Primoz Roglic wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) won Liege-Bastogne-Liege in an extraordinary five-man sprint to the line.

World champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) believed he had victory sewn up, and lifted his arms up in triumph. However, the Frenchman’s celebrations were premature, and Roglic appeared from his right-hand side to pip him at the line in the closest of photo finishes.

“It’s just unbelievable,” said Roglic at the line. “It was so close. I just never stopped believing, and kept pushing until the last metres, actually the last centimeters. I’m super happy that I managed to win.

“It’s an incredible feeling. It was a really long period for me, three months away from home. I’m just super, super happy, and proud of the whole team and everyone. Finally, I managed to win something, eh!”

“Tom [Dumoulin] was really good at the end. Not just him, all of the guys, they did a really super job, I was protected all the time. 

“It was on my wishlist to win a monument, and I’m super happy that I managed to do it.”

In a dramatic finish, Alaphilippe was even judged to have diverted from his sprinting line, after a sharp swerve caused Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) to check himself. The race officials decided to demote him to fifth place. 

His relegation means that Hirschi and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) were promoted to second and third respectively, and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-McLaren) — who bridged up to the leading quartet on the finishing straight — to fourth.

Alaphilippe had earlier launched the attack that saw the four-man group escape on the final climb, Côté de la Roche-aux-Faucons, bringing to life what had up until then been a subdued, cagey race. Hirschi and Roglic managed to catch him within 300 metres of the summit, while Pogacar joined them on the descent. 

How it unfolded

The 2020 edition of La Doyenne was held in unfamiliar circumstances, with the Covid-19 pandemic causing it to be rescheduled to October rather than its usual April slot in the calendar. 

In what started out as a grey, cold day, the riders opted for various forms of clothing in response to the conditions, some going for leg-warmers, and others donning jackets. 

Within 15km, the day’s break had formed, consisting of nine riders. They were: Inigo Elosegui (Movistar), Kobe Goossense (Lotto-Soudal), Michael Schar (CCC), Kenny Molly, Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal WB), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Valentin Ferron, Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie), Gino Mader (NTT Pro Cycling) and Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo).

Ten became nine when Kamp punctured and dropped back into the peloton. 

By the time the break reached the first climb of the day, Côte de la Roche-en-Ardennes, after 76km, their gap over the peloton was approaching six minutes. 

With Deceuninck-QuickStep working at the front of the peloton, that gap slowly but surely came down, dipping below four minutes 120km from the finish, and later to within three minutes at the 100km to go mark. 

This section of the race was mostly uneventful, save for one crash involving Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) They came down heavily after hitting a traffic bollard, and were all forced to abandon.

The pace in the peloton started to pick up upon arriving at the Côte de Mont-le-Soie, the first of nine climbs in the final 93km that form the race’s endgame. 

Another crash brought down several riders shortly after the peak of the next climb, Côte de Wanne. Alaphilippe was among those involved, and, though he was able to remount and re-join the peloton, was visibly stressed by the multiple bike changes and mechanical assistance required after the incident.

Trek-Segafredo subsequently took over at the front of the peloton, and began picking up riders dropped from the breakaway which by now fractured into several smaller groups. Schar had broken clear to become the lone leader, and was able to extend his lead over the peloton as the pace remained steady over the succession of climbs.

Only when Deceuninck-QuickStep returned to take over pace-setting duties on the Col du Maquisard did the gap start to come down again. The pace increased further as the peloton approached the Côte de la Redoute, with each team vying for position ahead of one of the most crucial parts of the race, and Schar was caught on its lower slopes. 

Team Sunweb initially took up the pace-setting on La Redoute, but again it was Deceuninck-QuickStep who ultimately resumed control, and Dries Devenyns’ pace was hard enough to deter any of the favourites — who by now had amassed towards the front of the whittled-down peloton — from attacking. 

Apart from one short-lived attack from Michael Albasini (Mitcehton-Scott), and another from Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) that briefly drew out Rui Costa (UAE Emirates) and Alaphilippe, the peloton (by now consisting of between forty to fifty riders) remained intact on the approach to the final climb, Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.

Alalphilippe made the decisive attack 500 metres from the top, by which time he was joined by Roglic and Hirschi. Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) briefly joined them to form a quintet, but was dropped on the draggy roads following the summit.

The four remaining leaders worked well together, maintaining a lead of around 20 seconds over a twelve-man chasing group, where Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) did much of the leading. 

