Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Win for Dan Martin


Twenty-four years after Sean Kelly, Dan Martin became the second Irishman to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

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ASO Press Release

This 99th edition of the oldest classic on the calendar was at the height of expectations and one team proved to be stronger and smarter than the others. Indeed after Garmin-Sharp’s Ryder Hesjedal powered away in the last 20 kilometres, Dan Martin remained comfortably in the wheels of the race favourites.


 The biggest win of his career and Dan Martin has truly arrived! Photo: Thomas van Bracht

The Irishman finally made his move once his team mate had been caught. Catching up with Joaquim Rodriguez, the 26-year-old flew off in the last 300 metres of the course, capturing the biggest win of his career. Martin wins the Ardennes Classic ahead of two Spaniards, Rodriguez and Valverde.

A great atmosphere and rather chilly conditions welcomed the 199 riders of Liège-Bastogne-Liège at the Place Saint-Lambert for the start of the 99th edition. Once the pack was off, it only took four kilometres for the first real breakaway to occur. The first man to attack, Bart De Clercq (LTB) was rapidly joined by five other men: Vincent Jerome (EUC), Jonathan Fumeaux, Pirmin Lang (both IAM), Frederik Veuchelen (VCD) and Sander Armee (TSV).


Photo: Thomas van Bracht

While the pack wasn’t too concerned by the morning escapees, the gap reached a maximum 14’ at kilometre 43. Team Katusha was the first of the strong squads to take on the chase sending Vorganov to the front of the pack. At the Côte de Saint-Roch (km 116.5), heading back up north to Liège, the gap had dropped down to 8’45. Moving closer to one of the first tricky moments of the race, the triple climb up the Wanne, Stockeu and Haute-Levée hills, the main contending teams chased on. Bad news for the escapees who could only count on a 4’50 advantage.


Photo: ASO/G.Demouveaux

In the final moments of the climb up the Côte de Maquisard, Sander Armée was the first to be dropped. The Belgian was rapidly caught by a pack led by team Sky that had chosen that moment in the race to make their move sending strong man Vasil Kiryenka in first spot of the peloton.

Looking strong up front, Bart De Clercq had other concerns as he had to cope with a puncture and a mechanical setback before eventually moving back in the leading group. At the bottom of the legendary Côte de la Redoute, the pack moved within a minute (40”) of the breakaway group.

There wasn’t much the escapees could do on the climb against the storming pack and Lopez Garcia (SKY) who decided to take off. Vincent Jerome was eventually the last of the escapees to be caught after a 215km break, while Lopez Garcia pulled away, taking with him several other riders.

Eight men enjoyed the lead for a short while: Fuglsang (AST), Lopez Garcia (SKY), Ten Dam (BLA), Losada (KAT), Costa (MOV), Cunego (LAM), Fedrigo (FDJ) and Bardet (ALM). Chased by team BMC they were caught with 25 kilometres to go.


Photo: ASO/G.Demouveaux

In the new climb on the course, the Côte de Colonster, Alberto Contador gave it a go. The Spaniard was rapidly joined by Uran (SKY), Anton (EUS), Hesjedal (GRS), Caruso (KAT) and Costa (MOV). It was then Hesjedal’s turn to take his chance. In impressive fashion, the Giro 2012 champion pulled away enjoying a 20” lead over the pack with 10kms to go.

The Canadian took on the climb up Saint-Nicolas with a slim 15” lead. Just behind Carlos Betancur, like on the Fleche Wallonne, took off. The little Colombian was caught by a group including Rodriguez (KAT), Valverde (MOV), Martin (GRS), Cunego and Scarponi (both LAM). Hesjedal was eventually caught in the last kilometres of the climb with just over 5kms to go.


Dan Martin looks back to make sure there are no surprises or perhaps it was his way of pinching himself and seeing the worlds best trailing in his wake… so awesome! Photo: Thomas van Bracht

The front seven remained clear of the chasing groups in the closing moments of the race. Just before the final kilometre, it was then Joaquim Rodriguez’s turn to attack. Dan Martin was the only rider able to react to the Catalan’s move. After catching up with the leader, the Irishman powered away with 300m to go. A good enough move to capture the 99th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. After Sean Kelly in 1985, Daniel Martin becomes the second Irish rider to win the oldest of classics, beating two Spaniards to the line: Rodriguez and Valverde.


Dan, who is a former winner of the British Junior Road Race championship in the West Midlands, explained “the idea was to get someone in front and that’s what Ryder did and I just stayed behind with the others. I couldn’t believe how easy it was in Saint-Nicolas.”

“I was totally in control and followed any attack that went. With Ryder in front, I was in the perfect position. We eventually caught him at the top of the climb and he rode flat out for me. It was a fantastic team effort from all the team. Every single of our riders rode their hearts out today. Me and Ryder were already in the Top 10 last year so it really is a good race for us.”

