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Pogacar denies Alaphilippe to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège

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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) celebrates his victory (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Michael Woods of Canada and Team Israel StartUp Nation Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates Alejandro Valverde Belmonte of Spain and Movistar Team Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Sprint at arrival during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) beats Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) to win La Doyenne (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tadej Pogacar beats Julian Alaphilippe

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) beats Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) to win La Doyenne (Image credit: Tissot Timing)
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LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte of Spain and Movistar Team Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates David Gaudu of France and Team Groupama FDJ Michael Woods of Canada and Team Israel StartUp Nation Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep in the Breakaway during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) watches his rivals (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Michael Woods of Canada and Team Israel StartUp Nation Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates Alejandro Valverde Belmonte of Spain and Movistar Team Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Sprint at arrival during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) beats Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) to win La Doyenne (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte of Spain and Movistar Team Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates David Gaudu of France and Team Groupama FDJ Michael Woods of Canada and Team Israel StartUp Nation Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep in the Breakaway during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) in the winning move (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 107th Edition Liege Liege 2591 km 25042021 Tadej Pogacar SLO UAE Team Emirates Julian Alaphilippe FRA Deceuninck QuickStep David Gaudu FRA Groupama FDJ Alejandro Valverde ESP Movistar Team photo Gregory Van GansenBettiniPhoto2021

The bike throw between Pogacar and Alaphilippe (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 107th Edition Liege Liege 2591 km 25042021 Tadej Pogacar SLO UAE Team Emirates Julian Alaphilippe FRA Deceuninck QuickStep David Gaudu FRA Groupama FDJ Alejandro Valverde ESP Movistar Team photo Gregory Van GansenBettiniPhoto2021

The bike throw to win in Liège (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) comes past Julian Alaphilippe to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) celebrates his victory over Julian Alaphilippe in Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Marc Hirschi (SUI - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) after winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) after winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Alejandro Valverde (ESP - Movistar Team) - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - David Gaudu (FRA - Groupama - FDJ) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) attacks the breakaway (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - Alejandro Valverde (ESP - Movistar Team) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) buries himself on the Roche-aux-Faucons ahead of Julian Alaphilippe (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo Visma Michael Woods of Canada and Team Israel StartUp Nation Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Matej Mohoric of Slovenia and Team Bahrain Victorious during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Ineos Grenadiers rider pictured in action during the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race 2595km from Liege to Liege Sunday 25 April 2021 in Liege BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND Photo by ERIC LALMANDBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Ineos pushes the pace on the final climb (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Illustration picture shows the pack of riders in action during the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race 2595km from Liege to Liege Sunday 25 April 2021 in Liege BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND Photo by ERIC LALMANDBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Ineos Grenadiers trying to set someone up (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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AstanaPremier Techs Spanish cyclist Luis Leon Sanchez rides during the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race from Liege to Liege on April 25 2021 Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMAND Belga AFP Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMANDBelgaAFP via Getty Images

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Premier Tech) attacks (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 107th Edition Liege Liege 2591 km 25042021 Julian Alaphilippe FRA Deceuninck QuickStep photo Gregory Van GansenBettiniPhoto2021

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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LtoR Belgian cyclist Loic Vliegen of Intermarche WantyGobert Materiaux Dutch cyclist Mathijs Paasschens of BingoalWB and Polish cyclist Tomasz Marczynski of Lotto Soudal compete during the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race from Liege to Liege on April 25 2021 Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMAND Belga AFP Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMANDBelgaAFP via Getty Images

The breakaway in Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Laurens Huys of Belgium Mathijs Paasschens of Netherlands and Team Bingoal WB Tomasz Marczynski of Poland and Team Lotto Soudal Sergei Chernetskii of Russia and Team Gazprom Rusvelo Lorenzo Rota of Italy Loic Vliegen of Belgium and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux Aaron Van Poucke of Belgium and Team Sport Vlaanderen Baloise in the Breakaway during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

The breakaway in Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/CV/BettiniPhoto©2021

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Vegard Stake Laengen (NOR - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/CV/BettiniPhoto©2021

Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) leads the chase (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Intermarche WantyGobert Materiauxs Italian cyclist Lorenzo Rota rides during the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race from Liege to Liege on April 25 2021 Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMAND Belga AFP Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMANDBelgaAFP via Getty Images

Lorenzo Rota in the breakaway (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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The pack of cyclists ride during the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race from Liege to Liege on April 25 2021 Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMAND Belga AFP Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMANDBelgaAFP via Getty Images

Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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The pack rides during the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race from Liege to Liege on April 25 2021 Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMAND Belga AFP Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMANDBelgaAFP via Getty Images

Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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The pack takes the start of the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race from Liege to Liege on April 25 2021 Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMAND Belga AFP Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMANDBelgaAFP via Getty Images