Mohoric used his descending skills to escape from this group a few kilometres from the finish, and even threatened to win the race outright when he caught and passed the leading quartet, which had slowed in anticipation of the sprint.

But Alaphilippe used Mohoric to lead himself out, as he launched the sprint that was so narrowly won by Roglic.

 

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 6:32:02
2Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb
3Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
4Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain McLaren
5Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep
6Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:14
7Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling
8Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb
9Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
10Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
11Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
12Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
13Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
14Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
15Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling
16Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
17Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:43
18Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 0:00:58
19Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team
20Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Pro Cycling
21Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
22Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
23Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Bingoal WB
24Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
25Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
26Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
27Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain McLaren
28Julien Simon (Fra) Total Direct Energie
29Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team
30Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team
31Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC Team
32Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:01:18
33Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
34Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
35Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
36Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
37Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-Up Nation
38Enrico Gasparotto (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling
39Petr Vakoc (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix
40Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
41Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
42Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates
43Rob Power (Aus) Team Sunweb
44Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:31
45Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
46Jan Bakelants (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:01:34
47Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team 0:01:55
48Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
49Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Team
50Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:04:11
51Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team Sunweb
52Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:05:59
53Ben Tulett (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix
54Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
55Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Total Direct Energie
56Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
57James Piccoli (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation
58Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
59Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana Pro Team
60Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Bingoal WB
61Simone Petilli (Ita) Circus-Wanty Gobert
62Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
63Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
64William Barta (USA) CCC Team
65Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert
66Laurens Huys (Bel) Bingoal WB
67Samuele Battistella (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
68Georg Zimmermann (Ger) CCC Team
69Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
70Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
71Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
72Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
73Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal WB
74Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep
75Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Team Arkea-Samsic
76Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott 0:06:03
77Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
78Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott
79Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic
80Mark Donovan (GBr) Team Sunweb
81Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
82Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
83Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb
84Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Team Jumbo-Visma
85Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:06:38
86Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis 0:08:08
87Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren 0:08:35
88Stan Dewulf (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:08:43
89Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie
90Kevin Inkelaar (Ned) Bahrain McLaren 0:08:47
91Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:09:09
92Neilson Powless (USA) EF Pro Cycling 0:10:58
93Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:12:04
94Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-Quickstep
95Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team
96Juan Diego Alba Bolivar (Col) Movistar Team
97Iñigo Elosegui Momeñe (Spa) Movistar Team
98Barnabás Peák (Hun) Mitchelton-Scott 0:12:52
99Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:13:08
100Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-Up Nation
101Kenny Molly (Bel) Bingoal WB
102Marlon Gaillard (Fra) Total Direct Energie
103Cristian Camilo Muñoz Lancheros (Col) UAE Team Emirates
104Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
105Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
106Michal Golas (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
107Carlos Barbero (Spa) NTT Pro Cycling
108Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
109Fernando Barcelo Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
110Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep
111Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
112Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
113Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
114Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
115Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
116Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team
117Paul Ourselin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
118Scott Thwaites (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix
119Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
120Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) Mitchelton-Scott
121Valentin Ferron (Fra) Total Direct Energie
122Patrick Schelling (Swi) Israel Start-Up Nation
123Emiel Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
124Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
125Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis
DNFAndrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep
DNFLaurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team
DNFDavide Martinelli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFMaximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFOscar Gatto (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFMartin Laas (Est) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFJay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFJuraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFAdam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Pro Cycling
DNFAlex Howes (USA) EF Pro Cycling
DNFJens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Pro Cycling
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFBenjamin Declercq (Bel) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFLaurent Pichon (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFMikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
DNFSantiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain McLaren
DNFDamiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren
DNFKobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFLaurens De Plus (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
DNFPaul Martens (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma
DNFAndres Camilo Ardila Ordoñez (Col) UAE Team Emirates
DNFJan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
DNFThomas Degand (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
DNFFabien Doubey (Fra) Circus-Wanty Gobert
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
DNFMathias Frank (Swi) AG2R la Mondiale
DNFAlexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
DNFLuis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis
DNFAlex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
DNFMads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
DNFThymen Arensman (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNFChris Froome (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFCameron Wurf (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFOtto Vergaerde (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFGreg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team
DNFMathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal WB
DNFDimitri Peyskens (Bel) Bingoal WB
DNFOmer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) Israel Start-Up Nation
DNFBenjamin King (USA) NTT Pro Cycling
DNFMichael Valgren (Den) NTT Pro Cycling
DNFRoman Kreuziger (Cze) NTT Pro Cycling
DNFGino Mäder (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling
DNFLindsay De Vylder (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFKevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFRobbe Ghys (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFJulian Mertens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise

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