Liege-Bastogne-Liege: Win for Lizzie!

Lizzie Deignan won the classic race, Liege-Bastogne-Liege after attacking from a nine-rider breakaway on the infamous La Redoute climb, Hannah Barnes 6th

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Liege-Bastogne-Liege: Win for Lizzie!

Trek-Segafredo press release

Lizzie Deignan attacked from a nine-rider breakaway on the infamous La Redoute climb, starting her 30km solo journey to victory in Liège. A thrilling chase ensued between former World Champion Deignan and Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott), who had set off in pursuit on the Côte de la Roche-aux-Facons. Deignan held off her pursuer to bask in the glory of a solo victory of the Monument. Behind, van Dijk – also part of the breakaway – played the finish to her strengths by jumping early and masterfully held off the sprinters to take bronze and join Deignan on the podium.

Being in the early break isn’t the most usual scenario for Deignan, but she saw it as the best chance to make it over La Redoute in touch of the favorites, and perhaps help teammate Elisa Longo Borghini. With van Dijk also in the lead group, Trek-Segafredo had the numerical advantage, and Deignan was able to keep her powder dry until making her decisive move on the 8.5% slopes of La Redoute, 30 kilometers from the finish.

Explaining how teamwork helped to set up the win, Ellen van Dijk said, “We planned to create a break on the top of the Côte de Wanne, and we had a really great lead-out into it from Anna [Plichta] and Tayler [Wiles]. Then I attacked on the top, and I straight away had a small group. Lizzie jumped across and, I was a bit surprised by that because it wasn’t really in the plan. It was really good because she pushed the pace in the breakaway, and soon, we had gained a lot of time.”

“I just felt the moment, and I think that comes from having confidence of being in this team and having directors who allow us to race on instinct. The nicest thing about this team is that we’re allowed to race on instinct and not to fear failure,” explained winner Lizzie Deignan.

“It was Ellen who said to me: ‘Lizzie, you have to go on La Redoute’ and I did, and didn’t look back, and I just won. [I knew I had won] In the last 500 meters. It was really close, Grace Brown was coming up really hot behind me, and I knew how good of a time trialist she is, and I was getting more and more legless. In the end, I started to try and chase the motorbikes in front of me rather than think about her behind me because mentally, it cracks you if you think like that.”

At the finish line, Deignan held off Brown by nine seconds, allowing her to savor the moment and absorb what she had just done. Meanwhile, van Dijk was approaching the finish with a podium position still up for grabs, which she seized with both hands.

“It was super satisfying; I didn’t expect it anymore; I was just trying to figure out what was going on in front because it was still very close with second place. I know I’m not a sprinter, so I thought I needed to find a place to attack in the last two kms. but I couldn’t find a moment. I was waiting and waiting, so I just went in the last 700 meters. I went full gas to the finish; I expected them to all pass me – but they didn’t! I was surprised, but that made the day even more perfect,” said third-place van Dijk.

After taking some time to reflect on the enormity of what she had just accomplished, Deignan said, “I’m just really delighted! It’s been an up and down year for everybody, personally and professionally, and credit to my teammates, staff, and sponsors that I’m just able to focus on being a professional athlete because there are so many other things just now that are so difficult. This is the simple part, and I’m supported by the best team in the world, so I feel lucky.

“We’ve been waiting to win a classic like this, and I think we’ve been almost there so many times. I just had the perfect team today. This is for the team; this is a Trek-Segafredo win.” With the victory, Deignan regains the lead in the UCI WorldTour, taking back the leader’s jersey that she held until La Flèche Wallonne.

6th for Hannah Barnes

Hannah Barnes put in a great performance to finish sixth in today’s Ardennes classic Liége-Bastogne-Liège. “This morning when I left the race hotel, I wasn’t expecting that I would finish sixth in Liège,” said Hannah after the finish. “It was a race that anything could happen given the weather conditions. It started fast with the tailwind and it was pretty cold and wet. The break went on the first climb and with a tricky descent we got a good gap and worked well together.”

Hannah continued, “I’m happy but I’m a little disappointed at the same time. I really had to fight on the climbs and that meant I couldn’t go with the attacks of Deignan when she went away on La Redoute or Brown on la Roche-aux-Faucons climb. That’s a shame as I feel like I’m capable of being better on those steep climbs. Then in the final sprint I gave everything I had, so I know left it all out there.”

After sprinting to second place on a stage of the Giro Rosa, solid performances at road world championships and Wednesday’s Fléche Wallonne, Hannah goes from strength to strength after the season re-start. “I would say it’s two years that I haven’t really been at the pointy end of races. Now, the last three races I’ve done I’ve been in the main breakaway of the day. I’m happy with how it’s going. The races are really aggressive and I’m enjoying them and having fun,” commented Hannah.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Women)

1. Lizzie Deignan Trek-Segafredo Women 3:29:48
2. Grace Brown Mitchelton-Scott @ 09
3. Ellen Van Dijk Trek-Segafredo Women @ 2:19
4. Marianne Vos CCC-Liv @ 2:19
5. Amy Pieters Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team @ 2:19
6. Hannah Barnes Canyon-SRAM Racing @ 2:21
7. Marlen Reusser Équipe Paule Ka @ 2:21
8. Juliette Labous Team Sunweb @ 2:21
9. Katrine Aalerud Movistar Women @ 2:26
10. Liane Lippert Team Sunweb @ 3:27

Full Result Here  

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