Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2018

April 22, 2018, Liege, Liege, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Barry Ryan

Liège-Bastogne-Liège hub page
Liège-Bastogne-Liège start list
Liège-Bastogne-Liège race preview
Vincenzo Nibali: It will be a very unusual Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Alaphilippe: The counter is reset to zero
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) wins his fourth Liège-Bastogne-Liège

  1. 10:01:03 CEST

    Valverde versus Alaphilippe round two? Wednesday's Fleche Wallonne showed that El Imbatido can indeed be defeated in the Ardennes, though Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) remains the favourite to equal Eddy Merckx's haul of five Liege-Bastogne-Liege victories this afternoon. By dint of track record and his victory on the Mur de Huy, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) seems the man most likely to deny him in Ans, though, as ever, there are contenders aplenty for La Doyenne, including Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).

  2. 10:08:05 CEST

    The peloton has assembled on the Place Saint Lambert in Liege for the start, which is at 10.10 am local time. After negotiating the neutralised section in the streets of Liege, they will hit kilometre zero and the start proper at 10.25am. The temperature is a very pleasant 19 degree, and is expected to nudge into the mid-twenties as the afternoon progresses. "This heat is unprecedented in Belgium, and it's the first time we've had that kind of heat this season," Nibali warned. "It can play some really nasty tricks on people after a race 260 kilometres long."

     

  3. 10:15:42 CEST

    The peloton is rolling through the neutralised zone ahead of what might - at least if reports in the Walloon press are correct - prove to be the final edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege that finishes atop the Cote de Ans. There is talk of a return to a flat, city-centre finish from next year, though nothing has been confirmed as yet. 

  4. 10:23:03 CEST

    There are 11 classified climbs on the parcours this afternoon, as well as that final drag to the line at Ans. The Côte de Bonnerue is the first ascent after 72km. The duo of the Col du Rosier and Col du Maquisard either side of the 200km mark signals the beginning of the endgame. The Cote de la Redoute comes 35km from the finish, followed by the Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons with a shade under 20km remaining. The summit of the wickedly steep Cote de Saint-Nicolas is 5.5km from the line, and there is precious little respite before that kick up to the finish in Ans.

     

  5. 258km remaining from 258km

    10:29:15 CEST

    The peloton reaches kilometre zero and the 2018 Liege-Bastogne-Liege is officially underway. 

     

  6. 10:37:33 CEST

    There has been an early flurry attacks as the race heads south out of Liege, but as yet no escapees have succeeded in breaking clear of the peloton.

     

  7. 248km remaining from 258km

    10:44:18 CEST

    There has been a brisk pace through the opening 10 kilometres, but as yet no attack has gained much traction and the peloton is still together.

     

  8. 10:48:32 CEST

    And with that, a group of nine riders succeeds in opening a small advantage over the peloton. Florian Vachon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Loïc Vliegen (BMC), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Mark Christian, Casper Pedersen (Aqua Blue Sport), Paul Ourselin (Direct Énergie), Antoine Warnier (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic) and Mathias Van Gompel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) have a gap, now they need to strike up a working alliance.

     

  9. 242km remaining from 258km

    10:56:52 CEST

    There has been a general truce in the main peloton, and the escapees are taking advantage of the drop in pace. Their gap is already at 3:10 and rising steadily.

     

  10. 237km remaining from 258km

    10:59:07 CEST

    The break's lead reaches 4:50. The UAE-Team Emirates squad of 2013 winner Dan Martin and former world champion Rui Costa is setting the tempo in the peloton.

     

  11. 11:08:17 CEST

    Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) is in the peloton today for his first race since Milan-San Remo in March and his last race before the Giro d'Italia next month. The Dutchman endured an ill-starred early season, but has been training in Sierra Nevada in recent weeks and arrived in the Ardennes aiming to test himself before the corsa rosa. “Here Michael Matthews is our leader and he’s a sort of climber/sprinter type of guy who should wait until really long into the race to make his move or go for the sprint,” Dumoulin said. “And you have someone like me who’s a kind of bonus – if I have the legs.” Alasdair Fotheringham has the full story here.

    Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

     

  12. 230km remaining from 258km

    11:09:15 CEST

    The break's lead continues to grow, reaching 5:45, and that seems to be the cue for Quick-Step Floors to join the pace-making effort in the main peloton.

     

  13. 223km remaining from 258km

    11:22:58 CEST

    The break's lead appears to have stabilised just shy of the six-minute mark as Quick-Step Floors and UAE-Team Emirates control affairs at the head of the peloton.

