Roglic's first monument

The Tour may have escaped him this year, but the Slovenian is very happy to finally win something this year. He said:

Liège - Bastogne - Liège
Wiggins: Arrogant Alaphilippe only has himself to blame for Liege balls-up
04/10/2020 AT 19:14

"It was just unbelievable, it was so close just never stopped believing and kept pushing to the last centimetre and I'm super happy that I managed to win.

"It’s just incredible feeling because it was really a long period for me away from home and I'm super super happy and proud of the whole team and everyone. I finally I managed to win something.

"Tom [Dumoulin] was really good at the end and not just him actually, all the guys they did a really super job, I was protected all the time. It was actually the first time I did the oldest race in the whole calendar and it was on my wish list to win a monument."

Julian Alaphilippe demoted to fifth

The world champion who cut across Hirschi and Pogcar just before the line was sent to the commissaires and has been demoted to fifth.

The new top five is:

1. Roglic
2. Hirschi
3. Pogacar
4. Mohoric
5. Alaphilippe

Next up was Mathieu Van Der Poel and the rest of the peloton following 14 seconds behind.

Primoz Roglic wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Primoz Roglic pipped world champion Julian Alaphilippe on the line, as the Frenchman celebrated just a few millimetres too early.

Alaphilippe is forced to settle for second, while Hirschi finished third, Pogacar fourth and Mohoric fifth.

A rookie error by the oh-so-close Frenchman there, but it seems to be the story of the last two years for him.

Sprintttttttt

The quartet are joined by Bahrain-McLaren's Matej Mohoric, but Roglic may have stolen it from Alaphillipe on the line as the Frenchman celebrated too early...

Watch this space.

1.3km to go

The same four of Roglic, Hirschi, Alaphilippe and Pogacar are racing down the gradual descent.

What will it come down to, young legs or experience since there's two 22-year-olds, a 28-year-old and the granddad of Roglic at 30 (joking).

6km to go

This is going down to a sprint finish as the group get away with around 20 seconds still.

10km to go

As the climb goes on, Marc Hirschi launches again but is closed down. Roglic takes a turn on the front and the others can't be shaken off.

The group now consists of Alaphilippe, Hirschi, Roglic, Pogacar with a 21 second lead on the peloton which is being led by Mathieu Van Der Poel.

Told you it was like an extra Tour de France stage.

Attack!

Julian Alaphilippe attacks! With 13km to go, and on the final climb and Marc Hirschi goes with him, as does Primoz Roglic.

This is getting tense now, anything can happen.

The peloton ascend the final climb of the day

Here we go for the final climb of the day, Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, a 1.1km climb with an 11% incline

14km to go, and Tom Dumoulin turns the screw at the front a bit more...

21km to go

Spain's National Champion Luis Leon Sanchez has attacked, Julian Alaphilippe and UAE-Emirates Rui Costa have gone with him. Tim Wellens of Lotto-Soudal also makes a move but nobody can get away yet. Back on the flat-ish ground before the final climb.

We have an attack

Michael Albasini of Mitchelton-Scott has gone for it upon ascending the climb of Côte des Forges but the peloton are not far behind...

30km to go -

Julian Allaphilippe moves towards the front of the peloton, while his team-mates do a shift at the front.

There's a few riders in the peloton with injuries from crashes today. Matteo Jorgenson of Movistar has a patch of lycra missing on his upper thigh and a big bloody gash.

Schar caught

As Schar summits the Col du Maquisard, the peloton absorbs him.

Next to come is Côte de la Redoute - 1.9km with 8% gradient.

Team Ineos' Michal Kwiatkowski is at the front of the peloton, with Sunweb and Deceuninck-QuickStep starting to pull.

Here we go...

The peloton are reeling Michael Schar in. The gap has decreased to 26 seconds, and then the excitement begins.

37km to go.

Can Jumbo-Visma redeem themselves?

The Killer Wasps have been on top form for most of the races this year, controlling all but the final day of the Tour de France when it all fell apart.

The looks on Wout Van Aert and Tom Dumoulin's faces will be etched into the memory of many as they watched 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar undo all the hard work they had put in for the previous 20 days on La Planche Des Belle Filles (which you can re-live in the video below).

They have a strong team here with Primoz Roglic, Dumoulin, Laurens De Plus, and Paul Martens, can they hold it together against in-form competitors with the likes of Sunweb's Marc Hirschi, Bora-Hansgrohe's Max Schachmann, last year's winner Bob Jungles from Deceuninck-QuickStep...? And, well, I could name drop most of the peloton here, it's anyone's for the taking.

44km to go.

‘This is happening!’ - The moment Pogacar overhauled Roglic

Leader Schar

And just as I type the below, Mader has been dropped and CCC's Michael Schar becomes the race leader.

It is the Swiss rider's debut at LBL, but he has ridden the other four monuments multiple times in his 18-year career, with his highest finish 28th in Flanders.

60km to go

The breakaway has been split into two:

CCC's Michael Schar and NTT's Gino Mader lead with a 1:48" gap.

