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Hello and welcome to live coverage of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The peloton is rolling out from the start line in Liège under sunny April skies for the last race of the classics season.

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Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the oldest Monument, heralds the end of the classics season. The peloton will tackle a route of 257 kilometres containing 4,500 metres of climbing--comparable to a mountainous stage of a Grand Tour. Unlike those stages, the difficulty of Liège comes not from long mountain passes but a seemingly endless catalogue of short, steep climbs.

Out of the neutral zone and onto the course, the 108th edition of Liège is underway! 

Last year's winner and the favourite for today's race, Tadej Pogačar announced yesterday that he would not be defending his title. On Thursday, Pogačar’s partner and fiancée Urška Žigart revealed on social media that her mother had passed away, and Pogacar is understood to have travelled to Slovenia to be with her during this time.

-252km

Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto-Soudal) is the first rider to breakaway from the peloton and he currently has a small gap over the main field.

Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) is another late withdrawal from the race. His team announced that he was "feeling unwell" but had tested negative for Covid-19. Similarly, Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohë) has withdrawn due to illness and Kamiel Bonneu (Sport Vlaanderen) will not start the race.

-241km

Back in the race, meanwhile, Moniquet has been joined by four others-- Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ),  Jacob Madsen (Uno-X) and Fabien Doubey (TotalEnergies)-- making for an early breakaway of five riders. They have an advantage of 40 seconds.

-237km

Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), who finished fourth here in 2017, has quit the race due to sickness. He spoke to Daniel Ostanek about how he was feeling before the start.

"Last night wasn’t so good," Matthews said. "Unfortunately I missed out on Flèche also and I was vomiting most of the night so hopefully I can come round this morning. I have to be honest, it’s not been a great week for me this week. I came here really prepared for Flèche and Liège but with what happened overnight it’s going to be a very difficult race but I’ll try my best and see what I have."

"Hopefully I’m there [in the final] but I think it’s a headwind on the way back so hopefully it makes the race a little bit slower and I can get as far as possible. The shape is really good so hopefully I can pull something out of the bag today. I was really excited for today and still am obviously but what happened over night is going to make it really difficult. I still have high hopes and we are still very confident and we will still try our best."

-230km

Two riders-- Kenny Molly and Eugenio Sánchez-- have attacked the peloton and are 55 seconds behind the five-man breakaway. The Quickstep-AlphaVinyl controlled peloton are a further 30 seconds back.

-225km

There are five former winners of Liège among the starters today-- Alejandro Valverde, who has won this race four times, Jakob Fuglsang, Wout Poels, Bob Jungels and Philippe Gilbert. It is the last La Doyenne for Gilbert who was greeted by a rapturous reception at the start.

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-220km

It is a frantic start to the race, as various riders are still attempting to bridge across to the breakaway. Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Alex Colman (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Danny Van der Tuuk (Equipo Kern Pharma) briefly escaped but have since been reeled by the peloton, along with Molly and Sánchez.

-215km

Matej Mohorič is among the favourites for today, along with his teammate Dylan Teuns who won La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday. 

"I hope [the legs] are good," Mohorič said. "I will see how my climbing legs are today. We are definitely motivated as a team, we have a strong team, everybody is healthy and fit so we will do our best to try and win the stage."

"We need to be honest with each other. Of course, not all of us can win, we will need to decide in the final who we will ride for. Of course Dylan is the rider who is in the best shape at the moment. He won Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday so he will go well today for sure. We still have some others who are going well so we will try to make sure we have a good go."

When asked whether Bahrain were planning to ride an aggressive race, Mohorič replied: “We will see, I think we need to see how strong the other teams are who want to control the final and how strong the leaders are and then we will decide.”

-213km

Another small chase group has broken away from the peloton in search of the breakaway up front. This group is comprised of Pau Miquel (Equipo Kern Pharma), Kenny Molly (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces) and Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces). It is a big gap to bridge now, though, as the peloton are 3'40" behind the front of the race.

-207km

Ineos-Grenadiers have had a successful Classics campaign already, winning Paris-Roubaix with Dylan van Baarle, Amstel Gold Race with Michał Kwiatkowski, and De Brabantse Pijl with Magnus Sheffield. 

"[It's been a] big block [of racing] but an exciting block," Kwiatkowski said at the start. "It will be nice to finish off with Liège-Bastogne-Liège before a break. 

Asked about his relationship with Liège, Kwiatkowski said: "Very different from year to year. It is a nasty one, you have to be on a good day, obviously a lot of ascending metres. The distance and the history of the race just show that the strongest guy wins and hopefully as a collective team we can play our cards in the final and go for the win- that’s our objective."