     

  14. 11:31:58 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) lines out for La Doyenne safe in the knowledge that his Spring campaign has already been an unqualified success after his solo victory at Milan-San Remo five weeks ago. The Italian went all in at the Tour of Flanders and again at Fleche Wallonne, but will he race with similar abandon today, or will he ride more conservatively in what is the Classics he perhaps covets above all others. Nibali has history with this race: he was dead last on his debut in 2005, and then second in 2012 after being caught and passed by Maxim Iglinskiy on the haul towards Ans. “Liège is a tough race, a tremendously hard one," Nibali said. "I like it, because like in Lombardia, when you reach the finish, you know you’ve given everything." Alasdair Fotheringham has more here.

    Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) on the attack at Fleche Wallonne

     

  15. 213km remaining from 258km

    11:34:10 CEST

    The break's buffer nudges up again slightly, to 6:10. Meanwhile, Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) has abandoned the race.

     

  16. 11:48:21 CEST

    It's interesting to see UAE-Team Emirates so active at the head of the peloton thus far, suggesting that their confidence in Dan Martin remains despite his low-key showing at Fleche Wallonne on Wednesday. Indeed, there was some mitigation for the Irishman in midweek, as he was caught behind a crash before the second time up the Mur de Huy. Although he made it back on, he paid for his efforts and was caught behind as the race broke up definitively near the summit. 

    Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates)

     

  17. 200km remaining from 258km

    11:55:06 CEST

    The break's lead has been pared back slightly and now stands at 5:20. The escapees are a little under 15 kilometres away from the day's first climb, the Côte de Bonnerue (2.4km at 5.8%).

     

  18. 12:09:53 CEST

    The second edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege Femmes is also taking place today and after winning Fleche Wallonne in midweek, Anna van der Breggen will take stopping this afternoon. Kirsten Frattini previews the action here.

    Anna van der Breggen leads the Women's WorldTour after Fleche Wallonne victory

     

  19. 190km remaining from 258km

    12:11:11 CEST

    In the men's race, meanwhile, our nine leaders approach the Côte de Bonnerue with a lead of 5:40 over the peloton. A reminder of the nine men in the break:  Florian Vachon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Loïc Vliegen (BMC), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Mark Christian, Casper Pedersen (Aqua Blue Sport), Paul Ourselin (Direct Énergie), Antoine Warnier (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic) and Mathias Van Gompel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

     

  20. 185km remaining from 258km

    12:20:17 CEST

    • Climb

    The escapees are on the Côte de Bonnerue, the first of the eleven categorised climbs on today's route. Their advantage stands at 5:50 over a peloton where Quick-Step and UAE-Team Emirates remain prominent.

     

  21. 183km remaining from 258km

    12:27:17 CEST

    Antoine Warnier (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic) leads the break over the top of the Côte de Bonnerue with a lead of 5:40 over the peloton. The leaders are a little under 18 kilometres from the turn and the first feed zone at Bastogne. The temperature has nudged up to 22 degrees Celsius.

     

  22. 12:39:15 CEST

    An outsider for victory today is Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), who was 6th in 2015 and 2017 and has never placed lower than 13th in Ans. The Frenchman, 9th at Fleche Wallonne on Wednesday, knows that he lacks the punch to outsprint Valverde or Alaphilippe in the finale at Ans, and will have to be inventive if he is to prevail. "With the good weather, there is a risk there'll be more riders at the foot of the last climbs, so you'll need to be sharper tactically," Bardet told L'Equipe. "I already have placings at this race and another won't bring me anything. But I'm not here just to provide a spectacle either."

    Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale)

     

  23. 172km remaining from 258km

    12:41:20 CEST

    The nine leaders maintain their advantage at 5:40 as they reach Savy on the outskirts of Bastogne.

     

  24. 169km remaining from 258km

    12:45:57 CEST

    The break make the turn at Rond-Point La Doyenne, an otherwise nondescript roundabout, but a monumental piece of road furniture on cycling's map. The escapees are now navigating the first of the day's two feed zones. 5:35 the gap.

     

  25. 12:49:55 CEST

    Caught at the foot of the Mur de Huy after being in a long break with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Jack Haig (Mitchelton Scott) is hopeful of more success in Liege Bastogne-Liege, writes Alasdair Fotheringham. ”It would be nice to have another good ride,” Haig told Cyclingnews. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens, so to be on the front foot is always better. It was a big effort on the Mur but I’ve managed to recover. We've got a big race favourite here with Roman Kreuziger, he’s shown that he’s on awesome form and he’ll be the guy to go for it in the end. And we’ve got various cards to play here with [Mikel] Nieve coming back from his injury, myself and Carlos [Verona]. We’ve got various options."

