A magnificent Evenepoel wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2022
Remco Evenepoel broke Quick Step Alpha Vinyl's disastrous run in the current classics season with a huge attack 29km from the finish line to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2022.
Evenepoel wins 2022 Liège-Bastogne-Liège
If this 2022 edition of the Liège - Bastogne - Liège will be remembered for anything, it is for the tremendous demolition of prodigy Remco Evenepoel on the Redoute, undoubtedly the most iconic place in the race. At the top, just at the summit. Surprising, just where it really hurts.
Before that moment, the race was already nervous with Bahrain Victorious leading the race fast and Luis León Sánchez, full of energy, in control of the day's breakaway and growing nervousness that ended up unleashing what usually happens when tension is in the air.
Approaching the Col du Rossier, a narrow road, a rider who plays the sharpener and a large pile-up that leaves a good number of victims. Among them, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), top candidate for the victory after the announcement of the non-participation of Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) due to the death of his mother-in-law and mother of the also professional cyclist Urska ?igart.
The crash also put an end to the chances of riders like Brandon McNulty, who replaced Pogacar, and Romain Bardet (Team DSM). However, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) managed to connect thanks to the phenomenal work of his teammate Carlos Verona.
In this in crescendo in which the race was developing, we reached the Desnié climb where Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), fresh from the Tour of the Alps, moved to the offensive trying to make the race harder before the arrival at La Redoute.
One attack after another, grabbed low to the delight of his fans, which are immediately stopped by a fantastic Carlos Verona and which only serve to show the weaknesses of Thomas Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers), far from his best form in this classics season.
It is surprising to see Remco Evenepoel at the front, after Julian Alaphilippe's withdrawal, in a role that at this stage of the race is more typical of a supporter than a leader.
And so, he reached a race that was already running at a breakneck pace, the streets of Remouchamps, on which stands what is undoubtedly one of the most legendary hills in cycling.
Ahead of the day, the breakaway of the event, in which a willing Pau Miquel sneaked in, doing honour to Kern Pharma for the invitation received to participate in such a monument as this Liège - Bastogne - Liège 2022, was leaving only Groupama - FDJ rider Bruno Armirail in the lead.
In the group of favourites, it was Mauri Vanevenant who took control of operations, imposing a strong pace that led to a steady climb. And just when we were all expecting the outcome of the race on the Roche-aux-faucons, an imposing Remco Evenepoel left us open-mouthed with one of those attacks that will go down in history. Hard, dry and sustained, to which no one dares to respond.
The gap quickly shot up to 30'' and behind, only Mikel Landa, with his overalls on, tried to stop the loss of seconds.
There was little history left between now and the finish. Evenepoel neutralised the remains of the breakaway and climbed the Roche-aux-faucons as if he had wings. Behind, only Enric Mas (Movistar Team) tried to keep the pace up to maintain a chance for Alejandro Valverde and the movements were postponed to the climbs that followed the final uphill with riders like Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora - Hansgrohe) or Daniel Felipe Martínez (INEOS Grenadiers) trying to secure a podium place.
There was plenty of time in the last kilometre for an emotional Remco to celebrate his biggest victory to date and the first monument in his career. The rest of the podium places were decided in a reduced sprint in which Valverde had no chance and which gave the remaining places of honour to Quinten Hermans (Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux), second, and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).
- Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) 06:12:38
- Quinten Hermans (Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux) +00:48
- Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +00:48
- Daniel Felipe Martínez (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:48
- Sergio Higuita (Bora – Hansgrohe) +00:48
- Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) +00:48
- Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +00:48
- Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) +00:48
- Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) +00:48
- Michael Woods (Israel Premier Tech) +00:48
Another victory for van Vleuten
Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) broke a drought that had lasted since she won the Omloop Het Nieuwblad at the end of February.
The race started fast, with the usual breakaway attempts that failed to consolidate. It was not until the arrival at the Col du Rossier climb that a breakaway of many talents flourished with riders such as Marlen Reusser (SD Worx), Lea Thomas (Trek Segafredo), Soraya Paladin (Canyon//SRAM Racing) or Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange - Jayco). Among them for Movistar was the young Sara Martín, who continues her steady progression.
A breakaway that reached a gap of 1'30'' over a peloton of favourites that was sharpening its knives ahead of the ascent to La Redoute. Annemiek's attack was not long in coming and she was able to neutralise the gap and continue ahead, followed only by Marlen Reuser.
However, this attempt was unsuccessful on the terrain leading up to the last difficulty of the day, the Roche-aux-faucons. The neutralisation of this attempt happened to coincide with the anticipation of Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope), although, at the start of the Rock of Falcons, an inspired van Vleuten repeated the move of La Redoute, managing not only to neutralise the Australian but also to open a gap of 14'' with her pursuers that increased in the remaining 13 kilometres to Liège where the Dutch rider arrived with a 43'' lead.
Behind, Grace Brown used her speed to take second place in a tight sprint ahead of Demi Vollering (SD Worx).
- Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team Women) 03:42:32
- Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope) +00:43
- Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) +00:43
- Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Team SD Worx) +00:43
- Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo) +00:43
- Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope) +00:47
- Arlenis Sierra (Movistar Team Women) +00:58
- Liane Lippert (Team DSM) +00:58
- Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) +00:58
- Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange – Jayco) +00:58