"It's still a kind of unpredictable race in terms of what’s going to happen from the top of La Redoute which is obviously a very tough climb. From the top of La Roche-aux-Faucons it’s 11 kilometres and there was always some movements from riders, we’ve seen in the past. Its been raced from a small group for the victory but you can go solo, we just have to pay attention and just play with the cards and with the other rivals, what the race will bring. It’s hard to say, you just have to be open-minded and feel the race."

-205km

The gap from the peloton to the original five-man breakaway has ballooned to 5'15". Another group of six riders-- Pau Miquel (Equipo Kern Pharma), Baptiste Planckaert (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies), Marco Tizza, Kenny Molly and Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces)-- are attempting to join them, and are 50 seconds behind the head of the race.

-200km

And the chasers have now bridged across so there is a large breakaway at the head of the race. 

To recap, the riders in this 11-man group are: Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jacob Madsen (Uno-X), Fabien Doubey (TotalEnergies), Sylvain Moniquet and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal), Pau Miquel (Equipo Kern Pharma), Baptiste Planckaert (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies), Marco Tizza, Kenny Molly and Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces).

The women's race is approaching its finale on the Côte de la Redoute, with Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (SD Worx) starting to splinter the race. You can follow along with the last 30 kilometres here.

-194km

In the men's race, Bahrain Victorious and QuickStep-AlphaVinyl are controlling proceedings in the peloton at the moment. Between them, they have three of the day's big favourites-- Julian Alaphilippe, Dylan Teuns and Matej Mohorič. You can catch up on five favourites and five outsiders for victory here.

-188km

Somehow, Alaphilippe has not yet won La Doyenne. Last year, he finished second behind Pogačar and in 2020, he celebrated as if he'd won the race but had been beaten by Primož Roglič and was ultimately relegated to fifth after deviating from his line in the sprint.

"I’ve already forgotten my fourth place on Wednesday," Alaphilippe said before the start, referring to La Flèche Wallonne. "I’m just happy and motivated to be at the start here. I’m focused and happy too. The weather is good, the team is solid and we’ll give our maximum."

No Pogacar is good news for you?
"Well, above all it’s bad news for him. I’m not really thinking about that, I’m focused on my race."

Will his absence change the race?
"I don’t know, UAE have still brought a very strong team so we’ll see if they want to control things or if they want to make the race hard like some other teams. We’ll have to see and we’ll have to be prepared for lots of scenarios. It’s Remco’s first participation but we know that he has the ability to win already. We’ll see how it plays out in the finale. If he wins, I would be very happy."

-186km

The breakaway, that contains two Lotto-Soudal riders, still maintains a gap of 5'25" over the peloton.

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-182km

Although the riders have been on undulating roads already, they are now tackling the first categorised climb of the day. The Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne is 2.8 km long with an average gradient of 6.2%.

-181km

Luc Wirtgen was the first rider to crest the first categorised climb of the day. The 23-year-old Luxembourger was in the breakaway earlier this week too at La Flèche-Wallonne, and he finished 3rd overall in the Tour of Antalya in February.

-178km

The race is now about 20 kilometres from Bastogne but this doesn't quite mark the halfway point of the route as the return leg to Liège is more circuitous. In 1944, Bastogne's strategic position at the intersection of seven crossroads in the Ardennes meant that it was besieged as part of the wider Battle of the Bulge as the German army sought to retaliate after D-Day.

-177km

The breakaway's lead has crept up a little over the last few kilometres and they are now 6'05" ahead of the peloton.

-170km

Aleksandr Vlasov, who finished third at Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, turned 26 yesterday but his celebrations were muted, he said in Liège this morning.

“Not a lot, it’s just a normal day for the race. Only a small dessert after the dinner," Vlasov said. "I’m in a good shape and of course I would like to win. We need to be smart in the final and see how he [Sergio Higuita] feels and how I’m feeling so we will see during the race and try to stay smart." 

"To be in the selective small group in the final I think will be better for me. It depends on the feeling, maybe I will try also [to attack on La Roche aux Faucons]."

-165km

The men's race reaches Bastogne just after the women's race concluded in Liège with a solo victory for Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar). You can read the race report here.

-150km

There are 20 kilometres until the next categorised climb--the Côte de Saint-Roch which is a kilometre long but has an average gradient of 11.2%. The breakaway's advantage has reached 6'28".

-140km

As is the case with most races, Eddy Merckx holds the record for the most victories at Liège-Bastogne-Liège with five. Today, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has the chance to match that record, and make it two wins out of two for Movistar at Liège following van Vleuten's victory. It will be Valverde's last chance to match this record as he has announced his plans to retire at the end of the season. 