     

     

  26. 12:51:03 CEST

    "My role will be to cover the semi-dangerous moves, from about 80 kilometres to 40 kilometres to go, make sure that Roman has easy a ride as possible until the last two kilometres,” Haig continued. As for his ride in Fleche Wallonne, where he was the second last rider from the break to be reeled in, Haig says there was one point when he thought it might go all the way. “There was a point when we got to the bottom of the penultimate climb when I thought, ‘maybe this is possible. But the peloton is good at timing things, eh?”

    Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked to bridge to the breakaway

     

  27. 12:57:22 CEST

    The average speed after the opening two hours was just over 38kph, but what little wind there is will be the riders' backs as they head north again towards Liege.

     

  28. 160km remaining from 258km

    13:02:28 CEST

    There has been a slight increase in pace in the peloton, and the break's lead has dropped accordingly. The gap stands at 4:50 as they reach Vaux, 10 kilometres from the second ascent, the Côte de Saint-Roch.

     

  29. 13:04:50 CEST

    While the race is currently bathed in pleasant sunshine, rain is falling at the finish line in Ans.

     

  30. 151km remaining from 258km

    13:14:14 CEST

    • Climb

    The nine leaders approach the day's second climb, the Côte de Saint-Roch (1km at 11.2%) with a lead of 4:55 over the peloton.

     

  31. 13:23:18 CEST

    Despite being in the thick of the action prior to the final ascent of the Mur de Huy on Wednesday, Michel Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) is not feeling massively optimistic about his chances this time round. The Pole has twice placed third at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, in 2014 and 2017. “I’m feeling ok, I could be happier with the results in Amstel and Fleche," Kwiatkowski said. "I’m missing that spark which allows you to go for the win. But sometimes it’s not such a big gap and we’ll see what happens.”

    Michal Kwiatkowski on the start line at Fleche Wallonne

     

  32. 144km remaining from 258km

    13:26:47 CEST

    The break are over the Côte de Saint-Roch, still with almost five minutes in hand on the bunch. Meanwhile, the rain has abated over the finish in Ans, though there are still clouds looming overheard.

     

  33. 137km remaining from 258km

    13:35:18 CEST

    There are about 25 kilometres of rippling roads before the race hits the next ascent, the steady haul of the Côte de Mont-le-Soie (4km at 6.1%). The break's lead is 4:30 over a peloton where Movistar have joined the chase effort.

     

  34. 13:39:22 CEST

    Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) notched up a handy 6th place on Wednedsay’s Fleche Wallonne and is looking for another solid result in today’s race. “It's a hard race, but a nice one. I expect a similar kind of scenario with some long-distance attacks, rather than waiting for the final. Plus they are expecting some rains showers this afternoon so I think that could make it even more difficult,” Mollema said. This could be the last time the race finishes in Ans, but Mollema is one of the few riders who says he will miss the finale if the race goes back, as is expected, to the centre of Liege. “It's not the nicest part of town in Ans, but I like the uphill sprint. And it's a lot tougher than it looks on television!”

    Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

     

  35. 131km remaining from 258km

    13:43:22 CEST

    Movistar's arrival at the head of the peloton has seen a slight but discernible increase in urgency. The gap to the break has dropped to 4:20.

     

  36. 126km remaining from 258km

    13:51:11 CEST

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is chasing a record-equalling fifth victory. His first two wins in 2006 and 2008 came before his ban for his implication in the Operacion Puerto blood doping inquiry, and he added two more wins in 2015 and 2017. “Liege-Bastogne-Liege is the race I most like in the entire year,” Valverde said yesterday. “It’ll be very difficult, the rivals will make it very tough for me, and Alaphilippe will be a serious challenger. So I’ll have to do a good race. I feel as strong as I have done in other years, but Alaphilippe won fair and square at Fleche, so it’ll be a good duel. The important thing is that the fans enjoy what they see. I’m expecting a lot more attacks from further out, but for me, hopefully, things will come down to a small group sprint, where I’m one of the fastest. And Nibali is sure to attack from a long way out…”

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) attacks

     

  37. 14:01:33 CEST

    Today marks the first anniversary of Michele Scarponi's tragic death, and Vincenzo Nibali recalled his old teammate in an interview in this morning's edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport. “In the last few days, with the Tour of the Alps [where Scarponi won his final race last year – ed.] I thought even more about Michele,” Nibali said. “Sometimes, it seems like I can still hear him in the peloton. I miss his laugh and I miss his advice.”

