Fuglsang wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Bora-Hansgrohe's Formolo second and Schachmann third
Jakob Fuglsang (Team Astana) took the biggest win of his career at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, soloing to victory from the top of the Côte de Roche-aux-Faucons. Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe), one of the men he left behind, took second, while Formolo's teammate Max Schachmann sprinted to third from an elite chase group.
The win caps a wonderful spring for Fuglsang and his Astana team. It's his third win of the season and Astana's 23rd, but the Dane has so often been a nearly man in the classics with three podium places so far. Victory at the final classic of the spring is just reward for his efforts.
In a race which fizzled at times but never really detonated, the main action once again came on the day's final climb – despite the route revamp. Michael Woods (EF Education First) kicked off the action on the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons after an earlier attack group had been caught.
Fuglsang was first to react, while the big favourite – and his spring nemesis – Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) faltered. Formolo went too, forming a lead trio over the top. The Dane kept pushing on though, eventually breaking his companions on the shallower rise at the summit.
From there it was all Fuglsang, with Formolo and Woods' solo efforts making no gains, and an elite chase group including Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) failing to make headway either.
Barring a near-disastrous rear wheel slide on the final descent – "a scary moment, but a bit of adrenaline for the last part" he said later – it was plain sailing to the finish for Fuglsang.
"It's an amazing feeling," he said after the finish. "I'm glad my wife was right [about me being able to win here], and I will always listen to her from now on.
"On the last climb, I had the team leaving me in the perfect position," he added. "Before the climb, they were a little bit everywhere most of the day but in the important moment they were there and they did an amazing job.
"Gorka [Izagirre] led me into Roche-aux-Faucons in a perfect way and when Woods launched his attack it was a perfect way for me to jump with him. I knew it from Friday when we saw the parcours that I could not wait, so I said 'on the first part of the Roche-aux-Faucons I have to do a selection if I cannot go alone.'
"I tried and I looked back and saw [Woods] was gone. Formolo also let me get 2-3 metres and then I knew that now I had to leave everything out, now I have to die before the top and try to keep going."
How it happened
It was a damp and chilly morning in Liège as the peloton rolled out to begin the 105th edition of the oldest Monument on the calendar. Perhaps due to the poor conditions, it didn't take very long for the break to establish themselves, with little fight from the peloton in the early stages.
Four riders – Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ), Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Gobert) and Jérémy Maison (Arkéa-Samsic) – got away almost immediately, while Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Énergie), Kevin Deltombe (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and the Wallonie-Bruxelles duo of Kenny Molly and Mathijs Paasschens would soon link up to make it eight up front.
The opening stages – still wet and cold – were a quiet affair, with Deceuninck-Quick Step and Lotto-Soudal among the teams setting the pace at the head of the peloton. The break’s advantage reaches 10:30 at one point, but was just over six minutes as the eight men reached the southernmost point of the route in Bastogne.
Deceuninck-Quick Step upped the pace with around 110km to race, so much so that the peloton split. The resulting chaos left behind a reduced peloton of around 80 riders, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) the major victim, abandoning 105km from the finish. Another former winner, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) had abandoned earlier on.
Gorka Izagirre (Astana) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) were among the riders caught out, later attacking across the gap to try and save their races. Up front, Bernard left the break behind on the Côte de Mont-le-Soie, going solo 95km from the line.
He would last out front until shortly after the Côte de Haute-Levée, when attacks from the peloton saw his gap evaporate. Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) was among the most active men as a large group broke away from the peloton. There were some elite names in the move, including Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step), but the two groups soon came back together on the Col du Rosier.
On that same climb, with 64km to race, Tanel Kangert (EF Education First) and Omar Fraile (Astana) countered, kicking off yet more attacks from the peloton. The Movistar duo of Carlos Verona and Winner Anacona were there, as were Alessandro De Marchi (CCC Team), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale), David De La Cruz (Team Sky), Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida), Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott) and Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto-Soudal).
The group worked well together, gaining 40 seconds on the peloton by the foot of La Redoute with 39km to race. There, it was Kangert who pushed on, but the climb passed with no attacks from the peloton.
On the way to the final climb of the day, the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, three riders made their way across to Kangert. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) and Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) made it a four-man group on the final climb of the day, but despite Wellens’ attack, they were all brought back by the Astana-led peloton.
Jakob Fuglsang, so often the bridesmaid this spring, followed an attack by Michael Woods (EF Education First), while Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) made it across to make it a lead trio.
Fuglsang was solo once again on the drag over the top though, shedding the duo and going for glory. Further back, a group including Nibali, Yates, Mikel Landa (Movistar), Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) got away from the peloton.
But Fuglsang was only gaining time on those behind. After podium places at Strade Bianche, Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne, the Dane wouldn’t be denied his big classic win here.
The Nibali group was working together, but Fuglsang wasn’t ceding any time – not to them, nor to Formolo. There was a hairy moment on the final descent when Fuglsang lost his rear wheel on some damp road markings, but he handled it masterfully, keeping it upright, and keeping his then-inevitable victory on track.