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-136km

Carlos Rodríguez has abandoned the race. He is the second Ineos rider to abandon today after Omar Fraile. 

-128km

The breakaway has navigated the Côte de Saint-Roch where Doubey was the first across the summit. A little more than six minutes behind, the peloton are beginning their ascent.

-122km

Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) is safe in the peloton at the moment and he is seeking to improve on his run of top-10 finishes at five out of his six starts to date.

"Today we have a good team here with Jakob [Fuglsang] and me, and I think we can do something special and go for the win," Woods said. "The Roche-aux-Faucons will certainly be key, like usual, but with Wout van Aert here, I hope the final climbs will be ridden hard enough to drop him." 

"If he gets over the Roche-aux-Faucons it will be difficult to beat him. If Jakob and I are up there in that situation, we’ll have to attack because if we come to a sprint with him, it’s almost already over."

The peloton in the Ardennes.

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-116km

The breakaway's advantage has fallen to 5'33" as Tim Declercq takes up his customary place at the front of the peloton for Quickstep-AlphaVinyl.

-112km

Bahrain-Victorious, Jumbo-Visma, Movistar and Bora Hansgrohë are sharing the pace-setting with Quickstep as the gap to the breakaway continues to fall steadily. It is now 5'24".

-110km

Jumbo-Visma are riding for Wout van Aert who is making his debut at Liège. His presence slightly changes the complexion of the race as he will win a sprint if he makes it to the finish line in the front group. Michael Woods has already signalled that he will ride an aggressive race in an attempt to drop van Aert.

-103km

The next categorised climb- the Côte de Mont-le-Soie- arrives in 15 kilometres time. The categorised climbs then come thick and fast with a further seven in the last 89 kilometres of the race.

-98km

The breakaway, followed by a flotilla of team cars, are passing through the town of Vielsalm. Their advantage is now 4'43".

-97km

A mechanical for Fabio Felline (Astana Qazaqstan) but after a languid wheel change he sets off in pursuit of the peloton again.

-96km

In the breakaway, Kenny Molly also has a mechanical issue and holds onto the team car while it is fixed.

-90km

The breakaway are on the Côte de Mont-le-Soie. It is 1.7 km with an average gradient of 7.9% as there is a crash in the peloton for Vito Braet (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise). He waits for a new bike but seems able to continue the race.

-89km

While the front of the peloton is bunched up, the back is strung out and nearly splintering off, indicating the intensity of the pace.

-84km

The breakaway clatter onto the Côte de Wanne- a longer climb of 3.6 km at an average gradient of 5.1%. Their advantage over the peloton is now three and half minutes.

-82km

Molly continues to have issues with his gears but some more tinkering at the car seems to solve the problem for now and he remains with the breakaway on the climb.

-82km

Romain Bardet (Team DSM) has a mechanical issue and a teammate stops to help him.

-81km

Paced back by Joris Nieuwenhuis, Bardet rejoins the back of the peloton.

-79km

As the breakaway crests the Côte de Wanne, Vanhoucke lifts the pace in the breakaway which strings out accordingly. In the peloton, meanwhile, there are reports of Jonas Vingegaard being dropped.

-75km

Pieter Serry lifts the pace for QuickStep on the climb and, on the opposite side of the road, Bahrain-Victorious accelerate too.

-75km

At the front of the race, meanwhile, the breakaway are on the Côte de Stockeu. Marco Tizza is dropped from the group as Vanhoucke presses on.

-73km

Just five other riders are able to live with the pace of Vanhoucke in the breakaway. Bahrain-Victorious and QuickStep-AlphaVinyl are lined across the front of the peloton.

-70km

Another mechanical for Team DSM as Mark Donovan stops by the side of the road. All the favourites remain tucked away in the front third of the peloton.

-69km

Vanhoucke continues to show his strength in the breakaway as he is the first to summit the Côte de la Haute-Levée. The breakaway are 2'57" ahead of the peloton.

-65km

Valverde stops by the side of the road for a wheel change and sets off to rejoin the peloton.

-61km

There is a crash at the back of the peloton. Simon Carr from EF Education-Easy Post, and Lukasz Owsian from Team Arkéa-Samsic hit the ground and it looks as the Owsian will have to abandon the race. We hope they recover soon.

-59km

A terrible crash has ripped through the peloton on the approach to the Col du Rosier. 

-58km

Most of the peloton have been affected by that awful crash. Bardet, Uran and Alaphilippe are all down. It's difficult to see exactly what happened but we will bring information as soon as we can. 

