Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2020 - Lizzie Deignan edges out Grace Brown to win Belgium one-day race
Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) edged out Australian rider Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott) to win the Liege-Bastogne-Liege - one of the most famous one-day races in cycling. Deignan launched a solo attack 30km from home and held on to secure her biggest win in a Trek jersey.
Elisabeth Deignan-Armitstead of The United Kingdom and Team Trek- Segafredo / Celebration / during the 4th Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2020, Women Elite a 135km race from Bastogne to Liege
Published 04/10/2020 at 10:26 GMT | Updated 04/10/2020 at 12:19 GMT
Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) held off Australian rider Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott) to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège, one of the most famous one-day races in cycling.
"It's pretty special, we've been waiting to win a classic like this, Deignan said after her win. "I just had the perfect team today, this is for the team.
"The nicest thing about this team is that we're allowed to race on instinct. And I thought that I needed to be over La Redoute before Anna (van der Breggen) and Annemeik (van Vleuten), I thought it was the best thing I could do to get over it first.
"At the end I decided to try and chase the motorbikes in front of me rather than think about Grace Brown behind me, because mentally it's just cracking you when you think like that. I was just praying the line would come quicker."
Watch Deignan's winning moment as Liege-Bastogne-Liege serves up another classic
As the race left Bastogne early in the day under heavy clouds the peloton was well wrapped up against the elements, and a strong tailwind helped them get underway at quite a pace – the first 50 kilometres were completed no less than 7 minutes ahead of the fastest schedule. There were splits in the early phases, but nobody got away until there was little more than 50km left to race.
A very strong group, including Marianne Vos, Ellen van Dijk and Lizzie Deignan, eventually formed the break of the day, climbing the Côte de la Vacquée with almost a minute’s lead. Mitchelton-Scott had missed out on the action, but Grace Brown put in a strong ride to bridge across from the peloton, making it nine out front.
As the group took on the Côte de la Redoute with 30km to go, Deignan moved to the front and attacked her breakaway companions. The 31-year-old Brit allowed herself one look back before disappearing up the slope. The eight riders behind were careful not to give her too much time, but Deignan had stretched her gap to 55 seconds within 10km.
Deignan extended her lead to 2'20" over the peloton with 20km left, but Brown attacked from the chase and reduced her gap to 40 seconds ahead of the last climb of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.
Brown’s deficit was down to 33 seconds as Deignan began her long descent to the finish. The Australian’s time trial credentials shone through as she ate into the gap, bringing it to as little as ten seconds with 3km to go, but Deignan held on for victory in an outstanding race.
The chasers came home 2’19” later, with Ellen van Dijk sprinting to third to mark a successful day for Trek-Segafredo.
Deignan on her 'first big win' for Trek and 'racing on instinct'