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by Shane Stokes
April 22, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Thomas wins Tour of the Alps as Pinot scoops final stage; Ruffoni takes second successive stage win in Tour of Croatia; Thomas not taking anything for granted in terms of Giro d’Italia; Scarponi ‘curious and confident’ about Giro team leadership; Gaviria savouring Grand Tour debut in Giro; Wellens aiming high for Liège-Bastogne-Liège; La Course organisers announce second day of racing to mixed reactions; USA Cycling announces establishment of Steve Tilford Memorial fund to promote clean sport; Photo gallery: A glimpse into cycling’s past at Paris-Roubaix’s retro market; 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour: La Flèche Wallonne highlights; 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour: Focus on Ashleigh Moolman Pasio; Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever,” Episode 2: Mt. Diablo; The Little 500 preview
Tim Wellens has been one of the most aggressive riders in recent Classics and believes he has a chance to turn his high placings into something special in Sunday’s Ardennes clash.
“Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the fourth race in two weeks for me,” he said on Friday. “Although I felt good every time, I didn’t set a top result. I am not worried about my shape. I am very keen on doing well on Sunday, in a race that matches my skills.
“The past years, I wasn’t able to ride the finale, but I have the ambition to do so this time. When you are in the running in the finale of Liège, you automatically get a good result.”
Wellens was third in this year’s Strade Bianche and fourth in Brabantse Pijl. He was also victorious in two Challenge Mallorca events at the start of the season plus a stage in the Vuelta a Andalucia.
The Lotto-Soudal rider has become known for his attacks and will look to channel that strength and aggression into the best possible performance on Sunday.
“According to me, there are two crucial phases: the road to La Redoute and the road to La Roche-aux-Faucons,” he said. “Both times we will head downhill, at a high pace, towards the bottom of the hill. Both hills are very narrow. Especially on La Roche-aux-Faucons it will be a hard battle. If you are not in front, you can forget it, because the group will definitely split on the climb.
“Liège-Bastogne-Liège is an elimination race.”