The start of Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Scenery - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 107th Edition Liege Liege 2591 km 25042021 Aaron Van Poucke BEL Sport Vlaanderen Baloise photo Gregory Van GansenBettiniPhoto2021

Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) on the attack in Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 107th Edition Liege Liege 2591 km 25042021 Matej Mohoric SLO Bahrain Victorious photo Gregory Van GansenBettiniPhoto2021

Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) in Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Scenery - Fans - Supporters - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

They said to watch Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 from your sofa so... (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Sergei Chernetskii (RUS - Gazprom - RusVelo) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/CV/BettiniPhoto©2021

Sergei Chernetskii (Gazprom - RusVelo) leads the breakaway in Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Primoz Roglic (SLO - Jumbo - Visma) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) in Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tim Wellens (BEL - Lotto Soudal) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) in Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Harm Vanhoucke (BEL - Lotto Soudal) - Mark Padun (UKR - Bahrain Victorious) - Mark Donovan (GBR - Team DSM) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious) and Mark Donovan (Team DSM) on a counter-attack in Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Mark Donovan (GBR - Team DSM) - Harm Vanhoucke (BEL - Lotto Soudal) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Mark Donovan (Team DSM) on the attack with Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) and Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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French Remy Rochas of Cofidis pictured in action during the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race 2595km from Liege to Liege Sunday 25 April 2021 in Liege BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND Photo by ERIC LALMANDBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Remy Rochas (Cofidis) on the attack (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Mathijs Paasschens of Netherlands and Team Bingoal WB Tomasz Marczynski of Poland and Team Lotto Soudal Sergei Chernetskii of Russia and Team Gazprom Rusvelo Loic Vliegen of Belgium and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux Aaron Van Poucke of Belgium and Team Sport Vlaanderen Baloise in the Breakaway during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

The breakaway in Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Illustration picture shows the pack of riders in action during the start of the LiegeBastogneLiege one day cycling race 2595km from Liege to Liege Sunday 25 April 2021 in Liege BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND Photo by ERIC LALMANDBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

The start of Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Philipp Walsleben of Germany and Team AlpecinFenix Michael Matthews of Australia Christopher Juul Jensen of Denmark and Team BikeExchange Daryl Impey of South Africa and Team Israel StartUp Nation during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Team BikeExchange at the head of the peloton (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 25 Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia of Colombia Jonathan Klever Caicedo Cepeda of Ecuador Simon Carr of United Kingdom Lawson Craddock of United States Alex Howes of United States Michael Valgren Andersen of Denmark Hideto Nakane of Japan and Team EF Education Nippo during the 107th Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 Mens Elite a 2595km race from Bastogne to Lige LBL on April 25 2021 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

EF Education Nippo riders at the start (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) wins (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege Bastogne Liege 2021 107th Edition Liege Liege 2591 km 25042021 David Gaudu FRA Groupama FDJ Julian Alaphilippe FRA Deceuninck QuickStep photo Gregory Van GansenBettiniPhoto2021

Frenchmen David Gaudu and Julian Alaphilippe made the podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - David Gaudu (FRA - Groupama - FDJ) - photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - David Gaudu (FRA - Groupama - FDJ) - photo Vincent Kalutt/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - David Gaudu (FRA - Groupama - FDJ) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - David Gaudu (FRA - Groupama - FDJ) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/CV/BettiniPhoto©2021

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Alejandro Valverde (ESP - Movistar Team) - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar ahead of Valverde and Alaphilippe (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar with the prize for winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - Alejandro Valverde (ESP - Movistar Team) - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/CV/BettiniPhoto©2021

The Liege-Bastogne-Liege podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2021 - 107th Edition - Liege - Liege 259,1 km - 25/04/2021 - Richard Carapaz (ECU - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2021

Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) was a late attacker (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) succeeded Slovenian compatriot Primoz Roglic as the winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège when he outsprinted French duo Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) in a five-up sprint for the oldest title on the cycling calendar. Veteran Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took fourth place with Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) fifth.

The five riders broke clear on the race’s final climb, La Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, 13km from the finish, Woods forcing a split with a strong acceleration on its steepest section. After the Canadian pressed hard again on the false flat above La Roche-aux-Faucons, the small group gained a decisive gap on the chase behind and shared the workload into the final kilometre.

Coming into the last 500 metres, Valverde, the only previous winner of Liège, had been finessed to the front, with Woods on his wheel, then Gaudu, world champion Alaphilippe and Pogačar at the rear. The Spaniard led out from the front, but couldn’t respond when Alaphilippe and Pogačar came through on his right, the young Slovenian judging his effort perfectly as he came through on the Frenchman’s right-hand side to claim victory by a wheel.

