Lights

Comments

Tadej Pogačar celebrates Liège-Bastogne-Liège victory.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège report: No contest for Pogačar on his way to 70th career win

Romain Bardet won the hotly contested race for second, with Mathieu van der Poel also sprinting onto the podium.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2024. Photo: © Cor Vos

Kit Nicholson
by Kit Nicholson 21.04.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
More from Kit +

It was inevitable, really.

There was hope for a mano-a-mano-a-mano battle between Tadej Pogačar, Mathieu van der Poel and Amstel Gold-winner Tom Pidcock, but the combination of a mid-race mishap and Pogačar’s stratospheric climbing talent put the Slovenian off the front by halfway up the Côte de la Redoute – and that, as they say, was that.

Caught in the bottleneck after a road-blocking crash, Rigoberto Uran and Mathieu van der Poel both appeared cool as cucumbers as the UAE-towed peloton disappeared up the hill in pursuit of the breakaway. DSM’s Romain Combaud, not so much.
Pogačar was not hanging around.
Carapaz had launched out of the group in pursuit of Pogačar and was briefly able to hang onto the Slovenian’s wheel, but the effort was too much, and he was soon dropping back to the Egan Bernal-led chase group.

Brief results:

Loading...

Tadej Pogačar reaches the top of La Redoute with open road before and behind him.

Quotes of the day:

“I was riding for Urška’s mother today.”

Pogačar paid tribute to mother of Urška Žigart, WorldTour pro (also racing Liège-Bastogne-Liège today) and his fiancée. Žigart’s mother died of cancer two years ago.

After a rollercoaster of a day out, Van der Poel was surprised to join Pogačar on the podium at the end of a long and successful Classics campaign in which he’s only finished outside the top 10 once, and has been on the podium three times out of seven – not to mention that Flanders-Roubaix double.

“Even with those legs [from earlier in the spring] I wouldn’t be able to do anything against Tadej Pogacar. On la Redoute it was important for me to ride at my own pace and not get too worked up … I stayed calm and was still able to get on track. I don’t really know how I managed to get on the podium, but I am very happy with this podium spot.”

Van der Poel told Sporza after the finish.
World champion Mathieu van der Poel embedded in the group chasing back onto the peloton after a crash.
Mathieu van der Poel still wrapped up in a long-sleeved jacket in the delayed portion of the peloton, chasing furiously from a disadvantage of up to a minute-and-a-half.

Brief analysis:

What did you think of this story?