Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2016: Wout Poels wins his first Monument, Albasini in second
At around 250 kilometres, Liège–Bastogne–Liège features ten Ardennes hills. Due to hectic weather conditions (rain, snow), the race organisation changed the planned course during the race, yet all hills were still in the course. Poels, Albasini, Costa and Sanchez attacked on the last climb from an elite group, while the Dutchman from Team Sky powered to victory in the last 500 metres. (Slideshow route/profile)
1. Wout Poels (nld)
2. Michael Albasini (swi) s.t.
3. Rui Costa (por) s.t.
4. Samuel Sánchez (spa) s.t.
5. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 0.04
6. Warren Barguil (fra) + 0.11
7. Roman Kreuziger (cze) + 0.12
8. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) s.t.
9. Bauke Mollema (nld) s.t.
10. Diego Rosa (ita) s.t.
The breakaway is off after around 10 kms. The brave men go by the names of Brutt, Tiralongo, Edet, Benedetti, De Gendt, Roy and De Marchi, while Vegard Stake Laengen hooks up after a long chase. The front group races to a lead at 9 minutes in Bastogne. By then the new itinerary – totalling at 248 kms, 5 kms less than planned – is behind themd. The planned course was changed from km 45 to km 75 and the riders returned to the normal course just before the first climb of the day.
At the second climb, Côte de Saint-Roch, the gap has dropped to 8 minutes and it keeps getting down slowly. When cresting La Redoute, five hills down the road, Edet and De Marchi are the remaining leaders at the front of the race, but with 23 kms to go they are reeled in.
Rosa and Zakarin attack at the Saint Nicolas, but a select group of 24 riders is bunched again at the foot of the steep cobbled cliimb up the Côte de la Rue de Naniot. At the top Wout Poels, Michael Albasini, Rui Costa and Sammy Sanchez have forced a tiny gap.
Albasini pushes on, but it’s with 500 metres left Poels delivers the final blow and he powers to his – and Team Sky’s – first win in a Monument.
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