The fifth victory in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege wasn’t possible. Alejandro Valverde fought again with the best riders in one of the most complicated races both physically and tactically, which puts in greater value the four previous victories of the Spanish. The triumph was for the Luxembourger Bob Jungels (Quick Step), who took advantage of the surveillance of the rest of the favorites and the help of his partner Julian Alaphilippe in the small chasing group to reach his best victory as a professional.
Valverde, who tried to respond to the movement of Jungels with a couple of attacks in a difficult terrain for the pursuit, ends his first half of the season with nine wins after recovering from the harsh injury suffered in the last Tour de France. Now he faces a rest period to start preparing later the Tour de France via Tour of Switzerland.
Quotes: We left everything we had on our legs on the road today. I was suffering from cramps at the end, I don’t know if it was because of the heat and humidity today. When we were riding at a ‘normal’ pace, I was feeling good, but when I wanted to push to the limit, I just couldn’t reach the level of performance I’d have liked to. If I had been at real 100% today, I think I could have fared better than those joining me on group two – otherwise, the level was pretty close within all of us – and once I saw I really didn’t have a chance to go for a podium at the final slope in Ans, I just released the ‘gas’ and focused just on finishing. I had tried to go several times on the attack after Jungels’ move, but there were too many people following my wheel.
I think we must remain really happy, because we gave our maximum. People must realize, looking at this year’s Ardennes results, that it’s not easy to win and win all over again. Fifth in Amstel, 2nd at the Flèche, 13th here in Liège – could it have been better? Yes, but we fought to take the win at all of them, until the very end. The first half of the season has been really good, with those nine victories, my podium in Huy – my body is already asking for some rest and I’m glad we can give it some after this race. There will be time to think about the summer next.
Quotes: Movistar Team