We saw a huge performance from Annemiek van Vleuten at this year’s Liège Bastogne Liège Femmes. The Movistar rider attacked the Col de la Redoute but only succeeded in picking up a Marlen Reusser shaped anchor. Reeled back in before the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons, Van Vleuten attacked again heading up to the first summit. She got a gap of around 15″ and whilst the small chase group tried to get organised on the second part of the climb, Van Vleuten rode away. Briefly, on the main road to Liège, it looked like she might get caught but the chase was broken and Van Vleuten won comfortably in the end. Annemiek van Vleuten becomes the oldest male or female monument winner in the history of cycling at 39 years and 199 days.
So starting with the first successful break of the day, Quinty Ton made up part of it with teammate Jeanne Korevaar, and the young pair of Magdeleine Vallieres Mill from EF-TIBCO-SVB and Flora Perkins of Le Col-Wahoo. After 33km of racing, the quartet got a gap and began to work together. They got a max gap of just under 2 minutes before being reeled in on the slopes of the Côte de La Haute-Levée.
For Ton to get into that break, she had to do a pair of quick accelerations – one of 550w and the second one of 710w. After that, the group works well together for around 40km. A couple of power spikes can be seen though. The first one of 689w at the top of the Mont le Soie and then 864w (5secs @ 835w) at the summit of the Côte de Wanne. There was €250 up for grabs for the first rider past each summit and whilst Perkins claimed the first, Quinty Ton made sure to earn the second bonus. The break was caught before the summit of the next climb.
The effort made in the break was 239 watts – 3.9 w/kg – 265w normalised over 75 minutes.
The next break included more heavy hitters. Marlen Reusser, Sara Martin, Leah Thomas, Soraya Paladin, Evita Muzic, Amanda Spratt, Leah Kirchmann and Clara Honsinger. This group spent the next hour of the race at the front. It wasn’t until the Col de la Redoute that this break was swallowed up. They attacked between the Haute-Levée and the Col du Rosier and generally sat just over a minute ahead of the peloton. An initial sprint by Evita Muzic peaked at 736 watts allowing her to make the move. Then a number of tight hairpin bends allowed splits to form and the strong riders were able to press on.
The riders worked well on the Col du Rosier, extending their advantage over the peloton. For the 68 minutes of the break, Muzic averaged 206 watts – 228w normalised. When it came to the Col de la Redoubte, the power stays fairly level. There’s a sudden drop from not pedalling that I haven’t been able to see on-screen but other than that it’s a consistent effort. A short burst out of the saddle near the top as Van Vleuten comes round but the French rider isn’t able to hold the wheel and the power begins to slowly sink.
Now Annemiek van Vleuten doesn’t publicly post her power but these screenshots she posted on Twitter to show the improvements in times and power over the last few years are super helpful. The first attack was on the Col de la Redoute which succeeded in almost dropping everyone else but Marlen Reusser from the earlier break doggedly stuck to her wheel over the top. Van Vleuten averaged 382w for 5:01 for her climbing effort, which you can see are her best numbers on that climb.
Van Vleuten pushed on but was clawed back by the attention of SD Worx and FDJ. So a second attack was launched on the Roche-aux-Faucons. This segment data covers the first part of the climb to where the summit gantry was, it doesn’t carry on through all the up and out to the main road. This second attack saw Van Vleuten dig deep to launch 393w for nearly 4 minutes. This time she did get a gap and held that all the way to the finish line. With a best-guess weight of 62kg, that puts both attacks over 6.1w/kg, with the second attack the surprisingly stronger one. You can just about work out an FTP from the 5 minutes on the Col de la Redoute effort – working from the 0.85 multiplier for 5 minutes, you get 325 watts. Admittedly that’s fraught with all sorts of accuracy issues but it’s a guide nonetheless.
It’d be great to also see the initial burst of acceleration but this is the best we’re going to get from the star rider!
Liège Bastogne Liège Femmes 2022 Climbs Data
Col de la Redoute
|Annemiek van Vleuten||Movistar||5:01||382||6.16|
|Liane Lippert||Team DSM||5:35||?||?|
|Niamh Fisher-Black||SD Worx||5:43||?||?|
|Anna Henderson||Jumbo Visma||5:46||326||5.57|
|Juliette Labous||Team DSM||5:46||320||5.82|
|Shirin van Anrooij||Trek Segafredo||5:50||319||?|
|Ursa Pintar||UAE Team ADQ||5:51||312||5.89|
|Annemiek van Vleuten||Movistar||3:47||393||6.34|
|Liane Lippert||Team DSM||4:27||?||?|
|Elise Chabbey||Canyon SRAM||4:29||?||?|
|Juliette Labous||Team DSM||4:30||314||5.71|
|Mavi Garcia||UAE Team ADQ||4:34||?||?|
|Shirin van Anrooij||Trek Segafredo||4:35||304||?|
|Ursa Pintar||UAE Team ADQ||4:35||301||5.68|
|Lucinda Brand||Trek Segafredo||4:38||322||5.55|