Road

Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Primož Roglič denies Julian Alaphilippe in dramatic late sprint

Alaphilippe loses kick for the line after celebrating too early and is then relegated to fifth-place for wayward path in the sprint.

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the most dramatic of finishing sprints on Sunday.

Roglič had gone into the final 500 meters of the 257km race as one of a stellar group of five. Newly-crowned world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) sprinted first and looked assured victory, sitting up to celebrate with around 20 meters to the line.

However, as Alaphilippe lost momentum with his hands off the handlebars and Roglič continued his acceleration, the Slovenian came to the line a matter of inches ahead of the Frenchman in a stunning reversal of fortune.

“It’s unbelievable, it was so close,” Roglič said afterward. “I just never stopped believing and never stopped pushing through the final meters. I’m super happy.”

Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) was third across the line after seeing his sprint disrupted by Alaphilippe in the final hundred meters.

The situation soon went from bad to worse for Alaphilippe. After complaints about his wayward line, the world champ was relegated to fifth-place, leaving Hirschi and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) to take second and third-places.

“For sure he took my wheel,” Hirschi said after the race. “But the way Alaphilippe sprinted, I was really close on his wheel and he moved a little bit.”

Roglič’s win will make some compensation for his heart-breaking Tour de France reversal just two weeks ago. The Slovenian profited from the work of his team throughout the race, with Tom Dumoulin riding deep into the finale with his Slovenian leader.

“It was a long period for me, three months away from home,” Roglič said of his busy pre-Tour training block race schedule.

“I’m super happy and super-proud of the team. Finally, I managed to win something,” he continued with a smile and shrug. “The team did a super job, they kept me protected all the time. I’m really happy I managed to win. It was on my wish-list to win a monument.”

 

The race all came to life on the climb of La Redoute with 36km to go after Michaël Schär (CCC Team) was the last man to be caught of the escape group of nine that formed in the opening kilometers of the race.

Team Sunweb led the peloton onto the iconic climb with Tiesj Benoot drilling the pace and Hirschi close on his wheel. The sudden upping of the pace saw the bunch thin down rapidly as Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Sunweb and Jumbo-Visma kept toward the front and out of danger on the narrow roads and slick descents after morning rain.

Veteran rider Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-Scott) tried to escape off the front with around 30km to go but was soon brought back as the bunch stayed together.

Alaphilippe lit up the selection on the final climb of the Roche-aux-Faucons, making a move that Hirschi was first to respond to from a long way back in the bunch.

The move drew out Roglič and Pogačar, with Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) bridging across and Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) chasing just one second back. Behind the Canadian, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) led the group of around 15 chasers as Dumoulin sat on his wheel and slowed the chase for Rogič.

Hirschi was next to attack out of the lead group, bringing out Alaphilippe while the Slovenian duo followed a second behind. Kwiatkowski fell off the lead group under the ferocity of the lead pair’s attacks.

The front four of Alaphilippe, Hirschi, Roglič and Pogačar came back together on the flat final run to the line and nursed a delicate 20-second lead. The quartet worked together through the final minutes and went into the final kilometer with 20 seconds of a gap over the large bunch of chasers.

As the lead four began cat-and-mousing as the sprint beckoned, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-McLaren) bridged across from the chase group with a speculative move. With the speed diminished in the front four, Slovenian rider Mohoric made contact and immediately attacked over the top with around 500 meters remaining.

Alaphilippe pulled the group back onto Mohoric’s wheel and then opened his sprint, with Hirschi following a whisker behind. As the Frenchman veered toward the center of the road he nearly clipped the Swissman’s wheel, causing him to sit up momentarily and almost lose balance.

With the finishing line in his sights, Alaphilippe sat up and raised his arms in celebration with around 20 meters to go, however, as he slowed, Roglič’s momentum and a final bike throw saw him cross the line first.

