All eyes on Jelle Vanendert at Liege-Bastogne-Liege after surprise result at Fleche Wallonne
Apr 21 2018 02:13 pm CET

All eyes on Jelle Vanendert at Liege-Bastogne-Liege after surprise result at Fleche Wallonne
All eyes on Jelle Vanendert at Liege-Bastogne-Liege after surprise result at Fleche Wallonne
Photo of Jelle Vanendert by Lotto Soudal

After a surprising third place at the Fleche Wallonne, Belgian Jelle Vanendert of Lotto Soudal is set to deliver another good result at Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday.

Vanendert finished the race at just six minutes from race winner Julian Alaphilippe, with teammate Tim Wellens finishing just behind in seventh place.

"I have surprised myself a little last Wednesday," said Vanendert. I had already claimed a top ten place at Flèche Wallonne three times, so I knew the finish suited me but I was also amazed by how I climbed up Mur de Huy.

"I rode at the front from the bottom and that’s special. I am only a few per cents better than previous years. Last year Tim Wellens and I got eighteenth and seventeenth, now we were seventh and third.

Wellens, meanwhile, had hoped for better in 'La Fleche'. "I was indeed disappointed after Flèche Wallonne, but when I had calmed down I had a clearer look on the race. I knew I had good legs, but in the run-up to the last climb I had lost the wheel of Jelle Vanendert for a moment which cost me an extra effort to get back to the front. An effort that might have cost me a better result. I had hoped to do better than that seventh place. But as a team we can’t complain with a rider on the seventh and third place," he said.

"Liege-Bastogne-Liege is one of my dream races: a monument in my country and a course that should suit me. In the past I didn’t set a top result yet in the race though. I have already won the Brabantse Pijl, but that’s no WorldTour race."

The two will be joined by Tiesj Benoot, for whom this will be his first appearance in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. "The distance and type of climbs should suit me. I am looking forward to the race and I’m curious to see how it goes. As a team we should make sure to ride the finale with three riders. In tomorrow’s meeting the sports directors will decide which role we’ll get. We shouldn’t wait all three till the finish in Ans. We benefit from a hard race, as the Flèche Wallone proved. The race can explode early for me."

The complete Lotto Soudal line-up for Liege-Bastogne-Liege (April 22):

Tiesj Benoot
Bjorg Lambrecht
Tomasz Marczynski
Maxime Monfort
Tosh Van der Sande
Jelle Vanendert
Tim Wellen




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