“Actually somebody texted me last night that the first year that Sean Kelly won Catalunya, he won Liège weeks later. That was back in 1984. That was a bit of an omen and I’ve been thinking about it all week. After finishing fourth in Fleche Wallonne, I thought that maybe I could win. All these little things were adding up. I was in a complete state of zen all day. Just so calm.”

What has changed in the last few years that has made you a winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège? “I think it’s just maturing physically and the confidence as well. I’ve definitely made a big step this winter. Maybe the Tour last year brought me a lot. I found a massive difference in my body this past year. I’ve grown up basically. I think that it’s also an age thing. And for these races, the more mature guys do well. There’s also the confidence of my team as well. That belief has given me that extra edge.”

“I was shocked. Complete shock. I couldn’t believe it. I race on instinct. I don’t think about what’s happening during the race. I just try and win. Actually finding myself in front of the finish line of Liège-Bastogne-Liège with my arms in the air, it’s incredible…”


Gilbert and Gasportotto battle for sixth place with the Astana rider getting it. Photo: ASO/G.Demouveaux

Alejandro Valverde: “I’m really happy to reach the podium again, and this race makes for a really good Ardennes trio. Second in the Amstel Gold, 3rd in here… I’m satisfied with what I got. Two podiums in three classics is not within anyone’s reach.”

“It’s obvious I was coming here for a victory, but all the big riders were here and aspire to the same thing. Martin and Purito were stronger in the finale today and I’ve got to be satisfied with my 3rd place.”

“It was a hard trio of classics and we’ll try to recover well tomorrow and get ready for the Tour de Romandie from Tuesday – it will be my last race before the build-up to the Tour.”

Joaquim Rodriguez: “I think I did an almost perfect race, thanks also to my team: we adopted a very smart strategy, in my opinion, and we did our best in order to win.”

“I started my sprint in the best place, but Martin was able to catch me very quickly and pass me in the last hundred meters. At first, I thought it was Scarponi, so I considered having some chances at the final sprint: but when I realized it was Martin, he was very strong and I understood he would have defeated me.”

“Anyway, I think me and the team took a very good result here. We spent a nice week in Adrennes. Now I’ll rest a little bit, then I’ll get ready for ‘Tour de France’, my next goal”


