Jakob Fuglsang triumphs in Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Apr 28 2019 11:04 pm CET

Jakob Fuglsang triumphs in Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Jakob Fuglsang triumphs in Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Photo of Jakob Fuglsang by Astana Pro Team

Astana's Jakob Fuglsang has taken a solo victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The Dane was left alone in front with 11 kilometres to go and he could maintain a gap until the end.

The 256-kilometre race was the last spring classic of the season and the last chance for the favourites to get some spring glory, as well as the last race for Team Sky before riding with its new name. The peloton had to ride under heavy rain in the first half of the race that forced some riders to withdraw like Alejandro Valverde and Dan Martin.

A group of eight riders managed to escape in the first kilometres of the race and included names like Lilian Calmejane, Julien Bernard and Tobias Ludvigsson. The escapees managed to create a gap of more than ten minutes with a pack that was pulled by teams like Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Team Sky and Lotto Soudal.

On the ascent of the Cote de la Haute-Levee, a group of around 30 riders got clear from the pack and went on to successfully catch the escapees. Moments later, EF Education First's Tanel Kangert, Team Sky's David de la Cruz and Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Dries Devenyns took the lead but soon Kangert accelerated and left the others behind.

The chasing duo was joined by Benoit Cosnefroy, Damiano Caruso, Bjorg Lambrecht and Alessandro De Marchi. The adventure of the chasers was done with 28 kilometres to go when a pack lead by Astana reeled them back. A couple of kilometres later, Bora-hansgrohe's Patrick Konrad broke free from the pack and joined Kangert for a moment but they were soon also caught.

Close to the 20-kilometre mark, Lotto Soudal's Tim Wellens attacked and was later on joined by Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), but Astana was not going to sit and wait, so they once again took the control of the reduced pack and went on to catch the escapees. With 15 kilometres to go, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) attacked and was followed by a group that included Julian Alaphilippe, Michael Woods and Davide Formolo.

Fuglsang's pace got rid of his companions one at the time and with 11 kilometres to go, he was riding alone in front. Behind him, a group that included Adam Yates, Vincenzo Nibali, David Gaudu and Mikel Landa was formed and continued picking up the chasers to try to catch the Dane.

With 3.5 kilometres to go, Fuglsang saved himself from a heavy crash on a downhill stretch that was still wet due to the early rain but continued pushing it to avoid to be caught. The rider crossed the finish line by himself, 27 seconds ahead of Formolo and 57 seconds ahead of Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe).

This is the first Monument win for the rider and his second victory of the year after the Vuelta a Andalucia-Ruta del Sol. This triumph also comes after a short spell in which he was on the podium but not on the top step: He finished in the second position of Strade Bianche, in the third of Tirreno-Adriatico and the Amstel Gold Race, and in the second place of La Fleche Wallonne.




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