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There’s an old saying in cycling; never post up for the finish-line winning photo until you’re sure you’re first across the line.
Julian Alaphilippe was bit twice at the end of a thrilling finale of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Not only was he pipped at the line by a late-charging Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) when he started celebrating too soon, he was soon relegated by the race jury to last in the finishing group after crossing the line of Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) in the final sprint.
“I started my sprint at 200 meters to go, but then I made that mistake, for which I take full responsibility,” Alaphilippe said. “I am aware that my swerve caused a problem to the other riders and I apologize for that, but I want to underline that I didn’t do it on purpose. I accept the jury’s decision and all I can do now is focus on the next races.”
So instead of winning the oldest of the five monuments, the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider was relegated to fifth. Roglič remains the winner, Hirschi moved into second and Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Emirates) bumped up to third.
“When Julian moved, he touched my wheel,” Hirschi said on Eurosport. “I was close to him, and that’s what can happen in a sprint. It was a good day. I had good legs.”
Officiel : Julian Alaphilippe est déclassé par le jury des commissaires UCI. Il est replacé à la 5ème place (dernière place du groupe auquel il appartenait).
Official: Julian Alaphilippe has had his result downgraded by UCI commissaries. He is allocated 5th place. #LBL
— Liège-Bastogne-Liège (@LiegeBastogneL) October 4, 2020