Paris-Nice winner Tony Martin will be at the center of HTC-Highroad’s battle plan for the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic in Belgium on Sunday.
“Tony will be the key protected rider and his team-mates will do their best to keep him up there with the favorites on each of the cols,” comments HTC-Highroad sports director Valerio Piva. “He’s extremely motivated, he’s in form and did very well in this race last year right up until the last part.”
“However, he crashed at the foot of the Cote du Roche aux Faucons climb, just when he was with the leaders.”
“This year he’s determined to put that right and of the three Ardennes Classics, Liege is certainly the race which suits him the best.”
“The climbs are long, and we’ll make sure he has a good position on important climbs like the Cote de Wanne and the Stockeu. After that, it’s up to see whether he has the legs or not.”
As at Amstel Gold and Fleche Wallone, with rival Philippe Gilbert the top favorite, Piva believes, “The best strategy is to get in a break early on rather than waiting too long.”
“If the favorites are all watching each other too much, that can be good for breakaways and without going crazy we have to take advantage of that.”
HTC-Highroad for Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Michael Albastini (Swi)
Matt Brammeier (Ire)
Caleb Fairly (USA)
Jan Ghyselinck (Bel)
Craig Lewis (USA)
Tony Martin (Ger)
Kanstantin Sivtsov (Byl)
Tejay Van Garderen (USA).