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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

POGACAR CRASHES OUT OF LBL, EVENEPOEL TAKES EASY WIN


Fast Step’s Remco Evenepoel capitalized on the withdrawal of UAE’s Tadej Pogačar from an early crash to solo away on a small climb and win Liège-Bastogne-Liège for the second consecutive yr. Pogačar hit the deck early on behind a stricken Mikkel Honoré who suffered an premature flat, and within the aftermath the double Tour de France winner was compelled to withdraw, struggling what’s now described as a fractured wrist for which Pogačar is presently present process surgical procedure.

With the race’s anticipated showdown off the menu, it was left to Evenepoel to verify expectations, and with the assistance of a dominant efficiency by his Soudal-Fast Step group, notably by Ilan Van Wilder, Evenepoel discovered himself in prime place on the Côte de la Redoute to make his anticipated solo assault. The World Champion obtained a small hole on INEOS’ Tom Pidcock, who caught again on in the course of the subsequent descent, however left the remainder of the challengers in arrears, together with two Trek Segafredo riders Giulio Ciccone and Mattias Skjelmose. Then on an uncategorized climb to Cornémont Evenepoel made one other acceleration to unhitch the non-cooperating Brit, and the race was over with 24km remaining.

CYCLING LIEGE BASTOGNE LIEGE RACE MEN

Evenepoel accelerates on La Redoute
Picture by JASPER JACOBS/BELGA MAG/AFP through Getty Pictures

Pidcock settled right into a chase group that concerned the 2 Treks, then a number of extra riders, solely to be winnowed down once more on the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons to himself, Santiago Buitrago of Bahrain Victorious and Ben Healy of EF Schooling. That group stayed forward of the muddled chase and took the 2 remaining podium spots when Pidcock got here previous Buitrago’s sturdy dash simply meters from the road.

For the second consecutive yr a poor efficiency on the cobbled classics by Fast Step has been reversed by Evenepoel’s brilliance in Belgium’s different Monumental traditional, however it will not be honest to explain that as a singlehanded rescue. Actually, the group’s efficiency did a fantastic deal to ship the win right now, not solely maintaining their chief close to the entrance and away from bother on a wet day, however to tire out the sphere and arrange the successful transfer. Julian Alaphilippe managed to assist out a good quantity within the race’s closing hour or so, regardless of his struggles to regain type from his earlier crashes this spring, and Louis Vervaeke contributed as properly, although none as spectacularly as Van Wilder, who completed his day’s work wrestling his bike practically all the best way up La Redoute earlier than Evenepoel took off.

Evenepoel is now the primary rider to efficiently defend his LBL title since Michele Bartoli, winner in 1997 and ‘98, and the primary rider to cross the road first within the rainbow jersey since Moreno Argentin capped off his run of three wins, the final as World Champ, in 1987.

However the largest story of the day is the situation of Pogačar, who is anticipated to problem for a 3rd Tour win in about 10 weeks’ time. Whereas a wrist fracture might derail his preparation whether it is extreme or complicated sufficient, there’s hope {that a} less complicated sort would depart him sufficient time to reach in France absolutely prepared to increase his sensible profession. Tbd…

Outcomes

  1. EVENEPOEL Remco, Soudal – Fast Step, 6:15:49
  2. PIDCOCK Thomas, INEOS Grenadiers, at 1:06
  3. BUITRAGO Santiago, Bahrain – Victorious
  4. HEALY Ben, EF Schooling-EasyPost, at 1:08
  5. MADOUAS Valentin, Groupama – FDJ, 1:24
  6. MARTIN Guillaume, Cofidis, 1:25
  7. BENOOT Tiesj, Jumbo-Visma, 1:37
  8. KONRAD Patrick, BORA – hansgrohe, 1:48
  9. SKJELMOSE Mattias, Trek – Segafredo
  10. HIRSCHI Marc, UAE Crew Emirates
  11. VAN GILS Maxim, Lotto Dstny
  12. WOODS Michael, Israel – Premier Tech
  13. CICCONE Giulio, Trek – Segafredo
  14. SIVAKOV Pavel, INEOS Grenadiers
  15. BARDET Romain, Crew DSM
  16. IZAGIRRE Ion, Cofidis
  17. DE PLUS Laurens, INEOS Grenadiers, 2:02
  18. PARET-PEINTRE Aurélien, AG2R Citroën Crew
  19. VELASCO Simone Astana Qazaqstan Crew, 2:13
  20. ROTA Lorenzo, Intermarché – Circus – Wanty

109th Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2023 - Men’s Elite

Picture by Luc Claessen/Getty Pictures

Liège – Liège 258.1 km

Can we get an Ardennes triple? (or two?)

Anticipated end: 16:35-17:15 CEST

Falconeer of the Day: Tadej Pogačar

Sturdy and good beats stronger and dumber.

Official website , Startlist.

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