    Michele Scarponi smiles after a stage at the Tour of the Alps

     

     

  38. 113km remaining from 258km

    14:03:46 CEST

    Another team has joined the chase effort at the head of the peloton, as Lotto Soudal put their shoulders to the wheel. Jelle Vanendert's third place finish at Fleche Wallonne was not met with universal acclaim within the team on Wednesday, but they presented a united front when they met the press ahead of Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Vanendert, Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot give them a trio of options for today's finale.

     

  39. 109km remaining from 258km

    14:08:50 CEST

    The nine leaders are at the base of the third climb of the day, the Côte de Mont-le-Soie, with a lead of 4:30 over the bunch.

     

  40. 107km remaining from 258km

    14:13:15 CEST

    A reminder of those nine members of the early break, who continue to collaborate well on the day's third ascent: Florian Vachon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Loïc Vliegen (BMC), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Mark Christian, Casper Pedersen (Aqua Blue Sport), Paul Ourselin (Direct Énergie), Antoine Warnier (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic) and Mathias Van Gompel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

     

  41. 14:15:48 CEST

    UAE-Team Emirates set a steady the tempo in the peloton on the Côte de Mont-le-Soie, 4:20 behind the leaders.

     

  42. 14:17:11 CEST

    Liege-Bastogne-Liege Femmes has just come to a finish, and Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) has claimed the win to complete an Ardennes double after her win at Fleche Wallonne in midweek.

     

  43. 14:18:54 CEST

    Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) gave lone chase to Van der Breggen and came home in second place, while her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten out-sprinted Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio to claim the third step of the podium. A full report will follow on Cyclingnews in due course.

     

  44. 100km remaining from 258km

    14:23:32 CEST

    Into the final 100 kilometres, and the escapees still hold a lead of 4:20 over the peloton. The Cote de Pont is the next climb on the agenda in a little under 10 kilometres.

  45. 14:24:28 CEST

    • Crash

    A crash for Alberto Bettiol (BMC Racing Team), who is being treated by his team doctor at the roadside.

     

  46. 94km remaining from 258km

    14:31:24 CEST

    The salt residue on Casper Pedersen's jersey shows just how warm conditions are today for La Doyenne, quite a change from this day two years ago, when the snowfall was so heavy that the race had to be re-routed on the hoof.

     

  47. 91km remaining from 258km

    14:33:55 CEST

    • Climb

    The break reaches the short but steep Cote de Pont (1km at 10.5%) with a lead of 4:05 over the bunch.

     

  48. 14:35:51 CEST

    Jerome Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) accelerates at the front of the break and Mathias Van Gompel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) is beginning to lose contact. Antoine Warnier is also struggling.

     

  49. 14:38:28 CEST

    It looks as though our break is down to 7 riders after the Cote du Pont, as Warnier and Van Gompel has considerable ground to make up over the other side. Lotto Soudal and UAE-Team Emirates lead in the main peloton, meanwhile. 3:44 the gap.

     

  50. 87km remaining from 258km

    14:40:28 CEST

    • Climb

    The Côte de Bellevaux is the next climb on the agenda. Our seven leaders begin the ascent with 4 minutes in hand on the chasers.

     

  51. 14:41:19 CEST

    The seven riders remaining in the break are: Florian Vachon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Loïc Vliegen (BMC), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Mark Christian, Casper Pedersen (Aqua Blue Sport) and Paul Ourselin (Direct Énergie).

     

  52. 86.5km remaining from 258km

    14:42:05 CEST

    Pedersen accelerates near the top of the climb to claim the prime at the summit. Van Gompel continues to chase alone, but he will struggle to catch back up to the leaders at this rate.

     

  53. 82km remaining from 258km

    14:46:32 CEST

    Pedersen has decided to press on over the top of the climb, and the Dane seems committed to his solo effort as he powers towards the Côte de la Ferme Libert.

     

  54. 79.5km remaining from 258km

    14:52:00 CEST

    • Climb

    Pedersen hits the day's sixth climb, the Côte de la Ferme Libert, with a lead of 23 seconds over the rest of the break and almost four minutes over the peloton.

     

  55. 14:58:24 CEST

    Back in the main peloton, the pace on the Côte de la Ferme Libert has caused a number of riders to lose contact. The day's efforts to date are beginning to take a toll.

     

  56. 14:59:33 CEST

    Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott) is among those in difficulty at the back of the race. 

     

  57. 15:00:25 CEST

    Out in front, Pedersen is caught and then dropped by the break. Over the top of the climb, Vliegen, Perez, Christian, Baugnies and Ourselin are in front, while Pedersen chases with Vachon.

     

  58. 72km remaining from 258km

    15:06:09 CEST

    UAE-Team Emirates remain massed on the front of the peloton as they pass the second feed. The break is a little under 10km from the next ascent, the Col du Rosier (4.4km at 5.9%).

