___Race Snippets


75th Liege-Bastogne-Liege 1989 (Belgium)

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

King” Kelly Delivers!

The pressure to win one of cycling’s monuments is huge but sponsorship pressure is even greater. Hardened Irishman Sean “King” Kelly moved to the Dutch PDM team with high expectations and an ambitious 1989 Classics schedule. Hired to win numerous Classics, Kelly struggled in the early spring. The Irishman felt the pressure at the start line in Liege. One hundred eighty-eight riders left the Palais des Princes for the 1989 edition of Le Doyenne. The tension of the tentative peloton was evident as the average speed moved at a slow 30 km/h. 

The race became more animated on the climb of the Houffalize where Bob Roll (USA) caught and passed Eddy Planckaert. Roll broke away solo for over 30 kms. When Roll was caught on the climb of the Wanne, the race headed to the new climb of the very steep La Chambralles. Aussie Phil Anderson started the hostilities that shattered the peloton.

Sean Kelly (R) and Aussie Phil Anderson (L)

The margin on the La Redoute was 23 seconds and over the top of the climb a chasing group of 28 reconnected with the 3 leaders. PDM took control of the race with Steven Rooks and Gert-Jan Theunesse driving the pace. 

The breakaway group held a slim lead as the final 2 km finishing circuit began. Pedro Delgado jumped first and lead out the sprint. Anderson and Kelly reacted quickly and caught the Spaniard. Coming off two strong wheels Kelly would not be beaten. Sean “King” Kelly delivered the prestigious Liege-Bastogne-Liege victory to his sponsor PDM.

L-B-L April 16, 1989
267 Km

1. Sean KELLY (Ire) 7h23'40"

2. Fabrice Philippot (Fra)

3. Phil Anderson (Aus)

Starters: 188
Finishers: 118
Average Speed: 36.243 km/h

L-B-L 1988

L-B-L 1990

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