Adam Yates finishes the spring with 4th in the 4th monument of the season, Liège-Bastogne-LiègeSun 28 Apr 2019
Briton Adam Yates survived the rain and cold in a hard edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège today, making it into a key chase group that battled it out for the final podium place after two-riders escaped in an exciting final.
Yates sprinted to fourth place with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) holding on to take the monument victory after attacking on the final climb of the day.
The first move
With chilly temperatures and rain welcoming the riders to the start line in Liège, the peloton set off at a fast pace, in an attempt to keep warm. Within 15kilometres of the lengthy 256kilometre day, a group of six-riders established a lead over the main bunch before shortly being joined by two more riders and opening up their advantage to over ten-minutes.
The rain eased but the leader’s continued to push on ahead with their lead slowly reducing down with each climb they headed over.
Breakaway caught and the race kicks off
Once the breakaway was finally caught the attacks came thick and fast with Michael Albasini heading away from the bunch in a group of 10riders, before then being caught as fresh attacks came. Daryl Impey was the next to launch away for Mitchelton-SCOTT, following a strong attack by Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal).
The Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons
On the final and decisive climb of the day, the Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons, Impey was swallowed up and Fuglesang made his attack, initially taking with him Mike Woods (EF Education-First) and Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Woods dropped off the pace as Yates fought on beind into a chase group of around eight-riders, hunting down the two-leaders in the final 15kilometres.
Fuglesang went solo and held on for the victory by just 27seconds, with Yates behind battling it out for the final podium spot, eventually settling for fourth place with Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) sprinting past to clinch third place.
“It was a tough day, all-day in the rain. In the final there I was doing ok and there were three stronger guys ahead of me. I improved on my eighth place from a couple of years ago, it’s fourth now.
"Fourth was pretty much the best I was going to come from in that group, so maybe in the future I can go better, but fourth right now for me is pretty good.
“Fuglsang went at the right time on the steep bit and at that point in the race you kind of gamble a little bit, but really everybody is on their hands and knees and he was by far the strongest today.”
Matt White - Head Sport Director
“That final climb was always going to be a hard chase because we knew teams wouldn’t have numbers and sure enough that was the winning move.
“Adam has ridden very well, he has certainly shown he is one of the best climbers in the world today. It is a nice way for him to finish off an incredibly consistent spring.”
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) 6:37:37
2. Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:27
3. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:57
4. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:57
Photos courtesy of Getty Images