Duo in the mix at Liege

28 Apr 2019

Duo in the mix at Liege

Liege-Bastogne-Liege, 256km

Wout Poels and Michal Kwiatkowski battled hard in the closing stages of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, finishing in the chasing pack to finish 10th and 12th respectively.
 
Tackling the final race in Team Sky colours, our two Monument winners found themselves in the mix as the race hit the final categorised climb of the Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons. With the lead contenders on their limits the race began to split apart, with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) making good his escape while groups started to form on the run-in.
 
Poels put in an acceleration on the decisive ascent but the 2016 race winner was hauled back in. Eventually the Dutchman was able to launch clear on the streets of Liege, opening up enough of a gap to make sure of a top-10 finish.
 
Fuglsang opened out an impressive gap to win by 27 seconds over Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe), with Poels arriving 1:26 later.
 
David de la Cruz had been active on a day of foul weather in the Ardennes. Twice the Spaniard forced his way into escapes, initially in a large group with 75km to go as the peloton split. Things came back together on the Col du Rosier, but De La Cruz was soon back on the offensive, making his way into a 10-man move with 62km remaining. Bouncing back from a bike change, his presence allowed the team to sit in behind, with Tao Geoghegan Hart, Salvatore Puccio, Eddie Dunbar and Michal Golas offering support in the group.
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Reaction

- Wout Poels

“I think we hoped as a team for at least a podium finish but in the end this was the maximum we could do today. 
 
“At the beginning it was really tough with the cold and the rain, especially with it being such a long race. The main thing is to keep warm, don’t get cold and keep fuelling. That all went to plan and then the final was brutal as expected. 
 
“On the last climb I was quite on the limit so I was happy I could stay in that group. Then we tried to close the gap to the group in front of us but it was tough. Then I thought I’d try something in the last two kilometres and I was able to stay away for 10th.” 
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Final standings:

1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) 6:37:37
2. Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) +27"
3. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +57"
4. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) s.t.
5. Michael Woods (EF Education First)
10. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +1:26"
12. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) +1:29"