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Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) wins the 2014 Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Australian rewarded for second monument victory
It marked Gerrans' second Monument win since moving to the team and capped an excellent spring for the rider which included a podium place in Amstel Gold Race.
Gerrans won Liege ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) to become the first Australian to ever win the race. Out of contact at the end of the season, the 33-year-old had told Cyclingnews that he would concentrate on his future only after Liège.
At the finish of the race, as Gerrans enjoyed his winner's press conference, Matt White told Cyclingnews that "Simon is a crucial part of our team and he's delivered on the biggest moments. Simon's not going anywhere and this is his home. We'll be keeping him.
"I knew that Simon would be very, very competitive but the win is a very nice surprise. This has got to be the biggest win we've had. Winning a stage in the Tour de France is big, and the yellow jersey off the back of that was awesome but I think this ranks with the best days we've had in the team. It's a big day for us, for sure."
Gerrrans came into the race in form but had never quite delivered in Liège before. However the race was a cagey and close affair with a large contingent of riders still in contention on the final climb.
"To be honest on the Forges he came on the radio and said 'I'm not good'. There was a minute's silence in the car and I've not spoken to him but he had a period where he didn't feel so good but then we saw Pieter Weening talking him up and then I knew he was feeling good."
Gerrans, who won the Tour Down Under in January, missed Milan-San Remo in March due to illness and White credited the enforced break as to part of the reason Gerrans has been able to hit top form in the Ardennes.
"Because of the forced period of rest in February and March he was able to come here rested and as good as ever."