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Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar beat Julian Alaphilippe in a sprint finish to win the Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day classic in Belgium.

Alejandro Valverde, chasing a record-equalling fifth win, was fourth.

Dutch rider Demi Vollering claimed victory in the women’s race.

She finished the 140km-race – which took in seven hills along the same narrow and winding Ardennes forest roads of the men’s event – ahead of compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten and Italian Elisa Longo Borghini.

Great Britain’s Lizzie Deignan, last year’s winner, missed this edition.

Both men’s and women’s races were decided in sprint finishes after breakaway groups made their move with 13km remaining.

Slovenia’s Pogacar, Frenchman Alaphilippe and his compatriot David Gaudu, Canada’s Michael Woods and the 41-year-old Spaniard Valverde managed to get away from the rest of the peloton atop the Roche-aux-Faucons climb.

Valverde was first to try break for the line and was overhauled by Alaphilippe and Gaudu with 50m to go, before the 22-year-old Pogacar timed his sprint to perfection to grab victory.

“I sat on Alaphilippe’s wheel in the run-in. I knew he could go for it from distance and I just managed to get him,” said Pogacar who won the 2020 Tour de France.

“I love this race,” he said of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which is the oldest of the annual ‘Monument’ one-day races and was first contested in 1892.

Results

Men’s race

1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) 6hrs 39mins 26secs

2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-QuickStep) Same time

3. David Gaudu (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) Same time

4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) Same time

5. Michael Woods (Can/Israel Start-up Nation) Same time

Women’s race

1. Demi Vollering (NED/SD Worx) 140.9km in 3hrs 54min 31sec

2. Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Same time

3. Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA) Same time

4. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (POL) Same time

5. Anna van der Breggen (NED) +2secs

SOURCE: BBC Sport – Cycling RSS   (go to source)
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