Movistar Team shows great level to make up for big leader’s absence, retired 150km into the race after several setbacks in the days prior to the race.
It was a tough day, yet ultimately one with good results for the Movistar Team at the 105th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, held over a renewed 256km course where the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, fifteen kilometers before the end, became more than crucial for Dane Jakob Fuglsang (AST)’s solo victory.
The Telefónica-backed squad had to regret an early abandon from Alejandro Valverde, with still 105km remaining in the race. Struggling with several physical problems during the last few days, the World Champion had to put an abrupt end to his Ardennes campaign: “I crashed training on Thursday, I hurt my sacrum, yet still wanted to take the start today. The pain didn’t vanish as much as I expected.”
The reaction from the José Luis Arrieta-led group was excellent. Carlos Verona and Winner Anacona got themselves into a dangerous ten-man move, which ammassed a gap near one minute before getting caught at La Redoute (-37km); Carlos Betancur fared well over the hills and finished in 15th spot, a minute and a half behind Fuglsang; and Mikel Landa returned to racing after his pre-Giro camp in style, going on the attack right after the ‘Falcons’, 12km from the finish.
The Basque’s effort into the second echelon of race contenders awarded him a valuable 7th spot, 57″ behind the winner, re-confirming his good feelings with less than two weeks before the big start of the ‘Corsa Rosa’. A good way to leave behind misfortune which had affected the Murgia native for many months before.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto
- 01 Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team 6h37'37"
- 02 Davide Formolo Bora-Hansgrohe +27"
- 03 Max Schachmann Bora-Hansgrohe +57"
- 07 Mikel Landa Movistar Team "
- 15 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +1'29"
- 44 Carlos Verona Movistar Team +4'11"
- 68 Winner Anacona Movistar Team +11'59"
- 71 Andrey Amador Movistar Team "
- 92 Imanol Erviti Movistar Team +17'39"
- — Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team DNF