photo credits @ ASO
Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) claimed the 105th edition of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic today, after the Danish rider capitalized on his performance over the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons before soloing away with 13 kilometers to go
He is the second Danish to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 26 years after Rolf Sorensen.
Meanwhile, Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished second, with his teammate Max Schachmann dominating the sprint amongst the remaining group to claim the last spot on the podium.
Today’s poor weather conditions didn’t hamper early attackers like Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ), Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Gobert), Jérémy Maison (Arkéa-Samsic) and Dries Van Gestel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) from escaping the peloton early on in La Doyenne.
Van Gestel was the first rider to get dropped from the group, while Kevin Deltombe (Sport Vlaanderen Baloise) and Mathijs Paaschens (Wallonie Bruxelles) managed to bridge their way to the lead group after 15 kilometers.
Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Énergie) and Kenny Molly (Wallonie Bruxelles) also succeeded in making their way to the leaders a short-time later as well.
In the meantime, the peloton only managed to cover 30 kilometers during the first hour, while the breakaway group proceeded to open up an advantage of more than ten and a half minutes.
But, as the lead group reached the first climb of the day, La Côte de La Roche-en-Ardenne, their gap had fallen to 6:40.
With the breakaway group holding at around six minutes, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) attacked from within the chase, subsequently shattering the peloton into pieces.
As a result, riders like Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Soudal) were momentarily dropped, while World champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) abandoned with 105 kilometers to go – missing his opportunity to match Eddy Merckx’s record of five victories in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Upon approaching the sequence of Wanne – Stockeu – Haute-Levée. the lead group’s advantage was down to just one minute, prompting Bernard to go it alone at the start of the Côte de Wanne.
Back in the main field, a large group of 28 riders including Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) rode clear of the peloton along the Côte de La Haute-Levée, later catching Bernard with 75 kilometers to go.
However, it wasn’t long before the peloton reeled the escape group in at the bottom the Col du Rosier.
Tanel Kangert (EF Education First), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida), Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott), David de la Cruz (Team Sky), Omar Fraile (Astana), Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto Soudal), Winner Anacona, Carlos Verona (Movistar) and Alessandro De Marchi (CCC Team) were to next to ride clear, quickly opening up a lead of around half a minute at the summit.
Kangert decided to attack his fellow breakaway companions on the Côte de la Redoute, while Fuglsang’s Astana tried to control the pursuit effort.
But, the attacks kept flying from within the chase, with Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) eventually making their way to Kangert just before the final climb of the La Roche-aux-Faucons.
From there, Fuglsang attacked along the steepest part of the climb with Formolo and Michael Woods being the only two riders who were able to mark his move.
But, the determined Danish rider succeeded in dropping his two rivals with 13 kilometers remaining to claim a solo victory.
You must be logged in to post a comment.