Alejandro Valverde wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege for fourth time
Apr 23 2017 04:59 pm CET

Alejandro Valverde wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege for fourth time

Alejandro Valverde has won Liege-Bastogne Liege. The rider of Movistar showed to have the better legs in the last kilometer, leaving Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) in second and third position.

The course was 258 kilometers long between Liege and Ans, in Belgium. The day started with a moment of silence and remembrance for Michele Scarponi (Astana) who died on Saturday during a training ride in Italy, and the eight men of his team wore black armbands and led the peloton in the neutralized zone.

Tiago Machado (Katusha), Anthony Perez and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Mekseb Debesay (Dimension Data), Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal), Nick Van Der Lijke (Roompot), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) and Aaron Gate (Aqua Blue) formed an escape group that managed to create a gap of more than 11 minutes with the peloton.

Olivier Pardini (WB Veranclassic) chased the front group for around 60 kilometers and got very close to catching them, but he spent too much energy riding on his own and finally gave up on the task.

The first rider to drop from the front group was Debesay, who couldn't keep up with the pace set by Grellier at the Cote de Pont.

Behind them, a group conformed by Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe), Carlos Betancur (Movistar), Omar Fraile and Nathan Haas (Dimension Data), and Gianluca Brambilla (Quick-Step Floors) escaped the peloton but was reeled back in some kilometers later.

With 30 kilometers to go, Perez and Rossetto accelerated and left the rest of the escape group behind. At around the 16 kilometer mark, Rossetto was left alone in front, with the chasing group getting closer.

Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), who was in the chasing group, was the first to bridge to Rossetto and together they rode for a couple of kilometers until the main group caught them. Many attacks followed including those by Sergio Henao (Sky) and then Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac), who managed to get a significant gap with the rest.

Formolo rode alone until the last kilometer when he was caught by a very strong Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors). But soon Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) also made a move and accelerated, leaving behind Martin and getting his fourth victory at the Belgian monument.

The third cyclist to cross the finish line was Kwiatkowski, followed by Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida).
Photo of Alejandro Valverde (cropped) by Movistar Team





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