American Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman) won Saturday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs after a long day in the breakaway.
The 21-year-old, who counts several junior and under-23 national cyclocross championships on his palmares, soloed away from a small group of escapees on a late climb to nab the win. Pavel Sivakov of the BMC Development Team took second.
“We had decided to try to get strong riders in the breakaway because with the rainy weather, the breakaway had a real chance to go to the finish — and that is exactly what happened,” Owen said. “On the climb, I let Sivakov get a little gap on me and three other guys. Then I attacked those three and went straight by him.”
Owen only widened the gap to the rest of the field in the final 20 kilometers, ultimately finishing 44 seconds ahead of Sivakov.
“This is a dream come true,” he said. “I have always loved this race and now I have managed to win it. I had super legs today. I don’t think I have felt this good in a race since I started cycling.”
Owen’s Axeon teammate Ruben Gerreiro finished in third.
Just under 180 kilometers from Liège to Ans, the under-23 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège serves as an indicator of up-and-coming talent. Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo), and Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale) are among the many names now in the pro peloton who stood on the podium in the event as rising amateur stars. The elite race gets underway next Sunday, April 24.