Tour winner Tadij Bojacar (Emirates Emirati Team) won the Liege Baston Liege Prize. He beat world champ Alaphilippe in a squeeze race with an elite group.
A break-up of seven men with Loc Vliegen (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux), Sergey Chernitsky (Gazprom – Rusphilo), Laurens Huys (Bingoal – Pauwels Sauces – WB), Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobertériaux), Tomas Lotto opened the race – Soudal), Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise), and Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal – Pauwels Sauces – WB). They got a maximum eight-minute lead from the peloton, which quietly finished the opening stage.
With more than seventy kilometers remaining, Philip Gilbert and Greg Van Avermait moved for a while, but the veterans were given no room to expect. After about twenty kilometers, a young Belgian, Harm Vanhoek, was allowed to attack along with Mark Badon (the victor of Bahrain) and Mark Donovan (the DSM team). They headed for the leading group, which split into parts at La Redoute. On that slope, Eneos smashed the entire Peloton. Maori Vincentant, Primoz Rogelik, Maximilian Schachman and Tadig Bogacar backed out while Julian Alafilipe was put in the back.
Doubts with Alaphilippe
Two of The Wolfpack had to fold themselves due to an attempt by Rogelic and his colleagues. Neutralize. That chase was successful, but the peloton was largely weak in this way. The flight only moved away from everything and everyone, but at an ascending height, the light suddenly went out. Behind him, Tao shocked Geojehan Hart, creating an elite group of Vansevenant, Richard Carapaz, David Gaudu, Jonas Vingegaard, and Tadej Pogacar. Karabaz thought his chance had come and attacked alone.
Alaphilippe had to come out of the background again, and Rogelic was also on the defensive. Again, thanks to a few team mates, that was fine for the world champ. Carabaz was returned to La Roche-aux-Faucons with an attack from Pogacar, but the Slovenes did not escape. Michael Woods retired and threw Rogelic into the sea, among others. Only Pogacar, Alaphilippe, Gaudu and Alejandro Valverde, who turned 41 on Sunday, can watch the match. The relationship faltered with the toppers, causing Woods to shake the tree a second time. Alaphilippe closed the gap, and suddenly the relationship was back.
The five rode in a closed battle command towards Liège. A group with Benoot got too close, until Valverde started the enemy from a distance 270 meters from the end. Pogacar eventually beat Alaphilippe on the streak.