It was Ardennes Week, which usually doesn’t do much for me but the QuickStep wins in both Fleche and LBL made up for that! Of course, no matter what the race, we can always count on the Twitterstream to either distract or rev up the mood.
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.
On a day tinged with grief, Alejandro Valverde engaged full stealth mode to claim his fourth Liege-Bastogne-Liege title to add to the fifth Fleche Wallonne he claimed five days ago. With calculated coolness, the Spaniard timed his attack on the stinger of an uphill finish into Ans to perfection (again). Stalking down a mighty attack by Dan Martin who must be wondering when his time will EVER come again, Michal Kwiatkowski rounded out the podium. History was made as Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen claimed the first-ever LBL women’s race and made a clean sweep of this year’s Ardennes classics.