1 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 06:38:07
2 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 00:03
3 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 00:09
4 BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos Alberto AG2R La Mondiale @ st
5 SCARPONI Michele Lampre – Merida @ st
6 GASPAROTTO Enrico Astana Pro Team 00:18
7 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team @ st
8 HESJEDAL Ryder Garmin – Sharp @ st
9 FARIA DA COSTA Rui Alberto Movistar Team @ st
10 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE @ st
11 VAUGRENARD Benoit Equipe Cycliste FDJ @ st
12 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
13 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale @ st
14 NOCENTINI Rinaldo AG2R La Mondiale @ st
15 NORDHAUG Lars Petter Blanco Pro Cycling Team @ st
16 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Sky Procycling @ st
17 SøRENSEN Nicki Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:21
18 VANENDERT Jelle Lotto Belisol Team 00:26
19 GESCHKE Simon Team Argos – Shimano 00:56
20 ULISSI Diego Lampre – Merida @ st
21 IGLINSKIY Maxim Astana Pro Team @ st
22 DENIFL Stefan IAM Cycling 01:00
23 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team @ st
24 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar @ st
25 DE MARCHI Alessandro Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 01:03
26 TROFIMOV Yuri Katusha Team @ st
27 PINEAU J̩rome Omega Pharma РQuick-Step 01:06
28 LEUKEMANS Bjorn Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
29 GALLOPIN Tony RadioShack – Leopard @ st
30 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre – Merida @ st
31 GADRET John AG2R La Mondiale @ st
32 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team @ st
33 WEENING Pieter Orica GreenEDGE @ st
34 SLAGTER Tom-Jelte Blanco Pro Cycling Team @ st
35 FEDRIGO Pierrick Equipe Cycliste FDJ @ st
36 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 01:14
37 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
38 RATTO Daniele Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
39 SORENSEN Chris Anker Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
40 VICHOT Arthur Equipe Cycliste FDJ 01:18
41 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard 01:20
42 STETINA Peter Garmin – Sharp @ st
43 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack – Leopard 01:24
44 LAGUTIN Sergey Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
45 JEANNESSON Arnold Equipe Cycliste FDJ 01:25
46 ARASHIRO Yukiya Team Europcar 01:30
47 WEGMANN Fabian Garmin – Sharp 01:34
48 VALLS FERRI Rafael Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
49 TEN DAM Laurens Blanco Pro Cycling Team @ st
50 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team @ st
51 ALBASINI Michael Orica GreenEDGE 01:40
52 MORENO FERNANDéZ Daniel Katusha Team 01:49
53 URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling @ st
54 VISCONTI Giovanni Movistar Team 02:12
55 MARTENS Paul Blanco Pro Cycling Team 02:15
56 SERRY Pieter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
57 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
58 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE @ st
59 CARUSO Damiano Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 02:21
60 CHEREL Mikael AG2R La Mondiale 02:28
61 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 04:40
62 GRIVKO Andriy Astana Pro Team @ st
63 VAN AVERMAET Greg BMC Racing Team @ st
64 WYSS Marcel IAM Cycling @ st
65 VANTOMME Maxime Crelan-Euphony 04:51
66 LOPEZ GARCIA David Sky Procycling 04:53
67 LOSADA ALGUACIL Alberto Katusha Team @ st
68 MORI Manuele Lampre – Merida 05:16
69 BUSCHE Matthew RadioShack – Leopard @ st
70 BURGHARDT Marcus BMC Racing Team @ st
71 LE MEVEL Christophe Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
72 ASTARLOZA Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
73 MARTINEZ DE ESTEBAN Egoi Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
74 GAUTIER Cyril Team Europcar @ st
75 KOLOBNEV Alexandr Katusha Team @ st
76 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team @ st
77 MOLLEMA Bauke Blanco Pro Cycling Team @ st
78 TANKINK Bram Blanco Pro Cycling Team @ st
79 VICIOSO ARCOS Ángel Katusha Team 05:26
80 CARUSO Giampaolo Katusha Team @ st
81 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard 05:33
82 HERMANS Ben RadioShack – Leopard @ st
83 KREDER Michel Garmin – Sharp 07:51
84 GAVAZZI Francesco Astana Pro Team 07:57
85 KADRI Blel AG2R La Mondiale 08:09
86 NERZ Dominik BMC Racing Team 08:20
87 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Ion Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
88 HAAS Nathan Garmin – Sharp @ st
89 SULZBERGER Wesley Orica GreenEDGE @ st
90 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Gorka Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
91 VERONA QUINTANILLA Carlos Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
92 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
93 DELFOSSE Sebastien Crelan-Euphony @ st
94 BRANDLE Matthias IAM Cycling 08:29
95 VANENDERT Dennis Lotto Belisol Team @ st
96 REZA Kevin Team Europcar @ st
97 DE GREEF Francis Lotto Belisol Team @ st
98 SIUTSOU Kanstantsin Sky Procycling @ st
99 VERMOTE Julien Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
100 HOLLENSTEIN Reto IAM Cycling @ st
101 VORGANOV Eduard Katusha Team @ st
102 CHRISTENSEN Mads Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
103 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
104 CUSIN Remi IAM Cycling @ st
105 MEIER Christian Orica GreenEDGE @ st
106 CASAR Sandy Equipe Cycliste FDJ @ st
107 DEKKER Thomas Garmin – Sharp @ st
108 CHARTEAU Anthony Team Europcar @ st
109 KROON Karsten Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
110 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC Racing Team @ st
111 ZAUGG Oliver Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
112 MEYER Travis Orica GreenEDGE @ st
113 SOUPE Geoffrey Equipe Cycliste FDJ @ st
114 MARCATO Marco Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
115 SICARD Romain Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
116 VANDBORG Brian Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
117 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
118 COPPEL Jérome Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
119 VOGONDY Nicolas – Wanty @ st
120 MONTAGUTI Matteo AG2R La Mondiale @ st
121 DUMOULIN Tom Team Argos – Shimano @ st
122 FRANK Mathias BMC Racing Team @ st
123 TAARAMäE Rein Cofidis Solutions Crédits 09:20
124 MOSER Moreno Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 09:35
125 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 09:54
126 DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team 11:38
127 JACOBS Pieter Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise @ st
128 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE 12:52
129 RUIJGH Rob Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
130 LANG Pirmin IAM Cycling 13:37
131 TANNER David Blanco Pro Cycling Team 14:39
132 DE GENDT Thomas Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
133 VANDEWALLE Kristof Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
134 ZINGLE Romain Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
135 VANDEWALLE Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team @ st
136 STORTONI Simone Lampre – Merida @ st
137 SALERNO Cristiano Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 16:08
138 KING Benjamin RadioShack – Leopard @ st
139 BILLE Gaetan Lotto Belisol Team @ st
140 VALENTIN Tristan Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
141 CAMMAERTS Edwig Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
142 KOCH Michel Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
143 DIDIER Laurent RadioShack – Leopard @ st
144 DE WEERT Kevin Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
145 HUPOND Thierry Team Argos – Shimano @ st
146 VEUCHELEN Frederik Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
147 VAN HECKE Preben Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise @ st
148 DEVILLERS Gilles Crelan-Euphony 16:43


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