Martinez sprints to fourth in Liege

24 Apr 2022

Martinez sprints to fourth in Liege

Liege-Bastogne-Liege: Liege › Liege, 257.2km.

Dani Martinez sprinted to fourth as part of a lead chase group as Remco Evenepoel (Quick-step Alpha Vinyl) won Liege-Bastogne-Liege with a long-range solo attack.

Martinez had been one of the only riders able to stay in contention with Evenepoel, working with other team leaders to help the reduce the gap to the Belgian until attacks within this second group disrupted the chase. 

This allowed Evenepoel to stay away and win the Monument, with Martinez edged into fourth on the line after a bunch kick.

Earlier, the Grenadiers had been reduced in numbers after illness forced Omar Fraile and Carlos Rodriguez to abandon the race. This setback was compounded by Tom Pidcock being caught in a large crash with 50 kilometres to go, which affected a large portion of the peloton. Fortunately he was able to continue and re-join his teammates in a reduced bunch.  

With the race already splitting up on the iconic La Redoute climb, Evenepoel accelerated and quickly amassed a sizeable advantage that the dwindling peloton could not make up. 

Behind, the INEOS Grenadiers contributed to the chase, with Geraint Thomas pushing the pace, until the peloton splintered again on Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. 

Despite a small reduction in the gap to the leader, the chase group were only able to sprint for second, with Martinez narrowly missing out on a podium in Liege.  


Dani Martinez

""It was a hard day. This morning I woke up a bit under the weather, I wasn’t feeling myself and during the stage I had stomach ache and I went to the team car several times.

"It was a hard day, but despite of all the stress, crashes and everything, I felt great on the climbs and I managed to react to all the attacks from my rivals. 

"At La Redoute, the key moment of the race, I had a mechanical and I had to stop to fix it but Remco already attacked and I had to wait for the other teams to control the situation, but Remco was really strong and stayed clear."

 Geraint Thomas 

“It was a hard, attritional race and we were on the backfoot early, with Omar and Carlos feeling sick. Once we’d got into the race there was a big crash and luckily I was just behind it and had to pick my way through. 

“I saw Dani with his chain off, so I waited for him, got him back to the front and tried to keep him in good position for the last climb. Unfortunately Remco had a good enough lead and it stayed away. 

“All things considered, Dani came fourth and almost got on the podium but for a photo finish. We all pulled together under the circumstances and I think it was alright in the end.”

Sport Director Gabriel Rasch

"It was a hard start, a lot of teams wanted to go in the break and in general it was a really hard race, hats off to Quick Step and Evenepoel - the way they won was amazing.

"We had a couple of guys who had a minor stomach problem that we weren’t 100% sure of. The illness meant we had to do status checks during the race and then adjust our plans, but I think if we had more riders in the final we maybe could have done more, but it is what it is. 

“We were not far off the podium and Dani did a really good sprint, in the end we need to be happy with our performance.”