen Van Den Broeck. Meanwhile, Gergory Hebeaux's (Accent Jobs) legs have gone and he has fallen off the back of the lead group, as has Reiner Honig (Landbouwkrediet). And then there were six...

  47. - 65km - The eight riders should reach the Cote du Maquisard before they are reeled in. Less severe than some of the other climbs, we will see if the fresh riders in the break can maintain that gap. The rain has also begun to fall again, will this put a smile on Gilbert's face?

  48. - 68km - The second breakaway group have latched on to the back of the five leaders as they creasted the Rosier. The eight men now have a lead of 1.27. It's unlikely to be enough to get them much further though.

  49. - 70km - Middle breakaway group look to be tipping away nicely as they approach the Rosier, meanwhile on the front of the peloton, BMC and Lotto Belisol have moved up to the head of affairs.

  50. - 75km - The race is now approaching the Col du Rosier. A 4.4km climb with an average incline of 5.9%. The leaders still hold a lead of just over 2.32 minutes and they are followed by Pierre Rolland (Europcar), David Lelay (Saur-Sojasun) and Vasili Kiryienka (Movistar) at 1.43, as the peloton chases hard led by Jens Voigt (Radioshack-Nissan).

  51. - 80km - Our leaders five leaders - Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma), Reiner Honig (Landbouwkrediet), Gregory Habeaux and Kevin Ista (both Accent Jobs) and Allesandro Bazzana (Team Type 1) - now have 3.04 over the peloton, as a small four man group attempts to bridge the gap between the peloton and the leaders.

  52. - 84km - The leaders are approaching the Cote de la Haute-Levee, still with a gap of ??. They seem to have shed Geschke (Argos). This climb is 3.6km with an average gradient of 5.7%. The peloton will take a large chunk out of the breakaway on this ascent.

  53. - 85km - Radioshack-Nissan are leading the peloton up the Stockeu with Phillipe Gilbert (BMC) keeps himself out of trouble. Up front, Cataldo is sitting up waiting for the rest of the breakaway group. They have an advantage of 3.50.

  54. - 88km - Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is looking comfortable on the climb, sitting on the front of the lead group. Geschke (Argos) however, doesn't look so good. Meanwhile, Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has had to stop to change bikes slowing him up considerably.

  55. - 90km - The break is on the Stockeu being led up by Ista. Geschke took a tumble on the final corner leading into the climb so he must chase back to the leaders on his own.

  56. - 95km - As they head for the Sotckeu there will be plenty of nerves. A short climb, it is more like a wall than a road. With an average of 12.2% it will further break up an already fragmented peloton. Rigoberto Uran (Sky) has been dropped from the main bunch on the climb of the Cote de Wanne.

  57. - 95km - The six leaders have still got 5.23 over the top of the Cote de Wanne, Geschke again going over first, followed by Ista and Bazzana.

  58. - 98km -Saur-Sojasun have made space for themselves at the front of the peloton as they hit the foot of the Cote de Wanne.

  59. - 100km - Reinier Honig (Landbouwkrediet) is leading the group of six up the Cote de Wanne as they try to hold on to their lead, which now stands at 6.40. In the main peloton Rabobank have begun to show up front as Katusha keep the pace high to ensure Rodriguez stays safe going up the narrow roads of the Cote de Wanne.

  60. - 105km - Radioshack-Nissan, Europcar and Liquigas have begun to show on the front of the peloton, taking a small portion of the work from Katusha shoulders. Radioshack-Nissan will be interested in keeping the break within a reasonable distance to give the Schleck brothers a good springboard on the last couple of climbs.

  61. - 110km - The gap between leaders and chasers has stretched yet further to 8.10, however, this will be down to teams sitting up and getting organised before we hit the climbs. 'Natural breaks' and shedding of extra clothing combine to slow things down slightly.

  62. - 115km - The Cote de Wanne is the beginning of the end for a lot of riders as it marks the start of a long punishing run in. With an average gradient of 7.6% the climb is 2.2km in distance. It rises to between 10 and 12% in the middle and will cause further cracks in the peloton.

  63. - 120km - Curiously the gap has gone out a bit between our six leaders and the following bunch. Katusha have again taken charge at the head of things, but there will be no panic as once we hit the Cote de Wanne in 20km or so things will begin to change very quickly.

