Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes 2024: route, contenders, and prediction

Who are the favourites for this year’s final Ardennes Classic? 

Closing the Ardennes Classics week, Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the third and final race following the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne Femmes. It also marks the end of the spring Classics season before the stage races commence, starting with the Vuelta Femenina at the end of the month. 

Last year, the Ardennes were dominated by Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime), who secured the famous hat-trick. However, this year’s races so far have been far less predictable, with the Amstel Gold Race coming down to an unlikely bunch sprint, which was won by Marianne Vos (Visma-Lease a Bike) and La Flèche Wallonne by Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM), who hasn’t won a race in five years. But Liège-Bastogne-Liège is no walk in the park, and Vollering is the only rider on the start list who has won this Monument and understands what it takes to triumph this demanding 147km-long race.

The nature of the course, with its punchy climbs packed into the second half of the race, certainly favours the climbers and puncheurs of the bunch, and every team will bring their best riders in hopes of achieving this Monument title. The defending champion herself will also be on the start line, looking for her third title, however, we expect that the race will not be decided until the very end, making for another nail-biting edition.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes 2024 route

The women’s route will once start in Bastogne and make its way north back to Liège, featuring nine of the Ardennes' famous climbs, one more than last year’s race. Following the same format as previous editions, the second half of the race is where all the action is packed in, with eight climbs crammed into the last 80km. The first climb, the Côte de Saint-Roch is the only climb in the opening half of the race and comes after 19.2km of racing. 

Route map sourced from Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes website 

Once they reach 62km to go, this is where the race spices up, as they tackle the Côte de Wanne, Côte de Stockeu, Côte de la Haute-Levée, Col du Rosier, Côte de Desnié, Côte de la Redoute, Côte des Forges, and finally Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. They then have a short descent into Liège, before a flat run-in to the finish line, where we will either see a solo victor or a sprint for this prestigious victory.


Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) 

The Italian has been in the form of her life recently, securing three wins so far this Classics season, including the Tour of Flanders and De Brabantse Pijl. After her win at De Brabantse Pijl, the 32-year-old rider said she would be targeting Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a race not yet on her growing palmarès. A solid all-rounder, she'll be able to handle the many ascents that the route holds and will be a rider who could make an attack on La Redoute like her teammate Lizzie Deignan did in 2020. However, she has also proven her sprinting abilities this season, and if it comes down to a select group, she’ll certainly be one for the podium. Her teammate Shirin van Anrooij will also be joining Longo Borghini at this race, and they’ve proven to be a formidable duo so far this year.

Elisa Longo Borghini celebrating her win at this year's Tour of Flanders (Image by

Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime) 

Vollering is the only rider on the start line to have won this race before, both in 2021 and 2023. She knows how to win this race, and she’ll know where to attack and how riders will be feeling at certain points of the course. The 27-year-old rider won in sublime fashion last year, rounding off her hat-trick of Ardennes Classics in an almost unstoppable year for Vollering and SD Worx. However, it’s not quite been the same this year for the Dutch rider, with still no wins to her name this season. At Amstel Gold, she placed 22nd overall with her team-mate Lorena Wiebes instead sent for victory by the team as the race boiled down to the sprint, and at La Flèche Wallonne, she came second after being pipped to the post by Kasia Niewiadoma. While she’ll go into the race confident with the knowledge she can win here, it is the growing strength of the other riders around her that is becoming a problem for Vollering. 

Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM)

The Polish rider is often in our top contenders for many, if not all, the Women’s WorldTour races, but always ends up just missing out on the victory. That was until Le Flèche Wallonne, where, with 150 metres to go of the brutal Mur de Huy, she attacked and took her first victory in five years. Niewiadoma has always performed well in the final Ardennes Classics race, taking four top 10 positions out of the seven times she has lined up for Liège. After her Flèche win, she’ll have a newfound confidence that she can beat her rivals. 

Kasia Niewiadoma winning La Flèche Wallonne 2024 (Image by ASO)

Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) 

The world champion will be making her Liège-Bastogne-Liège debut this year, and it is without doubt a race she could win. The short, punchy climbs that make up the second half of this race is the type of terrain where we see Kopecky shine and she could make a late attack on a climb near Liège in the hopes of shaking the riders around her to take the win. She knows her form is there, despite not having clocked up as many wins as last year, having won Strade Bianche, Danilith Nokere Koerse, and most recently, Paris-Roubaix. However, being new to the race, she will not have the same race knowledge as some of her rivals and that could be a disadvantage to her. Or, it’ll be beginner's luck in Liège for Kopecky. 

Ashleigh Moolman (AG Insurance-Soudal)

The AG Insurance-Soudal rider hasn’t clocked up as many race days as her rivals this season and has only partaken in three Women WorldTour races so far – Strade Bianche, Amstel Gold Race and Le Flèche Wallonne. She put in a strong performance in the second of the Ardennes on Wednesday, but couldn’t stick to the wheels of Niewiadoma, Vollering and Longo Borghini on the Mur de Huy’s steepest ramps. Nevertheless, she still placed fifth. The South African knows she can excel in the Ardennes, and at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, she has had three fourth-place finishes in 2018, 2021 and 2022. Despite all her efforts, we've never seen her convert these high rankings into wins. If she can't secure a podium spot again this year, there's still a high chance we'll see her within the top 10. 

Other contenders

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez) is a rider who thrives on this type of parcours. She has an explosive style of racing that makes her a contender for this race. However, she has not raced since Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February, when she was involved in a crash that saw her with a sacral fracture, so we do not know her current form. With this in mind, the FDJ-Suez team might instead choose to support Évita Muzic, who has so far demonstrated she is a serious contender for these style of races, coming fourth in Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne. 

Riejanne Markus on the attack at La Flèche Wallonne (Image by ASO)

Visma-Lease a Bike has Riejanne Markus, who looked in good form at Flèche, attacking with five kilometres to go. She came fourth in last year’s race and said after Flèche that she hopes to bring her good form into the race on Sunday so she can get herself onto the podium. They may also bring Marianne Vos to the race for the first time since 2021, with the Dutch great possibly keen to add this race to her palmarès having only achieved a best-ever result of fourth. Juliette Labous (Team DSM-Fermenich PostNL) is also another rider who has performed well so far in these Ardennes Classics, securing a top 10 in Flèche Wallonne. She has only finished within the top 10 here once in 2020, but with a strong race on Wednesday, she’s like she could achieve this feat. 

For EF Education-Cannondale, Kristen Faulkner will be a rider to watch, and so will Veronica Ewers, who looked good during Flèche, but an untimely crash took her out of contention on the final ascent to the finish. Lidl-Trek could also choose to send Shirin van Anrooij to the finish instead of Longo Borghini after a strong Classics campaign where she demonstrated not only her strength but also her tactical skills. 

Our prediction:

It is a hard one to call with this year’s Ardennes Classics not being dominated by one rider like last year’s races. However, with the strength she and her team have shown throughout the season so far, we think that Elisa Longo Borghini will finally add this Monument to her palmarès. 

*Cover image by

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