Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) claimed the biggest victory of his career to date at Liège-Bastogne-Liège after he soloed clear atop the Côte de la Redoute with 29km remaining.
Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) won the sprint for second place ahead of Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) at 48 seconds, while Daniel Martínez (Ineos Grenadiers) finished just off the podium in fourth.
Evenepoel’s victory saved his QuickStep-AlphaVinyl team’s Spring Classics campaign, and it came after a dramatic edition of La Doyenne that saw his teammate Julian Alaphilippe leave the race in an ambulance following a mass crash ahead of the Col du Rosier.
The Belgian’s fierce attack near the top of the Redoute saw him force his way clear of the group of favorites, and he proceeded to pick his way through the remnants of the day’s early break. He would drop the last survivor of the break, Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), on the final ascent of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons with 14km remaining.
Evenepoel had a lead of half a minute over his pursuers at the base of that climb and when he extended that advantage on its steep slopes, the run-in to Liège became something of a coronation. Indeed, he was already punching the air in celebration with a little under 3km to go.
Ironically, Evenepoel was perhaps aided by the presence of his rival Van Aert in the chasing group, given that few wanted to help bring the Belgian champion to a sprint in Liège.
When Van Aert was distanced by accelerations from Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) on the unclassified hill at Boncelles with 10km remaining, for instance, Evenepoel’s advantage briefly dipped inside 20 seconds. But when Van Aert clawed his way back over the other side, the momentum ebbed from the chase, and Evenepoel’s lead stretched out accordingly.
More to follow
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team||6:12:38|
|2||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materials||0:00:48|
|3||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma|
|4||Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers|
|5||Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|6||Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious|
|7||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team|
|8||Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost|
|9||Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates|
|10||Michael Woods (Can) Israel-Premier Tech|