     

  59. 67km remaining from 258km

    15:13:30 CEST

    The surviving escapees Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Loïc Vliegen (BMC), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Mark Christian (Aqua Blue Sport) and Paul Ourselin (Direct Énergie) approach the Col du Rosier with a lead of 3:20 over the reduced peloton.

     

  60. 15:16:36 CEST

    • Climb

    The Rosier is a long and steady ascent by the standards of what follows in the finale, at 4.4 kilometres in length with an average gradient of 5.9%. The leading quintet are happy to continue their collaboration on the lower slopes. Vachon continues to chase alone, but the Frenchman will likely be swallowed by the peloton before he reaches the top.

     

  61. 15:18:11 CEST

    Indeed, Vachon is caught on the lower slopes of the Rosier. UAE-Emirates and Movistar are massed towards the front of the bunch, 3:15 down on the five leaders. 

     

  62. 15:21:29 CEST

    Baugnies sets the tempo at the front of the break on the Rosier. The Wanty-Groupe Gobert man has been climbing well thus far, and his pace here looks to be proving too much for Loic Vliegen.

     

  63. 61.5km remaining from 258km

    15:23:28 CEST

    Vliegen, who only returned to action at Fleche Wallonne after breaking his scaphoid in mid March, is dropped from the break on the upper slopes of the Rosier. Four riders remain in front: Perez, Baugnies, Christian and Ourselin.

     

  64. 60.5km remaining from 258km

    15:24:48 CEST

    • Climb

    Baugnies leads the break over the top of the Col du Rosier with a buffer of 3:15 over a peloton being led by UAE-Team Emirates and Movistar's Winner Anacona.

     

  65. 60km remaining from 258km

    15:28:11 CEST

    Rory Sutherland has been impressive for UAE-Team Emirates thus far, and this has been quite a commitment from the team, especially considering Dan Martin's travails so far this Spring. They do, of course, also have Rui Costa and Diego Ulissi in their ranks.

     

  66. 56km remaining from 258km

    15:29:47 CEST

    The race has gone through the 200km mark. The next climb on the agenda is the Col du Maquisard. The five leaders are 5km or so away from the base of the climb, which drags upwards for 2.5km at 5%.

     

  67. 53km remaining from 258km

    15:34:05 CEST

    Vliegen isn't sitting up and continues to chase the four leaders, but the Belgian won't succeed in latching back on to the front group, which is approaching the Col du Maquisard.

     

  68. 51km remaining from 258km

    15:36:29 CEST

    UAE-Emirates and Movistar are massed at the front of the bunch on the approach to the Maquisard. There is still a sizable peloton intact despite the succession of climbs faced to date, and at this rate, there could be a big front group come the Roche-aux-Faucons.

     

  69. 50km remaining from 258km

    15:37:18 CEST

    • Climb

    Baugnies leads Perez, Christian and Ourselin onto the lower slopes of the Col du Maquisard with an advantage of 3:06 over the peloton.

     

  70. 48km remaining from 258km

    15:43:56 CEST

    Winner Anacona takes up the reins at the front of the bunch on the Maquisard. For now, the race is playing out as Valverde would like, but we can surely expect some activity from La Redoute onwards, with men like Nibali and Philippe Gilbert expected to anticipate the finale.

     

  71. 46.5km remaining from 258km

    15:44:51 CEST

    • Crash

    Baugnies leads the break over the top of the Maquisard. The bunch follows at 2:45, and a crash on the descent appears to bring an end to Dani Navarro's race. 

     

  72. 45km remaining from 258km

    15:48:45 CEST

    The four escapees are now trundling towards the Côte de La Redoute (2km at 8.9%) with a lead of 2:38 over a peloton that has just swept up Vliegen. From the summit of La Redoute, there are 36 kilometres to the finish in Ans.

     

  73. 42km remaining from 258km

    15:51:52 CEST

    Delegations from Trek, Bahrain-Merida and Lotto Soudal are all moving towards the head of the peloton as the speed ratchets upwards on the approach to La Redoute. The climb lost some of its relevance in the years ince the finish moved to Ans in 1992, but it has still provided some very useful indicators. In 1999, for instance, Frank Vandenbroucke matched and then out-paced Michele Bartoli's acceleration near the summit, and while both men relented near the top, it was already apparent that VDB was about to deny the Italian a third successive Liege-Bastogne-Liege victory.

     

  74. 39km remaining from 258km

    15:53:39 CEST

    The rising tempo in the peloton has seen the break's lead cut to 2:10 on the run-in to the Cote de la Redoute.