 “I really love this race so to win here against those names is incredible,” said Pogačar. 

“I knew that Alaphilippe was looking strong so I decided to stay on his wheel and wait as long as I could. I had very good legs today and that enabled me to come through with real speed at the finish. I’m living the cycling dream at the moment.”

Asked if his victory was a kind of revenge for UAE who been unable to race Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday because of positive Covid tests, Pogačar replied: “We were really disappointed we couldn’t race there. We’ve got some really good riders, including Davide Formolo and Marc Hirschi, and it’s really good for the whole team that we’ve won this race. We were really motivated for the race today and once again I’m really happy with the work the team has done.

“Now I’m going to rest, spend some time with the family, then restart and prepare for the Tour de France,” added Pogačar, who became just the fourth reigning Tour de France champion to win Liège after Ferdi Kübler (1951), Eddy Merckx (1972 and 1975) and Bernard Hinault (1980).

How it unfolded

The break formed soon after race director Christian Prudhomme had waved the flag to signal the start of the action on the outskirts of Liège, with seven riders making the cut: Laurens Huys and Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Loïc Vliegen and Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Sergei Chernetski (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) and Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

With a tailwind pushing them along swiftly, their advantage reached a maximum of 10:30 after just 40km of riding, at which point UAE, Deceuninck and Jumbo-Visma began to push the pace up on the front of the peloton.

Climbing the Côte de Wanne, with 90km remaining, the break’s lead had been trimmed to little more than five minutes, with the same three big teams very prominent at the front of the bunch. It was at this point that the harrying of the favourites’ teams began. Astana-PremierTech’s Luis León Sánchez was the first instigator, the Spanish champion attacking close to the top of the Wanne, followed by teammate Omar Fraile and Ineos Grenadiers’ Luke Rowe.

The move, which cut another 30 seconds from the break’s advantage, was soon closed down, but it triggered further offensives. On the Haute Levée, former winner Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) had a little dig, as his team and Astana continued their efforts to break up the peloton and make the race harder. Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën) was the next to move, on the false flat over the top of the Haute Levée, Jumbo neutralizing the Olympic champion’s acceleration.

These little raids continued on the subsequent climb of the Col du Rosier, Niklas Eg (Trek-Segafredo) stretching the peloton to begin with, then Cofidis’s Rémy Rochas adding to the pressure. Alaphilippe’s Deceuninck teammates marked the moves, but once more Lotto Soudal and Astana kept them busy with further thrusts. On the plateau beyond the Rosier, Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious), Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) and Mark Donovan (Team DSM) managed to get clear of the bunch, the trio quickly opening up a gap of more than a minute on the bunch while closing in on the seven escapees at the same time.

As the peloton tackled the next climb, the newly added Côte de Desnié, Rochas jumped off the front once again, Deceuninck’s Pieter Serry reeling him back in. Serry was then joined by a gaggle of his teammates at the front of the bunch including Alaphilippe as the climb of La Redoute approached.

The break reached La Redoute with its lead now less than a minute. Paasschens was the first rider to yield as his teammate Huys pushed up the pace on the front. When the peloton reached the foot of this key climb, Ineos Grenadiers were massed on the front of the line, with Tao Geoghegan Hart in the vanguard. The Giro d’Italia champion set a ferocious pace up La Redoute’s steep ramps, his sustained effort causing a split in the line, with just a dozen riders or so on his wheel.

Pogačar was there, but defending champion Primož Roglič and Alaphilippe weren’t. As the Ineos-led group swept up the three riders still in between the break and the peloton, Roglič did manage to scramble across to this group, while, in the Alaphilippe group behind, Deceuninck began a furious chase to close the gap, which they achieved after five minutes of furious pursuit.

Back at the front, Vliegen and Marczynski got back up to the two leaders, but the quartet’s advantage was now less than 30 seconds, and it evaporated on the penultimate climb of the Côte des Forges. Geoghegan Hart was once again the instigator, accelerating hard with teammate Adam Yates on his wheel. Yates kicked on, Pogačar again right where he needed to be, always keen to work and distance his major rivals.

Yet, the front group slowed, and as it did Ineos Grenadiers’ Richard Carapaz bolted away. The Ecuadorean opened up a gap of 20 seconds, descending from the Côte des Forges, briefly getting into the now-banned Mohoric position as he did so, which would result in his subsequent disqualification. Carapaz led by 21 seconds coming onto the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, the chase group led by Deceuninck’s James Knox, with Alaphilippe right on his wheel.

The final hostilities began with a big acceleration by UAE’s Davide Formolo, which did for Carapaz. Then Woods delivered the first of his big attacks, Pogačar, Alaphilippe, Gaudu and Valverde the only four riders able to stay on the in-form Canadian’s wheel. The only question that now remained, was which of the five would take the title? 