  64. - 125km - There is a lot of movement now as the gap between the leaders and the head of the peloton is reduced to 6.45, but the last climb has also seen a lot of riders go out the back of the main bunch. As the lumps and bumps become more frequent, expect a lot more of this.

  65. - 130km - The weather has begun to clear at the finish, but it may be temporary as in the distance there are some very ominous clouds.

  66. - 135km - So as we approach the second half of the race, our six breakaway men have a lead of 8 minutes. They are Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma), Simon Geschke (Argos), Reiner Honig (Landbouwkrediet), Gregory Habeaux and Kevin Ista (both Accent Jobs) and Allesandro Bazzana (Team Type 1). Meanwhile, Katusha continue to drive on at the front of the peloton.

  67. - 140km - The leading group have gone over the top of the Cote de Saint-Roch, Geschke leading them over, followed by Habeaux and Cataldo in third. They now have an 8 minute advantage on the chasing peloton.

  68. - 140km - Following this climb there will be plenty of time to recuperate. The Cote de Saint-Roch falls at the 116.5km mark and the next challenge doesn't appear until we hit 160km (97.5km to the finish). It is from here on that we will see the real wearing down of the bunch. Add in some heavy rain showers and cold winds and it all makes for a hard day in the saddle.

  69. - 145km - With ten kilometres to go until we hit the second climb of the day, the gap has been whittled down to 8.20. This climb, the Cote de Saint-Roch, is a short one at only one kilometre in length, but similar to the others, there are some very nasty sections in there. An average gradient of 11% will see a little more energy drained from the breakaway.

  70. - 150km - And just as we say that, the gap is cut again to 8.35.

  71. - 155km - As the race heads back towards the eventual finish, expect to see more movement in the main group behind the leaders. As it stands, the escapees have been reeled in from 12 minutes back to a gap of 9.05 at present.

  72. - 160km - The leaders have reached Bastogne

  73. - 165km - The Schleck brothers were in confident mood earlier this weekend saying that they were not just here for the nice hotel, free food and laundry. Andy, race winner in 2009, is not in the best of form, but the brothers are looking to go one better than last year.

  74. - 170km - Katusha have decided to take control at the front. Time will tell how much their efforts in midweek have taken out of them. However, if their legs hold, they will be confident of getting Joaquim Rodriquez in the right place when the serious climbing begins.

  75. - 175km - As we close in on the turning point of Bastogne, the gap between the break away and the bunch is now out to 12.35. It's still very early days yet though.

  76. - 180km - Euskaltel-Euskadi directeur sportif Gorka Gerrikagoitia has spoken to reporters about the fall suffered by Igor Anton during the neutralised section of the race, confirming that he broke his left clavicle. He said it was a "most stupid fall. He got tangled up and went down."

  77. - 185km - Geschke was first over the climb, followed by Habeaux and Honig. The group of Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma), Simon Geschke (Argos), Reiner Honig (Landbouwkrediet), Gregory Habeaux and Kevin Ista (both Accent Jobs) and Allesandro Bazzana (Team Type 1) now have a gap of 9.55.

  78. - 190km - The leaders have reached the first climb of the day, the Cote de La Roche-en-Adrenne, with around 10 minutes of an advantage over the bunch.

  79. - 195km - The gap has risen to 9.35. The peloton have agreed to let them go and are saving themselves for the second half of the race. Despite beginning the climbing shortly, this race doesn't typically spark into life until we reach the Cote de Stockeu just after the 166km mark. Although only 1km in length, this is a real lung burner rising in one point to 24%. This is where the real contenders for this title will begin to appear.

  80. - 200km - The gap up front has stretched to 8.05.

  81. - 200km - Phillipe Gilbert (BMC), who won here last year, has been making steady progress up the ranks during Ardennes Week, coming from 6th in Amstel Gold last weekend, to 3rd on Wednesday in Fleche Wallonne. Can he make the jump to the top step of the podium today?

  82. - 205km - The three leaders have been joined Reinier Honig (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Gregory Habeaux (Accent-Willems) and Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1-Sanofi) and now the gap for this group of six men is 6 minutes 10 seconds. Definitely looks like we have our break of the day. No major threats out there so it is unlikely there will be too much panic in back in the peloton.

  83. - 210km - Daniel Martin (Garmin Barracuda) made a late break on Wednesday to grab sixth place in Fleche Wallonne. Watch out for the Irishman when things begin to get lumpy today.

