Fuglsang wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège

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.



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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team6:37:37
2Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe0:00:27
3Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe0:00:57
4Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton - ScottRow 3 - Cell 2
5Michael Woods (Can) EF Education FirstRow 4 - Cell 2
6David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama - FDJRow 5 - Cell 2
7Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida0:01:00
9Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain - Merida0:01:05
10Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:01:26
11Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:29
12Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 11 - Cell 2
13Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora - HansgroheRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora - HansgroheRow 13 - Cell 2
15Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick - StepRow 15 - Cell 2
17Laurens De Plus (Bel) Team Jumbo - VismaRow 16 - Cell 2
18Tadej Pogačar (Slo) Uae Team EmiratesRow 17 - Cell 2
19Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Gobert Cycling TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Education FirstRow 19 - Cell 2
21Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 20 - Cell 2
22Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha AlpecinRow 21 - Cell 2
23Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton - Scott0:02:09
24Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 23 - Cell 2
25Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama - FDJRow 24 - Cell 2
26Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek - SegafredoRow 25 - Cell 2
27Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 27 - Cell 2
29Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates0:02:12
30Jan Bakelants (Bel) Team Sunweb0:02:13
31Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama - FDJ0:02:15
32Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First0:02:17
33Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:02:26
34Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek - Segafredo0:02:28
35Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb0:03:03
36Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain - Merida0:03:15
37Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team0:03:34
38Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team Katusha AlpecinRow 37 - Cell 2
39Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 38 - Cell 2
40Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education FirstRow 39 - Cell 2
41Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC Team0:03:37
42Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles0:04:11
43Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Team Dimension DataRow 42 - Cell 2
44Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 44 - Cell 2
46G Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education FirstRow 45 - Cell 2
47Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:05
48Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B Hotels0:06:53
49Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky0:06:56
50Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team SunwebRow 49 - Cell 2
51Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team SunwebRow 50 - Cell 2
52Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe0:08:22
54Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:09:20
55Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain - MeridaRow 56 - Cell 2
58Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick - StepRow 57 - Cell 2
59Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Deceuninck - Quick - StepRow 58 - Cell 2
60Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton - ScottRow 59 - Cell 2
61Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek - SegafredoRow 60 - Cell 2
62Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:09:48
63Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Team SunwebRow 62 - Cell 2
64Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 63 - Cell 2
65Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Team Katusha Alpecin0:10:36
66Lawrence Warbasse (USA) AG2R La MondialeRow 65 - Cell 2
67David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team Sky0:11:32
68Winner Andrew Anacona (Col) Movistar Team0:11:59
69Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 68 - Cell 2
70Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton - ScottRow 69 - Cell 2
71Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - MeridaRow 71 - Cell 2
73José Gonçalves (Por) Team Katusha Alpecin0:13:11
74Michal Golas (Pol) Team SkyRow 73 - Cell 2
75Edward Dunbar (Irl) Team SkyRow 74 - Cell 2
76Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 75 - Cell 2
77Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team Jumbo - VismaRow 77 - Cell 2
79Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Dimension DataRow 78 - Cell 2
80Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 79 - Cell 2
81Nils Politt (Ger) Team Katusha AlpecinRow 80 - Cell 2
82Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 81 - Cell 2
83Paul Martens (Ger) Team Jumbo - VismaRow 82 - Cell 2
84Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Jumbo - VismaRow 83 - Cell 2
85Benjamin King (USA) Team Dimension Data0:17:39
86Nathan Haas (Aus) Team Katusha AlpecinRow 85 - Cell 2
87Justin Jules (Fra) Wallonie BruxellesRow 86 - Cell 2
88Josef Černý (Cze) CCC TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek - SegafredoRow 88 - Cell 2
90Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto SoudalRow 89 - Cell 2
91Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick - StepRow 90 - Cell 2
92Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct EnergieRow 92 - Cell 2
94Petr Vakoč (Cze) Deceuninck - Quick - StepRow 93 - Cell 2
95Clément Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:24:12
96Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Arkea - SamsicRow 95 - Cell 2
97Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain - MeridaRow 96 - Cell 2
98Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha AlpecinRow 97 - Cell 2
99Arnaud Courteille (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B HotelsRow 98 - Cell 2
100Jacques Willem Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Dimension DataRow 99 - Cell 2
101Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora - HansgroheRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFJérémy Maison (Fra) Team Arkea - SamsicRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFDimitri Peyskens (Bel) Wallonie BruxellesRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFMathijs Paasschens (Ned) Wallonie BruxellesRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFKenny Molly (Bel) Wallonie BruxellesRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFKevyn Ista (Bel) Wallonie BruxellesRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFJimmy Turgis (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B HotelsRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B HotelsRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFCyril Gautier (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B HotelsRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFYoann Bagot (Fra) Vital Concept - B&B HotelsRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFPatrick Müller (Swi) Vital Concept - B&B HotelsRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFAaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFAnthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea - SamsicRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFMathias Van Gompel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFLilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct EnergieRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFDries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Team Arkea - SamsicRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFAmael Moinard (Fra) Team Arkea - SamsicRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFBenoit Vaugrenard (Fra) Groupama - FDJRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Ledanois (Fra) Team Arkea - SamsicRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFLoïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty - Gobert Cycling TeamRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFElie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea - SamsicRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFPaul Ourselin (Fra) Total Direct EnergieRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFBryan Nauleau (Fra) Total Direct EnergieRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFFabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct EnergieRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFAaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFGregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora - HansgroheRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFJay Robert Thomson (RSA) Team Dimension DataRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFMathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFAlejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFRob Power (Aus) Team SunwebRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFChristopher Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFJelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFSander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFDion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton - ScottRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFPierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFSam Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton - ScottRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFGrega Bole (Slo) Bahrain - MeridaRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFAlexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie BruxellesRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFAlexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Hivert (Fra) Total Direct EnergieRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFAngelo Tulik (Fra) Total Direct EnergieRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFBenjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFRémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick - StepRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFDries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick - StepRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education FirstRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFNicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton - ScottRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Bernard (Fra) Trek - SegafredoRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFXandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Gobert Cycling TeamRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFFabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty - Gobert Cycling TeamRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFJerome Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Gobert Cycling TeamRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Valgren Andersen (Den) Team Dimension DataRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFEnrico Gasparotto (Ita) Team Dimension DataRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFNathan Brown (USA) EF Education FirstRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Seigle (Fra) Groupama - FDJRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFTobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama - FDJRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama - FDJRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Mathis (Ger) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFFabio Felline (Ita) Trek - SegafredoRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFAndrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Gobert Cycling TeamRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFAntwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo - VismaRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) Team Jumbo - VismaRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFRobert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo - VismaRow 166 - Cell 2
DNFLaurens Ten Dam (Ned) CCC TeamRow 167 - Cell 2
DNFJoseph Rosskopf (USA) CCC TeamRow 168 - Cell 2
DNFSerge Pauwels (Bel) CCC TeamRow 169 - Cell 2
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team EmiratesRow 170 - Cell 2
DNFManuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 171 - Cell 2
DNFRui Costa (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 172 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team EmiratesRow 173 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Stetina (USA) Trek - SegafredoRow 174 - Cell 2

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Daniel Ostanek
Production editor

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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