Full Results
PlaceRiderResult
1Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates06:39:26
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
3David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
5Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
6Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates00:00:07
7Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team DSM00:00:07
8Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo00:00:07
9Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:00:09
10Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious00:00:09
11Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:09
12Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech00:00:09
13Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma00:00:09
14Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange00:00:09
15Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:00:09
16Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates00:00:09
17Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious00:00:12
18Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:37
19Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange00:01:21
20Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:01:21
21Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech00:01:21
22Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo00:01:21
23Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team00:01:21
24Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:01:21
25Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-up Nation00:01:21
26Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:01:21
27Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe00:01:21
28Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma00:01:21
30Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech00:01:21
31Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo00:01:21
32Simon Clarke (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos00:01:44
33James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:01:44
34Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious00:01:45
35Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers00:01:47
36Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:02:42
37Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis00:02:42
38Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM00:02:43
39Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:03:06
40Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team00:03:06
41Julien Simon (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:03:06
42Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:03:06
43Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:03:06
44Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis00:03:06
45Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo00:03:06
46Luc Wirtgen (Lux) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB00:03:06
47Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma00:03:06
48Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team00:03:06
49Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team DSM00:03:06
50Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:03:06
51Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix00:03:06
52Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Arkea-Samsic00:03:06
53Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo00:03:06
54Ben Tulett (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix00:03:06
55Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe00:03:06
56Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team00:03:06
57Rob Power (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos00:03:06
58Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo00:03:06
59Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis00:03:06
60Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos00:03:06
61Fabio Aru (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos00:03:06
62Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:03:06
63Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates00:03:06
64Valentin Ferron (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:03:06
65João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:03:06
66Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:03:06
67Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech00:03:06
68Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:03:06
69Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM00:03:06
70Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation00:03:06
71Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team00:03:06
72Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB00:03:06
73Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange00:03:06
74Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange00:03:06
75Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team BikeExchange00:03:06
76Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis00:03:06
77Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Team Qhubeka Assos00:03:06
78Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:03:06
79Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious00:03:06
80Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:03:45
81Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:04:15
82Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Team Arkea-Samsic00:04:15
83Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:04:15
84Remy Mertz (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB00:04:15
85Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:04:15
86Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team00:05:02
87Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo00:05:02
88Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix00:05:02
89Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech00:05:02
90Sergei Chernetskii (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo00:05:02
91Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal00:05:02
92Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:06:17
93Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise00:06:58
94Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma00:06:58
95Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:07:56
96Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis00:07:56
97Simone Velasco (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo00:07:59
98Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team DSM00:07:59
99Alex Howes (USA) EF Education-Nippo00:07:59
100Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech00:07:59
101Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation00:07:59
102Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:07:59
103Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise00:07:59
104Brent Bookwalter (USA) Team BikeExchange00:07:59
105Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:07:59
106Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:07:59
107Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education-Nippo00:07:59
108Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team00:07:59
109Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious00:07:59
110Sander Armée (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos00:07:59
111Fabien Doubey (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:07:59
112Tanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange00:07:59
113Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:07:59
114Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:07:59
115Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe00:07:59
116Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:07:59
117Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix00:09:32
118Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team00:09:32
119Michael Schär (Swi) AG2R Citroën Team00:09:32
120Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation00:09:32
121Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:09:32
122Kenny Molly (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB00:10:28
123Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB00:10:28
124Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos Grenadiers00:10:28
125Laurens Huys (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB00:10:28
126Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise00:12:13
127Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe00:12:13
128Julian Mertens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise00:12:13
129Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team00:12:13
130Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo00:12:13
131Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo00:12:13
132Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates00:12:13
133Alan Riou (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:12:13
134Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers00:12:13
135Michal Golas (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers00:12:13
136Ruben Apers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise00:12:13
137Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:12:13
138Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:12:13
139Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo00:12:13
140Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM00:12:13
141Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:12:13
142Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Jumbo-Visma00:12:13
143Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis00:12:13
144Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo00:12:13
145Sean Bennett (USA) Team Qhubeka Assos00:12:13
146Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:12:13
147Alex Colman (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise00:12:37
DNFPaul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
DNFDavid de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
DNFBrandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
DNFEros Capecchi (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
DNFHeinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
DNFDries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNFLuis Mas Bonet (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFHideto Nakane (Jpn) EF Education-Nippo
DNSAndreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM
DSQRichard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFGuillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
DNFGuy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
DNFBruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFHugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech
DNFTony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNFAndreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFJoel Suter (Swi) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
DNFLudwig De Winter (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFMarlon Gaillard (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNFLouis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFOtto Vergaerde (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFPhilipp Walsleben (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFRoman Kreuziger (Cze) Gazprom-RusVelo
DNFPetr Rikunov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
DNFEvgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
DNF247

Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014). 

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