     

  75. 15:55:07 CEST

    The break's lead drops inside two minutes as they hit the base of La Redoute. Almost immediately, Baugnies accelerates and forges clear alone.

     

  76. 37.5km remaining from 258km

    15:55:57 CEST

    Quick-Step Floors lead the peloton to the foot of the Cote de la Redoute, and the deficit to the break is down to 1:45.

     

  77. 15:56:58 CEST

    Enric Mas (Quick-Step) leads the bunch on La Redoute, with Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski and Geraint Thomas well-placed near the front.

     

  78. 15:58:09 CEST

    Alaphilippe is pedalling comfortably in second wheel in the peloton. The pace is brisk on the lower part of La Redoute.

     

  79. 15:59:17 CEST

    Romain Bardet, Vincenzo Nibali, Sergio Henao and Michael Matthews are all posted towards the head of the bunch on La Redoute. There are still more than 80 riders in this main group, though we can expect plenty to lose contact over the top here.

     

  80. 16:00:24 CEST

    2016 winner Wout Poels (Sky) is in difficulty at the rear of the peloton, and the Dutchman's hopes of a repeat victory look to be over at this early juncture.

     

  81. 16:01:10 CEST

    Enric Mas still lays down the rhythm in the peloton, and gaps are beginning to form as they hit the final 500 metres of the ascent.

     

  82. 36km remaining from 258km

    16:01:57 CEST

    • Climb

    Baugnies leads alone over the top of the Cote de la Redoute, with Christian, Perez and Ouselin chasing. The Mas-led peloton is reducing in number and closing in on the leader. 1:17 the gap.

     

  83. 16:03:46 CEST

    Mas leads his Quick-Step teammates Bob Jungels and Julian Alaphilippe over the top of La Redoute. The pace was such that nobody dared to attack, but there are still at least 60 riders in this main group, which is 1:20 behind Baugnies.

     

  84. 34km remaining from 258km

    16:08:32 CEST

    Jerome Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) looked the strongman of the break every time the road went upwards, and he confirmed those impressions on La Redoute. He is clear of his erstwhile companions, but the Quick-Step-led bunch has closed to within one minute. We are 14km from the foot of the next climb, the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.

     

  85. 16:09:44 CEST

    • Crash

    It's a fast and nervous run-in to the foot of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, and American champion Larry Warbasse and Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data) prove the point by crashing in the peloton. Both men quickly remount but they'll struggle to get back on at this point. 43 seconds the gap to Baugnies.

     

  86. 16:10:51 CEST

    Ourselin has been swept up by the peloton on an unclassified and very false flat past Sprimont. Christian is also about to be pegged back.

     

  87. 29.5km remaining from 258km

    16:12:26 CEST

    Perez has also been caught, meaning that Baugnies is now the only man left off the front of the race. The Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider has 38 seconds in hand on a peloton that is being led by a string of Quick-Step blue jerseys. Alaphilippe, Mas, Gilbert, Jungels and Pieter Serry are all present in this reduced peloton, which contains 50 or so riders.

     

  88. 27km remaining from 258km

    16:15:10 CEST

    The intensity has ratcheted upwards considerably in the peloton on this approach to the Roche-aux-Faucons. Nibali, Matthews, Kwiatkowski, Thomas, Wellens, Vanendert, Valverde, Dan Martin, Rui Costa and Bardet are all still in this group, which is now just 24 seconds behind Baugnies.

     

  89. 26km remaining from 258km

    16:15:49 CEST

    Tom Dumoulin is also present, as well as Rigoberto Uran. A delegation from Bahrain-Merida has now taken up the reins in support of Nibali. 15 seconds the gap to Baugnies.

     

  90. 25km remaining from 258km

    16:16:39 CEST

    Baugnies will struggle to last out in front as far as the Roche-aux-Faucons, as the bunch closes to within 14 seconds.

     

  91. 24km remaining from 258km

    16:18:18 CEST

    Baugnies navigates the fast drop towards the Roche-aux-Faucons with a lead that is flitting between 7 and 10 seconds over the chasers.

     

  92. 22.5km remaining from 258km

    16:19:30 CEST

    Baugnies' adventure comes to an end and he is swept up by the bunch. Bahrain-Merida are riding on the front for Nibali, with Gorka Izagirre and Giovanni Visconti very prominent.

     

  93. 22km remaining from 258km

    16:20:59 CEST

    The Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons is 1.3km in length with an average gradient of 11%. Bahrain-Merida pile on the pressure on the approach the foot of the climb, which begins with a little over 20km remaining.

     

  94. 20.5km remaining from 258km

    16:21:52 CEST

    The bunch hits the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons and Warren Barguil and Rafal Majka are immediately in difficulty. Gorka Izagirre sets the pace at the front.

