___Race Snippets

 
 

82nd Liege-Bastogne-Liege 1996 (Belgium)

 
   
 
By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian
 

L-B-L Slips away from Lance

Swiss Pascal Richard sprinted past American Lance Armstrong to win the 263-km Liege-Bastogne-Liege Classic on Sunday.

Pre-race favorite Lance Armstrong, who was the winner of the Fleche Wallone several days earlier, made the decisive attack 35 kms from the finish.  He made the move just past the top of the climb of La Redoute while the peloton was recovering.  Only Richard and defending champion Mauro Gianetti (Sui) could hold Armstrong’s wheel.

On the final 4 km climb to the finish at Ans the three lead riders watched each other very closely.  Gianetti launched a furious attack at 1200 meters to go, but was neutralize by Armstrong; then Richard attacked at 1 km flag with Armstrong again doing the work to close the gap.  Through the left-hand turn at the top of the climb, 250 meters from the line, Armstrong attacked into the headwind.  Perfectly placed Pascal Richard jumped past him with 25 meters to go and rolled across the finish line for the prestigious victory.

Armstrong told L'Equipe after the race, "I committed a big error in the final stretch. I should have eased off my effort on the climb to Ans and let the other two make part of the tempo. It's because I was feeling too confident. Even in the sprint, I was sure of winning."

SPECIAL NOTE: After winning Fleche Wallone and placing second at L-B-L Lance Armstrong won the “Trophee Week End Ardennais”.  The award is given to the best placed rider in the Ardennes Double: 1. Armstrong 3 points, 2. Gianetti 7 points, 3. Richard 15 points.

L-B-L April 21, 1996
263 Km

1. Pascal RICHARD (Sui) 6h58’02”

2. Lance Armstrong (USA)

3. Mauro Gianetti (Sui)

Starters: 188
Finishers: 53
Average Speed: 37.750 km/h

 

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