Kreuziger wraps up the Ardennes with another top 10 performance in Liege-Bastogne-LiegeSun 22 Apr 2018
Second place finisher in Amstel Gold Race Roman Kreuziger fought hard through today’s fourth Monument of the season, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, finishing in eighth place to wrap up a successful and consistent Ardennes campaign.
The 31-year-old found himself in the the final, select front group of race favourites alongside team mate Jack Haig before Bob Jungles (Quickstep-Floors) attacked away solo on the penultimate climb of the day to steal the race victory into Liege.
Within the opening 20kilometres of the 258kilometre day, nine-riders established the first move and formed a sizeable advantage of over six minutes.
As the kilometres ticked down and the race headed over four of the eleven climbs on the menu, the breakaway reduced down to just five riders and their advantage dropped to just three and a half minutes.
The final fourty
As the race came into the final 40kilometres the pace instantly lifted and the breakaway shrunk again to just four riders with a two minute lead.
Heading into the base of the iconic, La Redoute climb, Quickstep-Floors and Team Sky led the peloton as the riders hussled for a good position.
With 22kilometres to go, the final breakaway rider was swallowed up as Bahrain-Merida set a rapid pace into the bottom of the penultimate climb followed by a much expected flurry of attacks.
In a good position with two riders in the front decisive split of 18 guys, Mitchelton-SCOTT were in a position to win the race before Jungles made a well timed attack on the La Roche-Aux-Faucons climb and was able to stay ahead, hovering just 30seconds in front for the final 15km to claim the 2018 eiditon.
Behind the race was on to try and drag back Jungles, with Kreuiziger crossing the line for another solid top ten result.
Roman Kreuziger - 8th place
“It was a huge day and super effort from the team, they were all day around me. Today I wasn’t feeling as super as the other days but at the end I was there in the final and Haig was super strong and trying to help me.
"The plan was I should look to Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep-FLoors) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) but maybe I stuck there a bit with the tactics and maybe I should have gone with some other teams.
"When you race well all week, you are trying to go for the win then you have to play the cards until the last moment and look to the big guys and that is what I was doing.
"At the end the result didn’t come how I wanted but I am happy. With three top eights all week, it is quite solid and for my head it is good that I reached some results. Tomorrow I will draw a big line and start to think about the stage races.”
“The first half of the race I was feeling average and talked myself out of it but once we really started racing with 100km to go I started to come round and once we got over the La Radoute when I was at the front I had good legs today, so I knew I could be there to help Roman.
“It didn’t really kick off until the La Roche-Aux-Faucons, then I was following the moves and then it was a tactical game and lots of attacks and luckily it came together at the bottom of the Saint-Nicolas climb with my self and Roman in the group. Roman did a good job today.”
Matt White - Sport director
“It was very impressive riding from Roman this week, he had a great ride today to finish eighth and he
can be very proud of his performance today and this week with three top ten finishes and one podium.”
“The team looked after him really well he was our clear leader today and to have Jack Haig deep in the final of Liege-Bastogne-Liege. It is exciting for the future, the Ardennes is style of racing that suits Jack.”
“It was also very impressive to see Mikel Nieve at the front of the race for 225km, he hadn’t raced since October and I don’t think there’s anyone in the world tour who’s started their season today.”
1. Bob Jungles (Quickstep-Floors) 6:24:44
2. Michael Woods (Team EF Education First) +0:37
3. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) ST
8. Roman Kreuziger (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:39
Photo courtesy of Getty Images