Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2024 Predictions: Pogacar to seize the moment

 | 20th April | 

3 mins read

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This Sunday’s latest classic, the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, brings into sharp focus the hugely altered landscape of the cycling season as a result of the crash which set back three of the sport’s biggest names earlier this month.

For it was at La Doyenne this time last year that Tadej Pogacar suffered a broken wrist, an injury which left him short of form and fitness running up to the Tour de France. And now major impositions suffered by Primoz Roglic, Remco Evenepoel and – most damagingly – Jonas Vingegaard send the Slovenian back to Liege with a new-found favouritism for Le Tour. Here are my Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2024 predictions.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege Tips

  • Tadej Pogacar to win @ 8/13
  • Mathieu van der Poel each-way (1,2,3) @ 13/2

The major crash which ended the involvement of Roglic, Evenepoel and two-time reigning Tour de France champion Vingegaard at the Itzulia Basque Country event in the first week of April has left every cycling fan second-guessing what the line-up of Le Tour might look like come the last weekend of June.

Roglic should be in the clear, with his Bora-Hansgrohe team having confirmed that the reigning Giro d’Italia champion suffered no breaks despite ending up in a concrete ditch on the side of the road 40 kilometres from the end of the fourth stage in northern Spain.

He did announce that he was sitting out the three Ardennes Classics due to various bumps and scrapes which were results of his heavy fall on the descent of the Alto de Olaeta, but the 2020 Doyenne winner ought to be back in competitive action before too long.

Last year’s winner Evenepoel will be out for significantly longer though due to the collarbone fracture he sustained in the same incident, meaning the Soudal-QuickStep team leader will have a less than ideal build-up to his first crack at Le Tour, although he is progressing well according to his team.

The big loss is Vingegaard, who only recently left hospital after 12 days following fractures to his collarbone and ribs as well as a punctured lung. The Dane, who triumphed ahead of Pogacar around l’Hexagone in both 2022 and 2023, is now considered to have only an outside chance of competing in the greatest of Grand Tour events in France in June and July.

And Pogacar will face a few demons on Sunday as he takes on a course which undermined his hopes of regaining his Tour de France crown last year. With the in-form Mathieu van der Poel his biggest rival, there’s an expectation that the 25-year-old could use this race to make a real statement regarding his assault on this year’s three.

Tadej Pogacar to win @ 8/13

Short though the odds may be, it’s hard to look past Pogacar in this one. He has a point to prove, and showed with his stunning 81km-breakaway win over the Strade Bianche that he knows all about explosive performances.

With the Giro d’Italia his next scheduled appearance, this gives him an opportunity to scare the rest of the World Tour field, and you really wouldn’t put it past him.

Tadej Pogacar to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege @ 8/13

Mathieu van der Poel each-way (1,2,3) @ 13/2

This ought to be a two-horse race. While Tom Pidcock was a winner in the Amstel Gold Race last week, with Van der Poel way back in the field, this is the kind of race the Dutchman will really fancy himself in.

Even if Pogacar makes a series of attacks on the various mountains, Van der Poel could easily make a proper effort of sticking with him, and of the expected start list he is the most dangerous of the challengers to Pogacar’s hopes. Beyond Pidcock, I’m looking for big things from Lidl-Trek’s Mattias Skjelmose, but the Pog-Van der Poel 1-2 is where the wise money lies.

Mathieu van der Poel each-way @ 13/2

You can read all our latest Cycling Betting Tips here.

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