Though Alaphilippe was second across the line, he learned in the minutes afterward that his sprint had fallen foul of the commissaries, with the officials bumping him to the back of the lead group of five.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège Results

Stage
RankNameTeamTime
1ROGLIČ PrimožTeam Jumbo-Visma6:32:02
2HIRSCHI MarcTeam Sunweb0:00
3POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates0:00
4MOHORIČ MatejBahrain - McLaren0:00
5ALAPHILIPPE JulianDeceuninck - Quick Step0:00
6VAN DER POEL MathieuAlpecin-Fenix0:14
7WOODS MichaelEF Pro Cycling0:14
8BENOOT TiesjTeam Sunweb0:14
9BARGUIL WarrenTeam Arkéa Samsic0:14
10KWIATKOWSKI MichałINEOS Grenadiers0:14
11MARTIN DanIsrael Start-Up Nation0:14
12DUMOULIN TomTeam Jumbo-Visma0:14
13MOLARD RudyGroupama - FDJ0:14
14MARTIN GuillaumeCofidis, Solutions Crédits0:14
15URÁN RigobertoEF Pro Cycling0:14
16PORTE RichieTrek - Segafredo0:14
17IZAGIRRE GorkaAstana Pro Team0:43
18COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale0:58
19FRAILE OmarAstana Pro Team0:58
20MARTÍNEZ Daniel FelipeEF Pro Cycling0:58
21KÄMNA LennardBORA - hansgrohe0:58
22SCHULTZ NickMitchelton-Scott0:58
23VANENDERT JelleBingoal - Wallonie Bruxelles0:58
24VLIEGEN LoïcCircus - Wanty Gobert0:58
25MADOUAS ValentinGroupama - FDJ0:58
26HERRADA JesúsCofidis, Solutions Crédits0:58
27TEUNS DylanBahrain - McLaren0:58
28SIMON JulienTeam Total Direct Energie0:58
29VERONA CarlosMovistar Team0:58
30GESCHKE SimonCCC Team0:58
31DE MARCHI AlessandroCCC Team0:58
32HIVERT JonathanTeam Total Direct Energie1:18
33WELLENS TimLotto Soudal1:18
34SBARAGLI KristianAlpecin-Fenix1:18
35SKUJIŅŠ TomsTrek - Segafredo1:18
36VERVAEKE LouisAlpecin-Fenix1:18
37NEILANDS KristsIsrael Start-Up Nation1:18
38GASPAROTTO EnricoNTT Pro Cycling1:18
39VAKOČ PetrAlpecin-Fenix1:18
40COSTA RuiUAE-Team Emirates1:18
41SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónAstana Pro Team1:18
42HENAO SergioUAE-Team Emirates1:18
43POWER RobertTeam Sunweb1:18
44PRADES EduardMovistar Team1:31
45JORGENSON MatteoMovistar Team1:31
46BAKELANTS JanCircus - Wanty Gobert1:34
47HOULE HugoAstana Pro Team1:55
48JAUREGUI QuentinAG2R La Mondiale1:55
49HIRT JanCCC Team1:55
50HOFSTEDE LennardTeam Jumbo-Visma4:11
51VAN WILDER IlanTeam Sunweb4:11
52SCHELLING IdeBORA - hansgrohe5:59
53TULETT BenAlpecin-Fenix5:59
54VAN POUCKE AaronSport Vlaanderen - Baloise5:59
55BURGAUDEAU MathieuTeam Total Direct Energie5:59
56GODON DorianAG2R La Mondiale5:59
57PICCOLI JamesIsrael Start-Up Nation5:59
58ARMIRAIL BrunoGroupama - FDJ5:59
59KUDUS MerhawiAstana Pro Team5:59
60LIETAER EliotBingoal - Wallonie Bruxelles5:59
61PETILLI SimoneCircus - Wanty Gobert5:59