There were no such problems in the flat final 4km though, and he retained his advantage to the finish to seal the biggest win of his career.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team||6:37:37|
|2||Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe||0:00:27|
|3||Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe||0:00:57|
|4||Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton - Scott||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama - FDJ||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|7||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|8||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida||0:01:00|
|9||Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain - Merida||0:01:05|
|10||Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky||0:01:26|
|11||Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:01:29|
|12||Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora - Hansgrohe||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora - Hansgrohe||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|15||Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick - Step||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Laurens De Plus (Bel) Team Jumbo - Visma||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Tadej Pogačar (Slo) Uae Team Emirates||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Education First||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|22||Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha Alpecin||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|23||Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton - Scott||0:02:09|
|24||Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|25||Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama - FDJ||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek - Segafredo||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|27||Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates||0:02:12|
|30||Jan Bakelants (Bel) Team Sunweb||0:02:13|
|31||Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama - FDJ||0:02:15|
|32||Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First||0:02:17|
|33||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:02:26|
|34||Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek - Segafredo||0:02:28|
|35||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb||0:03:03|
|36||Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain - Merida||0:03:15|
|37||Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team||0:03:34|
|38||Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team Katusha Alpecin||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC Team||0:03:37|
|42||Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles||0:04:11|
|43||Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Team Dimension Data||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|45||Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||G Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|47||Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:06:05|
|48||Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B Hotels||0:06:53|
|49||Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky||0:06:56|
|50||Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb||Row 49 - Cell 2|
|51||Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|52||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team||Row 51 - Cell 2|
|53||Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe||0:08:22|
|54||Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:09:20|
|55||Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|56||Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|57||Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain - Merida||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick - Step||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Deceuninck - Quick - Step||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|60||Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton - Scott||Row 59 - Cell 2|
|61||Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek - Segafredo||Row 60 - Cell 2|
|62||Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise||0:09:48|
|63||Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Team Sunweb||Row 62 - Cell 2|
|64||Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Team Katusha Alpecin||0:10:36|
|66||Lawrence Warbasse (USA) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|67||David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team Sky||0:11:32|
|68||Winner Andrew Anacona (Col) Movistar Team||0:11:59|
|69||Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 68 - Cell 2|
|70||Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton - Scott||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team||Row 70 - Cell 2|
|72||Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|73||José Gonçalves (Por) Team Katusha Alpecin||0:13:11|
|74||Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|75||Edward Dunbar (Irl) Team Sky||Row 74 - Cell 2|
|76||Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 75 - Cell 2|
|77||Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team||Row 76 - Cell 2|
|78||Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team Jumbo - Visma||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|79||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Dimension Data||Row 78 - Cell 2|
|80||Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky||Row 79 - Cell 2|
|81||Nils Politt (Ger) Team Katusha Alpecin||Row 80 - Cell 2|
|82||Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 81 - Cell 2|
|83||Paul Martens (Ger) Team Jumbo - Visma||Row 82 - Cell 2|
|84||Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Jumbo - Visma||Row 83 - Cell 2|
|85||Benjamin King (USA) Team Dimension Data||0:17:39|
|86||Nathan Haas (Aus) Team Katusha Alpecin||Row 85 - Cell 2|
|87||Justin Jules (Fra) Wallonie Bruxelles||Row 86 - Cell 2|
|88||Josef Černý (Cze) CCC Team||Row 87 - Cell 2|
|89||Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek - Segafredo||Row 88 - Cell 2|
|90||Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal||Row 89 - Cell 2|
|91||Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick - Step||Row 90 - Cell 2|
|92||Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 91 - Cell 2|
|93||Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie||Row 92 - Cell 2|
|94||Petr Vakoč (Cze) Deceuninck - Quick - Step||Row 93 - Cell 2|
|95||Clément Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:24:12|
|96||Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic||Row 95 - Cell 2|
|97||Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain - Merida||Row 96 - Cell 2|
|98||Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha Alpecin||Row 97 - Cell 2|
|99||Arnaud Courteille (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B Hotels||Row 98 - Cell 2|
|100||Jacques Willem Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Dimension Data||Row 99 - Cell 2|
|101||Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe||Row 100 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jérémy Maison (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic||Row 101 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 102 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles||Row 103 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Wallonie Bruxelles||Row 104 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kenny Molly (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kevyn Ista (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles||Row 106 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B Hotels||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B Hotels||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Cyril Gautier (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B Hotels||Row 109 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Yoann Bagot (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B Hotels||Row 110 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Patrick Müller (Swi) Vital Concept - B&B Hotels||Row 111 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Mathias Van Gompel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 114 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie||Row 115 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 116 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic||Row 117 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Amael Moinard (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic||Row 118 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) Groupama - FDJ||Row 119 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic||Row 120 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team||Row 121 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea - Samsic||Row 122 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Paul Ourselin (Fra) Total Direct Energie||Row 123 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Total Direct Energie||Row 124 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie||Row 125 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 126 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora - Hansgrohe||Row 127 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Team Dimension Data||Row 128 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 129 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 130 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Rob Power (Aus) Team Sunweb||Row 131 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb||Row 132 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 133 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 134 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 135 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton - Scott||Row 136 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 137 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Sam Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton - Scott||Row 138 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 139 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain - Merida||Row 140 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 141 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles||Row 142 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||Row 143 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Total Direct Energie||Row 144 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Angelo Tulik (Fra) Total Direct Energie||Row 145 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise||Row 146 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick - Step||Row 147 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick - Step||Row 148 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First||Row 149 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton - Scott||Row 150 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek - Segafredo||Row 151 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team||Row 152 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Fabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team||Row 153 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jerome Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team||Row 154 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Team Dimension Data||Row 155 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Team Dimension Data||Row 156 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First||Row 157 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama - FDJ||Row 158 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama - FDJ||Row 159 - Cell 2|
|DNF||William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama - FDJ||Row 160 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Marco Mathis (Ger) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 161 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek - Segafredo||Row 162 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team||Row 163 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo - Visma||Row 164 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team Jumbo - Visma||Row 165 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo - Visma||Row 166 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) CCC Team||Row 167 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Joseph Rosskopf (USA) CCC Team||Row 168 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Serge Pauwels (Bel) CCC Team||Row 169 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates||Row 170 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||Row 171 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates||Row 172 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates||Row 173 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Peter Stetina (USA) Trek - Segafredo||Row 174 - Cell 2|
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Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.
Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.
As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.
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