Simon Gerrans made history last night by becoming the first Aussie to win the monumental Liege-Bastonge-Liege. In its 100th edition, Gerrans timed his attack to perfection to take out the race and add to his 2012 Milan-San Remo victory.
The national champion played his cards perfectly in the race’s finale, watching attacks from Gianpaolo Caruso (Katusha), Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2R) and a blistering final attack from defending champion, Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) in the race’s final kilometre to take the victory.
“It’s an incredible victory, it’s a dream come true to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege,” said a breathless Gerrans at the finish.
“It unfolded perfectly with me in the final. Everybody was really tight coming into the finish and I was perfectly placed to finish it.”
Fleche Wallonne winner Alejandro Valverde took second with Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski coming home third. That order could very well have been shaken up however had Martin, who had clawed back Caruso in the final 500 metres and was second round the final left-hander into Ans, not fallen.
Gerrans was quick to thank his team mates and point to the work of Orica-GreenEDGE, which had done huge share of work after the race broke up over the final climb of the day, the Cote de Saint Nicholas, and bring things back together for him to finish off.
“It was really a super hard race all the way to the finish – and I really have to thank all of them,” said Gerrans.
“With 30kms to go, I actually felt I didn’t have good legs but they, the team, insisted. I owe them a lot. You never know what happens on such a final.
“After that, I suppose I was confident I could beat these guys in a small sprint, but after 250km there’s little you can be truly sure of. I’m speechless.”
April 27, 2014: 2014 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Results: Liège – Ans, Belgium (264 km):
1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Team GreenEdge 06:37:43
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Team Movistar – Canyon Bikes
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Omega Pharma – QuickStep
4 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita)
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale – Focus Bikes 0:00:03
6 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp
7 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
9 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) 0:00:05
10 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale – Focus Bikes 0:00:06
11 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:08
12 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:10
13 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida
14 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
15 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:12
16 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits
17 Tiago Machado (Por) Team NetApp – Endura
18 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
19 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
20 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling
21 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
22 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling
23 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:17
24 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:19
25 Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing
26 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:23
27 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling
28 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:31
29 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:48
30 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:51
31 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:56
32 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:09
33 Alexandr Kolobnev ()
34 Pieter Weening (Ned) Team GreenEdge 0:01:11
35 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol 0:01:27
36 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
37 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:29
38 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits 0:01:31
39 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 0:01:37
40 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Team GreenEdge 0:02:26
41 Simon Clarke (Aus) Team GreenEdge
42 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits
43 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol