Jakob Fuglsang beats odds to win Monument classic in Belgium
Dane rides solo to victory in rainy and cold weather, dropping rivals with 13km to go
Dane Jakob Fuglsang of Astana Pro Team celebrates as he crosses the finish line. Photograph: Eric Lalmand/AFP/Getty Images
Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang of Astana beat the pre-race favourites to ride solo to victory in the 105th Liege-Bastogne-Liege Monument classic yesterday.
Fuglsang, who finished 10th last year, nearly crashed with 5km to go on a fast descent on wet and slippery roads. He dropped all his rivals with 13km to go.
In a rain-hit event with temperatures as low as six degrees, Fuglsang won the 256km race in six hours, 37 minutes and 37 seconds – 27 seconds ahead of Davide Formolo, who finished second, while Maximilian Schachmann finished third. Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s race with Floortje Mackaij and Demi Vollering completing an all-Dutch podium.
Dan Martin was a non-finisher. The event had been one of his key season targets, but on Saturday he admitted he wouldn’t have the form to contend for the win due to a recent illness.
Eddie Dunbar (Team Sky) was the only other Irish man in the race and rode solidly, placing 75th.