Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2022 : Evenepoel victorious on his La Doyenne debut

Hold the front page! Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s lacklustre spring campaign regained it’s sparkle as Remco Evenepoel claimed La Doyenne on his race debut. The 22 year-old made his bid with a ferocious attack at the summit of La Redoute with 29km to go. No one could hold his wheel for long enough, no one could organise an effective chase and no one could stop the inevitable solo victory. Quentin Hermans, yes you read that right!!!! , took the sprint for 2nd place for the effervescent Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert, with the man-who-refused-to-stay-dropped – Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – claiming third step on the all Belgian podium. An awful high speed crash with 60km to go left many riders with their race ambitions in tatters and a heavy fall  for world champion Julian Alaphilippe.

When Remco, Remco’ed

Remco didn’t so much light the blue touch paper on a damp squib when he made his move on La Redoute,  as detonate one gigantic mother-of-a-firework. I am pretty sure there will be scorch marks on the road as his back wheel fought for grip when he accelerated away. Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) held his wheel for a while, but Remco kept the power on-and-on-and-on and eventually the elastic snapped.

With 29km and the ascent of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons to go, it wasn’t a done deal for the Quick-Step tyro by any means. Add to that a chase group full of riders who would surely fight for a Monument on their palmares.

Bahrain Victorious in particular fielded a team who were more than capable and had already been attackity in all the right places . Let’s hear those cheers from the Mikel Landa fans amongst us.

However, despite exhortations from twitter, the chase couldn’t quite get it together. In my opinion it wasn’t a case of faffing around, more a case of no one wanted to bring Wout Van Aert to the finish, mixed with a sprinkling of Remco was just that good today. The only time Remco’s advantage over the chasers dipped below 20 secs was when Wout was dropped with 10KM to go. Once he regained his place in the chase group, the gap extended again and Remco started celebrating with 3km to go.

I think today was my best day on the bike maybe ever. The perfect day to have my best day on the bike, I guess.

Wanty continue to be awesome!

From Quick-Step’s 21st Monument to Wanty-Gobert’s 1st Monument podium!

I was thrilled when Wanty took fourth at Paris Roubaix – hear ALL the Wanty love on our latest podcast.  But boy-oh-boy, I am GIDDY with excitement over Quentin Hermans zooming up to snatch second place. Wanty on a monument podium! Be still my beating heart – and bring on the Grand Tours! What’s even more Wanty for me, is that this resultwill sit alongside Quinten’s only professional road race victory – a stage at the Tour of Wallonia in 2018.

When cross racing meets road racing.

Let’s talk WOUT!

When commentators and fans say Wout Van Aert hasn’t had the season he or we expected, this is the reality of that season. By any standards it is exceptional.

His absolute refusal to remain dropped was a highlight of his ride today, and I LOVE this quote. A sprint of dying swans is a wonderful description of what happens after 257Km of frantic racing.

He’s a GIANT on the podium now ( in so many ways) but it wasn’t always so.

The other race changing moment

A mass crash on the high speed run into the base of the Col du Rosier with 60km to go, made my blood run cold. So many riders were left injured or were held up as they waited for the road to clear.

ER Education EasyPost riders were left scattered on the tarmac.

World Champion Julian Alaphilippe  took a very heavy fall and had to leave the race in an ambulance. The team report makes grim reading.

As LouLou lay prone, DSM’s Romain Bardet went to check on him and stay to make sure he was OK as help arrived.

We send our best wishes and hopes to all the riders involved.

Final thought

Final results

1 Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 6:12:38

2 Quentin Hermans (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materieux) +0:48

3 Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) same time

4 Dani Martinez (INEOS -Grenadiers) s/t

5 Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe) s/t

6 Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) s/t

7 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) s/t

8 Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) s/t

9 Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) s/t

10 Mike Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) s/t

For full stage review, go to cyclingnews.


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