     

  95. 16:22:33 CEST

    • Attack

    Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) accelerates and opens a small gap on the Roche-aux-Faucons.

     

  96. 16:23:04 CEST

    Tom Dumoulin leads the initial chase, but it's Sergio Henao (Sky) who jumps across and then blasts past Gilbert...

     

  97. 16:23:41 CEST

    Henao opens a lead of 20 metres before Bob Jungels and Michael Woods (EF-Drapac) bridge across.

     

  98. 16:24:29 CEST

    Jungels, Woods, Henao and Jakob Fuglsang (Asana) are at the front of the race with a small gap over the favourites as they approach the summit of the Roche-aux-Faucons. 

     

  99. 16:25:42 CEST

    Jungels leads over the top, where the group of favourites has just about reformed, though some riders - Thomas and Michael Matthews among them - have lost some ground, and will have to fight to get back on.

     

  100. 18.6km remaining from 258km

    16:27:01 CEST

    Jungels accelerated again as soon as the road dropped, and the Luxembourg champion is alone in front with a small gap over the group of favourites, which is down to 20 or so riders. Dumoulin and Valverde lead the chase on the descent, before opting to wait for Alaphilippe et al.

     

  101. 17.5km remaining from 258km

    16:28:15 CEST

    Jungels has a lead of 20 seconds over the fragmented chasing group. Tim Wellens accelerates in pursuit with Dan Martin on his wheel. Valverde and Alaphilippe are also tracking this move. 

     

  102. 17.3km remaining from 258km

    16:29:31 CEST

    Alaphilippe can't work, Valverde won't work and this chasing group has expanded back to 20 or so riders. The most notable absentee is Nibali. 

     

  103. 16.5km remaining from 258km

    16:30:15 CEST

    Bob Jungels has 17 seconds in hand on the chasers thanks to his attack over the top of the Roche-aux-Faucons - site of Andy Schleck's winning move in 2009...

     

  104. 15km remaining from 258km

    16:31:52 CEST

    Dan Martin, Tom Dumoulin. Julian Alaphilippe, Romain Bardet, Alejandro Valverde, Sergio Henao, Jakob Fuglsang and Tim Wellens are among the names in this reduced chasing group, which is now 238seconds behind a rampant Jungels.

     

  105. 16:32:35 CEST

    There is a stop-start pace to this pursuit. Wellens and Dan Martin attempt to go clear ,but are immediately shut down. Then Valverde goes it alone, but there is no momentum at all in this chase. Jungels has 28 seconds...

     

  106. 13km remaining from 258km

    16:33:59 CEST

    Jack Haig is in this chasing group for Roman Kreuziger, and Davide Formolo is also present. Lots of riders are surging to the front in a bid to form counter-moves, but there is a distinct lack of cohesion. Nobody wants to give Alaphilippe an armchair ride to Ans, and Jungels's lead is out to 30 seconds...

     

  107. 12.7km remaining from 258km

    16:35:21 CEST

    The gap goes to 35 seconds, and Dan Martin accelerates in pursuit. His move is immediately shut down by Tom Dumoulin.

     

  108. 12km remaining from 258km

    16:35:57 CEST

    Jungels hits 80kph as he descends towards the base of the Cote de Saint-Nicolas The disjointed chasers are 38 seconds behind.

     

  109. 10km remaining from 258km

    16:36:44 CEST

    Into the final 10km for Jungels, who has 38 seconds in hand on a chasing group being led by Fuglsang's Astana teammate Davide Villella.

     

  110. 9km remaining from 258km

    16:38:08 CEST

    Jungels is 2.5km from the foot of the Saint-Nicolas and he has 41 seconds in hand on a chasing group where Alaphilippe's presence is inhibiting any organised pursuit.

     

  111. 8km remaining from 258km

    16:39:11 CEST

    • Puncture

    Disaster for Dan Martin, who punctures out of the chasing group, which is now 45 seconds behind the flying Jungels.

     

  112. 6.5km remaining from 258km

    16:41:10 CEST

    Jungels hits the false flat before the Cote de Saint Nicolas (1.2km at 8.6%) with 51 seconds in hand on the chasers. The race is surely the Luxembourger's to lose at this point.

     

  113. 6.2km remaining from 258km

    16:41:49 CEST

    Jungels settles into a steady tempo on the lower slopes of the Saint-Nicolas. He has 53 seconds in hand on the chasers.

     

  114. 16:42:10 CEST

    Tim Wellens leads the chase on the climb, with Alaphilippe tucked onto his rear wheel.

