Jungels BOB JUNGELS ignited Liege-Bastogne-Liege when he attacked over the Roche-aux-Faucons, and time-trialled his way to his first Monument. The Luxembourg national champion soloed across the line a full 37 seconds ahead of Rusty Woods and Romain Bardet, who’d finally countered in the dying kilometres with the former winning the two-up sprint.
History repeated itself as Olympic champion and women’s WorldTour leader Anna van der Breggen took back-to-back victories in the women’s race, completing another clean sweep in the Ardennes classics. She caught and passed breakaway rider Amanda Spratt in the final kilometres to take a solo victory. Spratt finished second while her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten rounded out the podium.
La Fleche Wallonne always comes down to the lactic-filled effort on the Mur de Huy and this edition was no different. Anna van der Breggan (Boels-Dolmans) took her fourth consecutive title atop the iconic climb, chasing down Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla) in the closing metres. Third place for Megan Guarnier gave the Dutch team two on the podium. The men’s race was just – just WOW! Quick-Step Floor’s Julian Alaphilippe finally claimed the top step of the podium. Kicking once to zoom past eventual third-placed Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Soudal) and again to keep the five-time champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) behind him.
Coming after Paris-Roubaix, the Amstel Gold Race feels like the sequel to a blockbuster movie. The backdrop has changed slightly but the basic plot remains the same. The cast list has been tweaked a bit – Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet keep their starring roles but Julian Alaphilippe and Alejandro Valverde come in to freshen things up. But it was Astana’s Michael Valgren who took the win ahead of past winners Roman Kreuziger (Mitchelton-Scott) and Enrico Gasparotto of Bahrain-Merida. With all the vital action contained in the last 20km, we had to wait for the pot to boil. If you like an absorbing battle, it was worth the wait.