-57km

The peloton seems to have been reduced to about 60 riders, and is led by Bahrain-Victorious. Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel are in the front group too. There is a group containing Geraint Thomas, Valentin Madouas, and Alejandro Valverde chasing back.

-56km

Out front, the breakaway have retained their lead on the Col du Rosier and are 2'39" ahead of the reduced peloton.

-53km

Trek-Segafredo and Bauke Mollema are leading another crash-affected group back to the peloton. Tom Pidcock, Bob Jungels and Enric Mas are tagged onto that group as well.

-51km

The Trek-Segafredo-led group have made contact with the back of the peloton.

-48km

Michael Woods and Jakob Fuglsang are in the peloton as well for Israel-Premier Tech.

-46km

Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious) is the latest rider to suffer a mechanical but after a quick bike change he is on his way again. Philippe Gilbert sits at the front of the peloton on his last time racing La Doyenne.

-44km

The peloton has swelled in size as riders chase back on- it seems to be about eighty riders now. They are 2'37" behind the breakaway.

-43km

Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) is the first to accelerate as he launches a prodding attack, drawing out Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and Enric Mas (Movistar).

-41km

There is still 500m to the summit of the Côte de Desnié. Alexandre Geniez (Team TotalEnergies) joins them. Landa is caught but launches another attack.

-40km

Wout Poels now attacks for Bahrain-Victorious as they seek to make the race as difficult as possible. A small group breaks clear but no-one is willing to fully commit yet and they are caught by the peloton.

-39km

Now, Landa goes again. As the pace lulls in the peloton, Geraint Thomas chases after Landa along with Carlos Verona, but the move is shut down again.

-37km

There is news of some abandons from the earlier crash. Jesús Herrada, Élie Gesbert, and Julian Alaphilippe have all abandoned the race. Alaphilippe, according to French Télévisions, is conscious and in an ambulance. We send our very best to everyone involved and hope they recover soon.

-36km

As repeated attacks fire themselves off the front of the peloton, the breakaway still have a 1'34" advantage.

-33km

Wout Poels has a small gap over the rest of the peloton in the latest Bahrain-Victorious attack.

-31km

The Côte de La Redoute is just 500 metres away for the breakaway who still hold a 1'24" lead over the peloton. The penultimate climb of the day is 2 kilometres long with a gradient of 8.6%.

-30.7km

Serry is on the front for QuickStep-AlphaVinyl with Evenepoel glued to his back wheel as the peloton now ride onto the Côte de La Redoute.

-30km

The road of La Redoute is covered with the name Phil written multiple times to honour Philippe Gilbert's last La Doyenne. The applause grows slightly louder when he passes by the crowd, even though he is towards the back of the peloton.

-29km

At the front of the race, Armirail has attacked the breakaway and is riding solo up La Redoute. He has a 1'06" advantage over the peloton.

-28.8km

Evenepoel launches his attack on La Redoute and he has opened up a small gap.

-27km

Behind Evenepoel, Bahrain-Victorious are beginning to organise the chase. Initially Nielson Powless and Jakob Fuglsang attempted to follow the young Belgian but could not live with his acceleration.

-24.8km

Evenepoel is 21 seconds ahead of the peloton. Armirail is still at the head of the race, 34 seconds ahead of Evenepoel.

-23.8km

The gap between Evenepoel and the chasing group has increased to just over 30 seconds. Landa is still on the front of that group for Bahrain-Victorious.

-20.4km

Evenepoel has caught Armirail, and is now at the head of the race. Behind, Jumbo-Visma and Ineos are starting to contribute to the chase and the gap is hovering at about 30 seconds.

-18.4km

There is one last categorised climb and that is the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons which is 1.3km long with an average gradient of 11%. It is only five kilometres away.

-16.6km

On the downhill, Evenepoel is touching 80km/hr. His gap has inched upwards to 33 seconds.

-14.2km

The chase in the peloton has become more urgent as Evenepoel's advantage reaches 38 seconds and he makes his way onto the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. Armirail, after his heroic ride, is finally dropped by Evenepoel.

-14km

The pace has stalled in the peloton as each team expects the other to do the majority of the work. Although Mas takes up responsibility for Movistar, Evenepoel's lead grows to 40 seconds in that hesitation.

-12.2km

Evenepoel has crested the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons with a lead of 34 seconds. There are no more categorised climbs to come, although the roads remain undulating all the way to the finish.

-11km

Here is the moment that Evenepoel attacked on the Côte de la Redoute.

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-10.5km

Woods launches an attack back in the peloton and Vlasov counters. The gap to Evenepoel falls to 25 seconds.