62ROUX AnthonyGroupama - FDJ5:59
63KAMP AlexanderTrek - Segafredo5:59
64BARTA WillCCC Team5:59
65LAMMERTINK MauritsCircus - Wanty Gobert5:59
66HUYS LaurensBingoal - Wallonie Bruxelles5:59
67BATTISTELLA SamueleNTT Pro Cycling5:59
68ZIMMERMANN GeorgCCC Team5:59
69RAVASI EdwardUAE-Team Emirates5:59
70HAYTER EthanINEOS Grenadiers5:59
71HENAO SebastiánINEOS Grenadiers5:59
72ERVITI ImanolMovistar Team5:59
73LIVYNS ArjenBingoal - Wallonie Bruxelles5:59
74DEVENYNS DriesDeceuninck - Quick Step5:59
75OWSIAN ŁukaszTeam Arkéa Samsic5:59
76ALBASINI MichaelMitchelton-Scott6:03
77IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott6:03
78JUUL-JENSEN ChristopherMitchelton-Scott6:03
79SWIFT ConnorTeam Arkéa Samsic6:03
80DONOVAN MarkTeam Sunweb6:03
81ANACONA WinnerTeam Arkéa Samsic6:03
82SOSA Iván RamiroINEOS Grenadiers6:03
83STORER MichaelTeam Sunweb6:03
84VINGEGAARD JonasTeam Jumbo-Visma6:03
85BONNAMOUR FranckTeam Arkéa Samsic6:38
86HERRADA JoséCofidis, Solutions Crédits8:08
87POELS WoutBahrain - McLaren8:35
88DEWULF StanLotto Soudal8:43
89GRELLIER FabienTeam Total Direct Energie8:43
90INKELAAR KevinBahrain - McLaren8:47
91VANSEVENANT MauriDeceuninck - Quick Step9:09
92POWLESS NeilsonEF Pro Cycling10:58
93MERTZ RémyLotto Soudal12:04
94JUNGELS BobDeceuninck - Quick Step12:04
95ARCAS JorgeMovistar Team12:04
96ALBA Juan DiegoMovistar Team12:04
97ELOSEGUI IñigoMovistar Team12:04
98PEÁK BarnabásMitchelton-Scott12:52
99LADAGNOUS MatthieuGroupama - FDJ13:08
100HOLLENSTEIN RetoIsrael Start-Up Nation13:08
101MOLLY KennyBingoal - Wallonie Bruxelles13:08
102GAILLARD MarlonTeam Total Direct Energie13:08
103MUÑOZ Cristian CamiloUAE-Team Emirates13:08
104SEIGLE RomainGroupama - FDJ13:08
105VAN DER SANDE ToshLotto Soudal13:08
106GOŁAŚ MichałINEOS Grenadiers13:08
107BARBERO CarlosNTT Pro Cycling13:08
108CHEREL MikaëlAG2R La Mondiale13:08
109BARCELÓ FernandoCofidis, Solutions Crédits13:08
110CAVAGNA RémiDeceuninck - Quick Step13:08
111SPRENGERS ThomasSport Vlaanderen - Baloise13:08
112LAFAY VictorCofidis, Solutions Crédits13:08
113CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R La Mondiale13:08
114LÓPEZ Juan PedroTrek - Segafredo13:08
115FRISON FrederikLotto Soudal13:08
116SCHÄR MichaelCCC Team13:08
117OURSELIN PaulTeam Total Direct Energie13:08
118THWAITES ScottAlpecin-Fenix13:08
119RIES MichelTrek - Segafredo13:08
120GRMAY TsgabuMitchelton-Scott13:08
121FERRON ValentinTeam Total Direct Energie13:08
122SCHELLING PatrickIsrael Start-Up Nation13:08
123PLANCKAERT EmielSport Vlaanderen - Baloise13:08
124VAN MOER BrentLotto Soudal13:08
125PÉRICHON Pierre-LucCofidis, Solutions Crédits13:08

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.