“We will have a fantastic opportunity to achieve a good result with myself or one of my teammates. I may find during the race that I’m lacking a little bit of condition, however I won’t be counting myself out. I have been working really hard to be in good shape and I hope to be in the front at the final. If this is possible, a win is not completely out of the question.”

This Sunday will mark the 101st edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Riders will cover 253 km in the hilliest and longest of the three Ardennes Classics. Referred to as La Doyenne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a race of attrition and the fourth monument of the season.

Simon will line up at Liège-Bastogne-Liège as defending champion, after becoming the first Australian to win the oldest one day classic last year.

“It’s a unique scenario going into a race like Liège-Bastogne-Liège as the defending champion. The win last year was the biggest win of my season and probably the biggest win of my career so it is an honour to return and have number one on my back,” said Simon.

Having missed Wednesday’s La Flèche Wallonne, Simon feels ready to lay it all on the line come Sunday.

“I fell like I recovered really well from Amstel. I was actually quite surprised the next day how good I felt out training. This is probably due to not having many race days at this point of the season. I am coming out of races a lot fresher,” said Simon.

It has been well documented that Simon’s preparation for the Ardennes has not been ideal with early season injuries, however Simon feels he has recovered well and is now starting to find his top form.

“It’s been a tough start to the season with a number of setbacks however I am really happy with how I have progressed over the past few weeks and even since last weekend at Amstel. I feel I’m in a much better place for Liège,” Simon said.

ORICA-GreenEDGE head into Liège-Bastogne-Liège fresh off a podium place at La Flèche Wallonne courtesy of Michael Albasini.

“The team we will have at Liège is the strongest we have put together for any of the classics. We saw yesterday that Alba is in great condition with his podium at Flèche and also last weekend at Amstel we had six guys left in the final coming into the Cauberg. This shows that the whole Ardennes group is in really good condition,” said Simon.

“We will have a fantastic opportunity to achieve a good result with myself or one of my teammates. I may find during the race that I’m lacking a little bit of condition, however I won’t be counting myself out. I have been working really hard to be in good shape and I hope to be in the front at the final. If this is possible, a win is not completely out of the question.”

Climbs in Liège-Bastogne-Liège:
79.0 km – Côte de La Roche-en-Ardenne, 2.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.2%
125.5 km – Côte de Saint-Roch, 1 kilometre-long climb at 11.2%
169.0 km – Côte de Wanne, 2.7 kilometre-long climb at 7.4%
175.5 km – Côte de Stockeu, 1 kilometre-long climb at 12.5%
181.5 km – Côte de la Haute-Levée, 3.6 kilometre-long climb at 5.6%
194.0 km – Col du Rosier, 4.4 kilometre-long climb at 5.9%
207.0 km – Col du Maquisard, 2.5 kilometre-long climb at 5%
218.5 km – Côte de La Redoute, 2 kilometre-long climb at 8.9%
234.0 km – Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, 1.5 kilometre-long climb at 9.4%
248.0 km – Côte de Saint-Nicolas, 1.2 kilometre-long climb at 8.6%

Australian viewers will be able to watch Liège-Bastogne-Liège live from 10:25pm Sunday 26 April on SBS ONE. Live streaming online will also be available here.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Michael Albasini, Esteban Chaves, Simon Clarke, Luke Durbridge, Simon Gerrans, Daryl Impey, Pieter Weening and Simon Yates.

26 April 2015
Liège - Ans
253 km / 157.2 mi.

For more information on the race, please visit the official race website.