An Easter Sunday Surprise
Pre-race speculation had Fleche-Wallone winner Moreno Argintin, a three time L-B-L winner, at the head of the list of favorites. Along with Argentin Panasonic’s two superstars Gert-Jan Theunisse and Steven Rooks were looking for the prestigious victory.
A 196 riders left the Place du Parc in Liege on a cold Easter Sunday. An Ardennes torrential rain with a bit of snow and sleet hit the riders on the way to the turn in Bastogne. No riders attacked until the special sprint in Bastogne, when three riders, Dimitri Konyshev, Francois Bernard, and Henri Abadie, escaped with a long 133 kms and eight brutal climbs to go.
The breakaway gained over six minutes on the Cote du Stavelot. The tempo of the peloton began to increase and the tiring breakaway started the crack. By the La Redoute Bernard was alone and fading. Gert-Jan Theunisse split the group when the peloton hit the climb and an 11 riders breakaway was established. Seemingly out of contention another group of eight formed and caught the leaders on the Cote de Fraiture the next to last climb of the race.
The descent of the Fraiture feature numerous attacks until Panasonic’s Eric Van Lancker managed to roll off the front. Van Lancker held a slim 15 second lead on the final climb, the Cote des Forges, over Jean-Claude Leclerq and his Panasonic teammate Steven Rooks.
Van Lancker never faltered and rode solo into Liege to gain a victory in one of cycling’s 5-monuments, the 1990 Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
|L-B-L April 15, 1990
Eric VAN LANCKER (Bel) 7h10'05”
Jean-Claude Leclercq (Fra) +34"
Steven Rooks (Ned)
Average Speed: 35.560 km/h
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