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Pogačar triumphs at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Pogačar triumphs at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Monday, April 22, 2024/ Editor -  

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Pogačar wins his second Doyenne, Morgado takes his first pro victory in Italy

There was another masterpiece by Tadej Pogačar, who won once again by attacking from afar at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

The take-off point was the Redoute, at 34,8 km to go: until this point his teammates had done an amazing job by tiring out the head group by keeping a hard pace (Bax and Ulissi and then an impressive Novak), Pogačar accelerated and only Richard Carapaz (Ef-EasyPost) could follow him, but he had to give up on the flat just after the summit of the hill.

The advantage of the Slovenian rider immediately exceeded 60” of the chasing group with Ben Healy (Ef-Easypost), Romain Gregoire (Groupama-FDJ), Benoit Cosnefroy (Decathlon AG2R) and Romain Bardet (Team DSM-firmenich).

After the key passage on the Roche aux Faucons, Pogačar’s advantage raised to 2’ on Romain Bardet and more than 2’ on a chasing group, that could do nothing but battle for a place on the podium.

The UAE Team Emirates’ captain reached the finish line in Liege with 1’39” on Bardet (2nd) and 2’02” on the World Champion Van der Poel (3rd), obtaining his 70th victory in his career, 6th Monument in his palmares (twice Liege-Bastogne-Liege, one Tour of Flanders and three Lombardia).

Pogačar, whose next appointment will be his debut in the Giro d’Italia: “I’m full of emotions. It was a miserable day from the start, but we kept pushing hard with the team making a good pace and we kept ourselves a little bit warmer. It has been quite emotional for me riding the whole day on the bike, thinking about when, two years ago, I did not participate in the race because my girlfriend Urksa’s mother died and about last year when I crashed. So, the last two years in this race were really difficult for me and I’m happy I could win again this beautiful competition, riding with Urska’s mother in my mind.

Thanks to the whole team that raced for me today, it was amazing teamwork, I could not have done it without my teammates.

Last year I was focused on saving energy, this year I had in my mind to be in safe positions and with the team we rode hard on the climbs until the Redoute where we did exactly what we planned to do and from then it was only suffering to the finish”.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege results

1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 6h13‘48“

2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM-firmenich) +1‘39“

3. Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceunink) +2‘02“

There was also the first success as a pro for Antonio Morgado, who won the Giro della Romagna in a six-rider sprint.

The Portuguese neo-pro for UAE Team Emirates reached the final straight in Castrocaro Terme, 196 km from the start from Lugo, with José Félix Parra (Equipo Kern Pharma), Joan Bou (Euskaltel – Euskadi), Mattia Bais (Team Polti Kometa) and Giovanni Carboni (JCL Team UKYO) went clear from the main peloton just before the fourth of the five passages on the main climb of the course, the Bagnolo (3,8 km at 5,6 %).

They bridged the gap from the race leader Filippo D’Aiuto (General Store) at -28 km, then they could go straight to the arrival also thanks to the presence in the first chasing quartet of two other members of the Emirati team, namely Igor Arrieta and Isaac Del Toro.

In the final sprint, Morgado preceded Joan Bou and Mattia Bais.

Morgado: “I didn’t feel good in the first part of the race, but after the big work by the team I had to do something great. So, in the final part I joined the lead group and everything ended in the best way. I’m very happy with my first pro victory”.

Giro della Romagna results

1. Antonio Morgado (UAE Team Emirates) 4h30‘03“

2. Joan Bou (Euskaltel – Euskadi)

3. Mattia Bais (Team Polti Kometa)

 


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