___Race Snippets

 
 

85th Liege-Bastogne-Liege 1999 (Belgium)

 
   
 
By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian
 

A Vandenbroucke Gem

The weather in the Ardennes can be harsh.  This year is no exception with temperature dropping to a wintery -0- degrees Celsius (32 degrees F).  Defending champion and winner of Fleche Wallone Michele Bartoli was a heavy favorite to win his third straight L-B-L in 1999.

After early breakaways were caught the real racing began with 86 kms to the finish. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) and Stefano Garzelli (Ita) attacked and quickly gained a 28” lead.  In Stavelot a large crash in the peloton, which included Gabriele Colombo and Abraham Olano, disrupted the chase and extended the breakaway’s lead.

On the Côte du Rosier with the peloton closing on the two leaders, Garzelli couldn't hold Jalabert wheel on the climb.  Over the top of the climb the solo Jalabert had a 1’01” lead on the peloton with 70 kms to go. 

With three riders on the front of the chase Mapei-Quick Step was in control and Jalabert's attack was caught.  The peloton turned left and started the climb of the Côte de la Redoute.

24 year old Belgian Frank Vandenbroucke escaped the peloton on the climb.  Bartoli sprinted with VDB but couldn't hold his wheel. VDB leads by 11” on a small group with riders including Michele Bartoli, MaartenDen Bakker, and Oscar Camenzind.  

A re-grouping of 16 riders occurred when Vandenbroucke was caught.  These 16 are still together as they approach the Côte de Saint-Nicolas with 5.5 kms to go.  Michael Boogerd attacked with Vandenbroucke bridging the gap on the Dutchman.  The two have a small lead when an inspired Vandenbroucke attacked alone.

An in form Frank Vandenbroucke would not be caught.  He rode across the finish line 30 seconds ahead of second placed Michael Boogerd.  With the victory Vandenbroucke moved into the World Cup lead after 4 races.

Michael Boogerd said after the race: "It's a pity not to win, but Vandenbroucke was super today.”

L-B-L April 18, 1999
264 Km

1. Franck VANDENBROUCKE (Bel) 6h25’36”

2. Michael Boogerd (Ned) +30”

3. Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) +41”

Starters: 191
Finishers: 71
Average Speed: 41.079 km/h

 

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