In group two is Movistar's Inigo Elosegui, Lotto Soudal's Kobe Goossens, Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles' Kenny Molly, and Team Total Direct Energie's Valentin Ferron.

The peloton are 3:23" behind on the Col du Rosier, but there's plenty of attack opportunity left with five more climbs to go.

Julian Alaphilippe back in the peloton - sort of

Well, he was after the crash, then he went for a bike change, and then another one, then changed his shoes, and now he's not far off.

The Frenchman finished second here in 2015, but hasn't had much success since. The last Frenchman to win LBL was Bernard Hinault in 1980.

As the route passes Spa-Francorchamps motor racing circuit, while we're here, the last Frenchman to win at Spa was Alain Prost in 1987 - unless you class Monegasque Charles Leclerc, who won there in 2019, as a Frenchman.

Another crash at 80km

It's a downhill right hand hairpin, with some parts of the road still damp, a small group of riders flew towards the roadside barrier - the same style Chloe Dygert came a cropper on last week, and a pileup formed with Arkea Samsic's Warren Barguil, Movistar's Matteo Jorgenson, and Julian Alaphilippe who is now back on his bike.

An extra Tour de France stage

With the way the calendar has fallen this year with today's race overlapping with day two of the Giro d'Italia, (which you can find here with Tom Owen, if you wish) many of the Tour de France squads are here at LBL, which makes it almost like an extra Tour de France stage, and it promises to be just as exciting.

World Champion Julian Alaphilippe is here for his first outing donning the rainbow stripes, as is 2018 LBL winner Bob Jungles, Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin.

With so many big hitters in the race, it could really be anyone's for the taking - given how the Tour de France ended. However, now Van Avermaet is out, watch out for Alpecin-Fenix's Mathieu van der Poel, and Bora-Hansgrohe's Max Schachmann.

Time to climb

The remaining 173 riders begin to climb as the roads dry out. The breakaway lead reduces to 2:00". The climb winds up a narrow country lane (to give a British equivalent) through the forest in Belgium's beautiful vast Ardennes region.

Van Avermaet, Yates, abandones after crash at 97km

The spring classics legends and a favourite for this race, Greg Van Avermaet is down after a crash with 97km to go, as is Mitchelton Scott's Adam Yates.

Bora-Hansgrohe rider Jay McCarthy, towards the back at the peloton, hit some road furniture in the middle, which most of the peloton fanned around, taking himself, Van Avermaet and Adam Yates down. Both look in pain as team cars and medical assistance comes to the rescue. Van Avermaet and Yates have now abandoned, presumably McCarthy too.

Birthday boy

Team Total Direct Energie’s Julien Simon turns 35 today. Birthday waffles?

Spring classics in the autumn

We have got used to that by now, I think, with 2020 being a little bit disastrous. But, at least the races are still on, and it's not the first time it's been held in autumn. Plus, let's be honest, the weather would probably still be the same in April - a bit damp and grey - though the road looks to be drying out now.

Now on the 106th edition, LBL is the oldest of cycling's five monuments, with the first race starting in 1892. Given it features the best of Belgium's Ardennes region, and starts and finishes in the home of the original waffles and beer, it's no surprise more than half of the 106 winners of this race are Belgian.

Who's in the break?

Inigo Elosegui (Movistar Team), Kobe Goossens (Lotto-Soudal), Michael Schar (CCC Team), Kenny Molly, Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal WB), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Valentin Ferron, Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie) and Gino Mader (NTT Pro Cycling).

The peloton are slowly closing in as the gap decreases to 3:54" with 115km to go.

Here's a fun fact: While Israel Start-up Nation’s Guy Niv became the first Israeli to ride in the Tour De France, Omer Goldstein repeats a similar feat becoming the first Israeli in the 106th edition of today's race.

Lizzie Deignan wins her first LBL

The Brit edged out Mitchelton-Scott’s Grace Brown, with fellow Trek Segafredo rider Ellen van Dijk rounding off the podium.

You can read all about it here and recap on the what was another exciting race in the women's Would Tour, here.

Deignan on her 'first big win' for Trek and 'racing on instinct'

What's happened so far?

A breakaway settled early on, 5:45” at the top of the first of the 11 climbs - Côte de la Roche-en-Ardenne at 73km. Now, with 125km to go, the riders have reached Bastogne and are heading home for Liege, with 10 more climbs to go.

Today's profile

257km with 11 climbs, the final one being the panache of the day up the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. It's 1.3km long with an 11% incline, 12km from the finish in Liege.

https://i.eurosport.com/2020/10/04/2901853.jpg

Greetings

Welcome to the live coverage of the men's elite race in the oldest of cycling's five monuments - Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Liège - Bastogne - Liège
Roglic 'finally wins something'... but Alaphilippe won't repeat mistakes
04/10/2020 AT 18:34
Liège - Bastogne - Liège
Wiggins - Roglic has won himself a lot of fans since the Tour heartbreak
04/10/2020 AT 17:54