Remco Evenepoel successfully defended his Liege-Bastogne-Liege title to salvage the classic season of Soudal-QuickStep on a day when the much-anticipated fight between the world champion and Tadej Pogačar did not take place , because the latter had multiple fractures in his left wrist.
Attacking the 33km Côte de la Redoute in heavy rain – the same climb he had won 12 months earlier – he entered time trial mode and won his fourth race of the season.
He became the ninth rider in the history of the race to win the Monument in consecutive years and the first world champion since Peter Sagan won Paris-Roubaix in 2018, winning cycling’s five most prestigious events with the Rainbow Band. One of the one-day races.
“I’m very happy to have won two out of two games in Liege; it’s an amazing feeling, especially wearing this beautiful jersey,” Evan Nipoll said after the game.
“It was a super tough race, a long race, tough conditions, and a brutal crash by Tad and the others, and I send them my best wishes. I hope he’s okay. But I have to thank My team, because of him got a beautiful win because they put on a great show for me from the start.”
Just like he did a year ago, Evenepoel made sure his much-maligned team didn’t end the classic season without a win.
Ineos Grenadiers’ Tom Pidcock sprinted to second, with Bahrain Victory’s Santiago Buitrago third.
The race took a long time to start, with news of Pogačar’s retirement the only notable event until Jumbo-Visma’s Jan Tratnik crossed the break point with 65km remaining in the day.
Tratnik and standout survivor Simone Velasco (Astana-Kazakhstan) were a minute ahead of a large group that got smaller with each climb, and the fast pace set by Soudal-QuickStep allowed David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ ) including the big-name drivers behind and Enric Mas (Movistar).
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) had a short attempt, but it wasn’t until Evenepoel moved 200 meters from the summit on the Côte de la Redoute that he overtook Tratnik and Velasco.
Only Pidcock was able to follow the Belgian, but within a few kilometers the Briton was pulled away by the world champion, who set out on a solo task for another impressive victory.