     

  115. 16:42:48 CEST

    Jelle Vandendert (Lotto Soudal) accelerates on the Saint-Nicolas and opens a small gap over the chasers. Jungels' lead is down to 33 seconds and dropping rapidly...

     

  116. 5.6km remaining from 258km

    16:43:25 CEST

    Vanendert is positively bounding up the Saint-Nicolas and taking huge chunks out of Jungels' buffer. 27 seconds the gap.

     

  117. 16:44:06 CEST

    The main chasing group is fragmenting under the weight of Domenico Pozzovivo's forcing. Valverde briefly loses Bardet's wheel before latching back on.

     

  118. 5.3km remaining from 258km

    16:44:56 CEST

    Jungels approaches the top of the Saint-Nicolas with 20 seconds in hand on Vanendert and another 10 or so on a 9-man chasing group that includes Valverde, Bardet, Pozzovivo, Alaphilippe and Formolo.

     

  119. 5km remaining from 258km

    16:45:40 CEST

    Jungels hits the top of the Cote de Saint-Nicolas with a lead of 19 seconds over the lone chaser Vanendert. Wellens, meanwhile, has been dropped from the Valverde-Alaphilippe group.

     

  120. 4km remaining from 258km

    16:46:25 CEST

    Alaphilippe accelerates with Formolo on his wheel. They are trying to bridge up to Vandendert. Valverde is wise to the danger and attempting to track Alaphilippe's move.

     

  121. 3km remaining from 258km

    16:47:31 CEST

    Jungels extends his gap to 24 seconds over Vanendert as he hurtles towards the base of the drag to Ans. Alaphilippe, Formolo and Valverde are a little further back, but their splinter group is about to be pegged back.

     

  122. 2.5km remaining from 258km

    16:48:15 CEST

    When Valverde et al are brought back, Bardet attacks with Michael Woods on his wheel. They are now in pursuit of Vanendert, who is 31 seconds behind Jungels.

     

  123. 2km remaining from 258km

    16:48:58 CEST

    Bob Jungels has 31 seconds in hand as he hits the final 2 kilometres. The Luxembourger looks to have this race won, barring a huge collapse on the Cote de Ans.

     

  124. 1km remaining from 258km

    16:49:40 CEST

    Jungels rises from the saddle as the drag to Ans begins in earnest. He has 35 seconds in hand on Vandendert, who is betraying signs of suffering.

     

  125. 16:50:27 CEST

    Woods and Bardet are closing in on Vanendert. The Valverde-Alaphilippe group looks to be fighting for 5th place at this juncture.

     

  126. 16:51:32 CEST

    Bob Jungels is showing no signs of cracking on this final kick towards the line. He reaches the final left-hand corner where the road flattens out, and he knows he has won this race...

     

  127. 16:51:52 CEST

    Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

     

  128. 16:52:19 CEST

    Bardet and Woods catch and pass Vandendert on the final ramps and swing onto the finishing straight.

     

  129. 16:52:46 CEST

    Michael Woods (EF-Drapac) out-sprints Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) for second place.

     

  130. 16:55:19 CEST

    Just behind them, Julian Alaphilippe wins the sprint for fourth, and points to his Quick-Step jersey as he does so. The team in blue have dominated the Spring in the most remarkable of fashions. To amass such success on the cobbles was one thing, to continue the sequence in this manner in the Ardennes was more surprising.

     

  131. 16:58:24 CEST

    Jungels had 37 seconds in hand at the finish, the biggest winning margin since his fellow countryman Andy Schleck's triumph in 2009. Alaphilippe led home the rest of the chasers at 39 seconds, coming in ahead of Pozzovivo, Enrico Gasparotto, Formolo, Kreuziger, Henao and Fuglsang. Valverde was at the rear of that chasing group.

     

  132. 16:59:24 CEST

    Result:

     

    1 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 06:24:44
    2 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 00:00:37
    3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:39
    5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
    6 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
    7 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
    8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott
    9 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky
    10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team

     

  133. 17:26:57 CEST

    Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) wins 2018 Liege-Bastogne-Liege 

  134. 17:27:30 CEST

    Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) on his way to winning 2018 Liege-Bastogne-Liege

     

  135. 18:33:10 CEST

    Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Michael Woods (EF-Drapac) second and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) third

     

  136. 19:51:37 CEST

    Result:

    1 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 06:24:44
    2 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 00:00:37
    3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:39
    5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
    6 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
    7 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
    8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott
    9 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky
    10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team

     

  137. 20:01:55 CEST

    Thanks for joining our live coverage today on Cyclingnews. A full report, results and pictures from the men's race are here, and report, results and pictures from Anna van der Breggen's triumph in the women's race are here.

     

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