  84. - 215km - A group of three riders are finally making some inroads off the front of the bunch. Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Simon Geschke (Argos), andf Kevin Ista (Accent Jobs) are clear at 65 seconds.

  85. - 220km - Today's first climb comes at 70km with the ascent of the Cote de la Roche-en-Ardenne - a 2.8km climb with an average gradient of 6.2%.

  86. - 225km - Katusha leader, Joaquim Rodriguez has been lookling forward to this race and said that he will race today as if he "hadn't won Fleche Wallonne during the week." He points to the climb of La Redoute at 223km as a pivotal point in the race. "From Le Redoute it gets really tough, but this year, with the bad weather forecast, there'll be a much smaller group of favourites in the front group."

  87. - 230km - Known as La Doyenne, this is the oldest of the classics, dating back to 1892 as an amateur race before turning to a professional event in 1894.

  88. - 235km - Van Hecke (TopSport) has been brought back and two riders are trying to break away. The bunch is full of life this morning, but this should calm down very quickly once a break manages to establishe itself. There's a long way to go and a lot of climbing to be done yet.

  89. - 240km - The lead group of 20 has been reeled back in apart from one brave soldier, Preben Van Hecke (TopSport)

  90. - 243km -The weather always has a large part to play in the Ardennes Classics and this, along with the consistent rolling nature of the terrain is what makes them so difficult. Phillipe Gilbert said this week that he would have preffered some colder, wetter weather for Fleche Wallone on Wednesday and is hoping things might be a bit more inclement today. Well Phillipe, your wish may be granted as the rain has started to fall at the finish.

  91. - 245km - Marczynski (Vaconsoleil) has been reeled in by the bunch, but there is now a large group of about 20 riders off the front.

  92. - 25 teams are represented today, with now 199 starters. Among the favourites will be Phillipe Gilbert (BMC), Fleche Wallone winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Amstel Gold winner Enrico Gasparatto (Astana), and of course we can't rule out Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskadi)

  93. - It's been confirmed that Igor Anton has broken his left collarbone in the crash before the race start.

  94. - The attacks are already coming thick and fast and Tomasz Marczynski (Vaconsoleil) is making a break for it. He's hanging there at 10 seconds, but the peloton are closing fast.

  95. - Euskaltel-Euskadi are down one man already as Igor Anton crashed in the neutralised zone and has been forced to abandon.

  96. - The route will bring the peloton over 11 categorised climbs during the race, the majority of these coming in the last 100km.

  97. - Today's race will see 200 riders travel the 257.5km from Liege to Bastogne before turning and coming back the long way round to pass through Liege again before finishing in the town of Ans.

  98. - Welcome to live updates from the 98th edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the last of the Ardennes Classics for 2012, but most definitely not the least of them.

  99. - - Follow live updates on Liege-Bastogne-Liege from 09:40 on Sunday.

 

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  1. I hope the coverage of eurosport for the Tour De France­ is better than that of the Tour of Italy. camerawork­ was terrific but there was no descrition of what the­ camera was showing, ie, Buildings, monuments etc. I­ need something to distract me from listening to the­ boring voice of Sean Kelly twittering on. R Brown

    From richard, on Sat 30 Jun 14:26
  2. Opst..apologize for my in-accuracy, Astana have only 2­ riders in the Top 5.

    From The New Number 7, on Sun 22 Apr 16:41
  3. Wow! Surprised with the winner and Astana having 3­ riders in the Top 10.

    From The New Number 7, on Sun 22 Apr 16:30
  4. Great updates, well done.

    From , on Sun 22 Apr 15:16
  5. hello ,first timer to comment on euro sport , was going­ to go out on my bike but talked my self out of­ it.don't you both think that ballen should be­ starting to earn his wages more? simon from a damp­ birmingham, great coverage as ever.voeckler for the­ win.

    From Simon, on Sun 22 Apr 14:51
  6. Form is temporary class is permanent...I think it's­ great when the pro's have a dip in form because­ that's as natural as having a wee..Kimmage was­ saying Phil Gil was definately doped last season which­ was just ridiculous because of the nature of the­ rider..Now he's human again..After all ,LBL is­ known as "the dopers classic"...

    From Elisabeth, on Sun 22 Apr 12:41
  7. If you were the boss of BMC would you be disappointed­ in Gilberts performance having spent millions on­ signing him? Is it fair for him to offer excuses, or­ should he accept that he should have performed better?

    From Stephen, on Sun 22 Apr 11:06
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