Colombian climber Esteban Chaves concluded his early season campaign with a respectable 14th place at the challenging Monument Liège-Bastogne-Liège today.
The race kicked off on the Cote de la Redoute, the ninth climb of the 260km day, with INEOS Grenadiers putting the hammer down and splitting the bunch. Chaves then rode away with an elite group of 10 riders over the penultimate climb before the group swelled with Michael Matthews rejoining the front.
The race winning move was launched over the final climb of the day, with five riders jumping away and holding on to the finish line. Chaves battled on in a reduced chase group, taking a solid 14th place just nine seconds shy of the winner Tadej Pogacar, in what was a thrilling finale to the third monument of the season.
Esteban Chaves – 14th
“I missed the group on the last climb, they went really fast and I couldn’t follow them. We started racing since the Redoute and we tried the best with Bling and myself.
I am quite happy with my Spring, I have never started a Spring like this and to arrive top-15 in a Monument is not easy, especially for a little guy like myself.
Th team did a really good job, we covered everything we needed to cover and in the end I didn’t have the legs when the best guys went. It was just about legs, I tried to be there but I couldn’t go at the moment the accelerated.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director
“The race was a strange one today, it was a very negative race in the fact that it was very fast on the way out, headwind on the way back and I’ve never seen so many riders with 50km to go.
What that means is when they go, they really go and the selection was always going to be on the [Roche Aux] Faucons and out guys were just not good enough to be in that front five, but they did a very good ride and a consistent performance from those guys right throughout the spring.”
2021 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Results:
- Tadej Pogacar 6:39:26
- Julian Alaphilippe St
- David Gaudu ST
14. Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) +0:09