Editors’ Picks: Who will win Liege-Bastogne-Liege?

The classics wrap up Sunday with La Doyenne, the oldest monument, the brutally hilly Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Here are our rapid-fire predictions for Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The VeloNews editorial staff will make predictions for major races throughout the season.

John Bradley, editor in chief
Pick: Alejandro Valverde

Heart says Dan Martin. But head says, “Did you watch Flèche? Or any of the past few editions of Liège?” It’s Valverde all the way (though we probably won’t see him put his face in the wind until about 100 meters to go).

Spencer Powlison, news director
Pick: Alejandro Valverde

“Screw it, I’ll pick Valverde,” I told Caley on Thursday. Plain and simple, the Spaniard is a cold-blooded killer when it comes to the Ardennes (or most races), and darn it, I just like how canny he is. Cycling’s subtle tactics are a beautiful, even if you aren’t an enthusiastic fan of the guy who plays them to perfection.

Chris Case, managing editor
Pick: Tim Wellens

I’m not happy about it, but I’m picking Valverde only because he is becoming ever more masterful at patiently and calmly hiding amongst the worker bees before launching a perfectly timed attack to take victory. He’ll do it again to a collective sigh of boredom and exasperation. But wait! I don’t care if I pick the person who is most likely to win, so I’ve changed my vote to someone with the opposite attitude to Alejandro. I’m going with Tim Wellens because I can almost guarantee that he’ll attack with about 10km to go, which will prove to be about 8km too early.

Caley Fretz, senior editor
Pick: Julian Alaphilippe

The smart pick is Alejandro Valverde, who had the strongest team and the best legs at Flèche Wallonne. But Alaphilippe was so very close, and the Liège finish once again suits him perfectly.

Andrew Hood, European correspondent
Pick: Dan Martin

Foul weather could derail Valverde, opening the door for Etixx to get the classic win they’ve been hunting all spring.

Dan Cavallari, tech editor
Pick: Dan Martin

It’s hard not to go with my gut and pick Valverde, but Martin looked strong at Flèche Wallonne and is perhaps more motivated than ever to keep Valverde from besting him. He’s got the strength and the experience to win this race, as he has done once before. If anyone can keep Valverde from crossing the line first, Martin’s that man.

Kristen Legan, associate editor
Pick: Alejandro Valverde

He is on a roll with Wednesday’s crushing win. I think he’ll ride that wave to another victory.

Gregor Brown, reporter
Pick: Vincenzo Nibali

The Italian champion should excel in the grim weather conditions forecasted on Sunday. He will use his bike handling, his experience in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and his improving form toward the Giro d’Italia to take another monument title.

Dane Cash, web editor and reporter
Alejandro Valverde

With the kind of form he showed off at La Flèche Wallonne, Valverde looks primed to win a fourth Liège title. His powerful finishing kick will likely inspire a few long-range movies, but a stacked Movistar squad should be able to keep this race under control.