Seven riders have already beaten Philippe Gilbert’s Strava KoM on La Redoute, the Liège-Bastogne-Liège climb.
Having won the Belgian one-day Classic in 2011, Gilbert recently returned to the route while out filming for a documentary and spontaneously deciding to try and take the Strava KoM.
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The Lotto-Soudal rider lopped 17 seconds off the previous best time, riding the 1.5km ascent with an average gradient of 10 per cent in four minutes 25 seconds.
20-year-old Dutch rider Gijs Leemreize who rides for Jumbo-Visma’s Development Team has since gone on to set the fastest KoM time twice. In the immediate aftermath of Gilbert’s ride, Leemreize went three seconds quicker than the Belgian, setting a new best time of 4-22.
Then, on Sunday June 21, 20-year-old Mathijs Loman went seven seconds faster, with a time of 4-15, the Dutch youngster having been a Zwift Academy finalist last year.
A few days later on Friday, members of the UCI ProTeam Bingoal – Wallonie Bruxelles headed out, with Dimitri Peyskens, Eliot Lietaer and Arken Livyns all posting times better than Gilbert’s and placing themselves in the top 10 with wattages above 500w. Their team-mate Laurens Huys stormed ahead, however, setting a new best time of 4-09, averaging 22.3km/h and a heart rate of 193bpm.
Not to be outdone, Leemreize also returned to the climb that day, matching Huys’ time with a 497w effort.
Ag2r La Mondiale’s Lawrence Naesen has also had a go, setting a time of 4-23, and the attempts are unlikely to stop as riders recon and prepare for the one-day Classics that will take place this autumn.
Annemiek van Vleuten currently holds the QoM with a time of 5-13, set during the 2019 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which she won.