2022 Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Tadej Pogacar Takes On The World In Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Tadej Pogacar Takes On The World In Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Tadej Pogacar will take on the world to defend his title in Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège in Belgium

Apr 20, 2022 by Gregor Brown
Liège-Bastogne-Liège Preview, Pogacar & Favs

Tadej Pogacar will take on the world in Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège in Belgium. The two-time Tour de France champion of UAE Team Emirates is back to defend his title on the heels of a stunning Tour of Flanders ride.

Pogacar's shot at a second victory in this Belgian monument will not be easy, facing favorites including Canadian Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Remco Evenepoel (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) and Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

"Since the Tour of Flanders the next day I went to test the pavé sectors for the Tour de France which was an exciting experience. They are quite hard but it's good to have an idea of what to expect before the Tour," Pogacar said.

"For these Ardennes races we have a very dynamic team. The form is good and I think I can do well but on a whole the team is very strong and we'll have options which is always an advantage."

Last year, Woods forced a small move of five free in the closing kilometers, but in a sprint, stood no chance. Pogacar won ahead of Alaphilippe and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ).

Over the 275.5km, again the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons and the Côte de la Redoute are expected to shape the race. Last year, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) tried a long range move here but UAE shut it down before the Woods move.

The race ends now in Liège with the new flat finish on the tail-end of one of cycling's toughest races run through southern Belgium. As the name suggest, it visits Bastogne before turning north of the majority of the climbs and finish.

Many eyes will be on Wout Van Aert and his Jumbo-Visma team. How well did the Belgian recover after racing Paris-Roubaix, given that this year it was just the previous weekend. He could use this win after suffering Covid, missing the Tour of Flanders and second in Paris-Roubaix. If not Wout, perhaps his Danish teammate Jonas Vingegaard.

Evenepoel will be returning after being defeated by Ineos and Magnus Sheffield in Brabantse Pijl. Ineos will rely on Geraint Thomas, Tom Pidcock and Michal Kwiatkowski, the later the winner of the Amstel Gold Race.

Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) has had a quiet start to the 2022 season but based on his ride in the World Championships last year and win in Clásica San Sebastián, there is no reason why could not win.