-10km

Dylan Teuns counters Vlasov's counter attack. The pace is too high for van Aert who is dropped while the gap to Evenepoel has fallen to just 18 seconds. 

-8.7km

A small group containing Martínez, Higuita and Teuns have prised themselves away from the rest of the peloton. They are still 25 seconds behind Evenepoel.

-7.2km

Martínez, Higuita and Teuns are caught by the rest of the chasing group and as they hesitate, the gap to Evenepoel grows to 30 seconds again. Van Aert is able to rejoin the chasing group. 

-5.7km

Vlasov has ridden off the front of the group but is making no inroads into Evenepoel's advantage which is now 33 seconds over Vlasov. The chase group are losing time now and are 49 seconds behind the Belgian.

-3.5km

Less than five kilometres to the finish for Evenepoel who is cheered on by a delirious Belgian crowd. He is 33 seconds ahead of Vlasov and 52 seconds ahead of the chase group.

-1.7km

Evenepoel is celebrating already, as he clenches his fist in front of the cameras. 

-700m

As Evenpoel re-enters the town of Liège, 257 kilometres after he left it, he shakes his head in disbelief and shouts into his radio.

Remco Evenepoel hides his face in his hands as he crosses the line, taking a solo victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège!

Vlasov was caught in the closing kilometres and Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) takes second place in the sprint behind Evenepoel. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) completes the podium.

It was a Belgian 1-2-3 at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 11 years after Philippe Gilbert last won the race for the host country. Evenepoel becomes the 60th Belgian winner of La Doyenne.

Top 10 of 2022 Liège-Bastogne-Liège 

1         Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team      6:12:38

2         Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux       0:00:48

3         Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma

4         Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers

5         Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) Bora-Hansgrohe

6         Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious

7         Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team

8         Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost

9         Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates

10       Michael Woods (Can) Israel-Premier Tech

LIEGE BELGIUM APRIL 24 Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl attacks during the 108th Liege Bastogne Liege 2022 Mens Elite a 2572km one day race from Lige to Lige LBL WorldTour on April 24 2022 in Liege Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Evenepoel attacked on La Redoute, 29 kilometres from the finish, and held of the chasing group to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège. (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

“It was amazing, it was really hard," Evenepoel said at the finish. "With the headwind it was really difficult to keep pushing but I know that everybody was suffering already the whole day. It’s been quite a hard day, a long day as well so I think today was my best day on the bike maybe ever so the perfect day to have the best day on the bike I guess.”

 

“It’s incredible. I’ve been suffering mentally and physically a lot the last year and a half and finally this year, I feel that everything is going well, everything is getting stable and I’m getting to the best Remco again. I think today I’ve been showing the best Remco since turning pro so I’m really proud and happy to win this race and I just want to say a big big thank you to everybody around me- my family, my friends, my teammates, the crew of the team, everybody, also Patrick [Lefevre]. They always kept believing in me, even when I had difficult days like in Tirreno so I’m really proud to have won today.”

“The race was a bit specific because of the headwind in the second part of the race," Matej Mohorič said at the finish. "It was fast in the start and the second part was blocked by the headwind. There was the huge crash, there was confusion in the peloton, we also didn’t know if some of us were involved or not so we hesitated for a couple of minutes but then we realized that we were all safe so we just stayed in the front to stay out of trouble." 

"Then, nobody was able to follow Remco when he went on La Redoute but we tried our best to bring him back afterwards. We sacrificed basically all of the team except for Dylan and Jack. Then he went hard on the next climb but he couldn’t make a difference. We did our best, we can’t regret anything and it wasn’t to be this time. He [Remco] proved to be the strongest today.”

“Yeah, definitely, I think so [when asked if he could win Liège] if I’m on a good day. I proved two times in the last three years I was always top ten. Today I didn’t have the best of days, I was a little bit tired from all the classics but I still did a decent job for the team. I tried my best and I think I need some rest now before I get ready for the Tour.”

“It was a fast race," said Jakob Fulgsang after the race, "but it was somehow the real intensive parts were quite a bit different with the big crash and with Bahrain starting to attack early on. It was a different Liège than usual, and Remco going from the top of La Redoute made it all different.”

“I would have liked to have done better than I did. The feeling was in the end good but I missed a little bit. I was in the group trying to go with Remco when he went but I was like sixth, seventh wheel and the other guys when they couldn't hold the wheel, I also couldn’t close it so unfortunately I didn’t get out there with him- that would have been the perfect thing but that’s racing.”

“I thought Remco would try from the following climb after La Redoute. I think he was missing teammates and in such a good position at the top of La Redoute that he thought ‘OK, I will give it a go from here’ and it was impressive how it worked out for him.”

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