Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) came extremely close to his first Monument podium at Liege-Bastogne-Liege but just missed out, finishing in fourth place on the Rue d'Avroy just under a minute behind the winner Jakob Fuglsang. Though he came so close, Yates was not disappointed and was instead satisfied that he had managed to better his previous best result of eighth in 2017.
"It was a tough day. All day in the rain and then in the final I was feeling ok, but stronger guys were up ahead of me. I improved on my eighth of a couple of years ago, fourth now. Maybe in the future I can go better, but right now fourth is good for me," he said at the finish.
Yates says that fourth place was the best that he could have hoped for at given the way the race played out. Yates found himself in a large chasing group behind Fuglsang and Davide Formolo, who were alone up the road. With Formolo's teammate Max Schachmann in the group, he knew that making the podium was going to be a difficult task.
"Oh yeah, I saw him in the Basque country and he can climb and he can sprint, he can do almost anything so fourth was the best that was going to come from that group, and fourth it was.
Yates was midway down the main group of favourites when Fuglsang pulled away halfway up the Roche-aux-Faucons. He did not have the legs to go with the Astana rider and hoped that the group would be able to pull him back before the line. But after a long and hard race, the chasers struggled to make ground on Fuglsang.
"He went at the right time, on a steep bit and at that point in the race you kind of gamble a little bit and hope that he's gone too early or there's a bit of work from behind but everyone was on their hands and knees and he was by far the strongest. So, congrats to him," said Yates.
Though he scored his best-ever Liege-Bastogne-Liege result, and his best ever Monument result, Yates seemed unsure if he would be back at the race more often. This was only his third appearance at the Belgian race and he said that they would probably have to change the route to entice him back next season.
"It is a race that suits me, but the finish is not as good as the old one. Hopefully, they change it back next year and maybe I'll come back."