Tadej Pogačar pipped Julian Alaphilippe on the line to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021.
A group of five had gone clear on the final climb of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons with 13km remaining, going on to contest the win in a sprint finish.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) had led out in the finishing straight, Alaphilippe exploding from behind, but Pogačar was on his wheel and as the two came to the fore the Slovenian came up and past the world champion to claim his first Monument victory.
Groupama-FDJ’s David Gaudu settled for third, Valverde fourth, while Israel Start-Up Nation’s Michael Woods, who had ignited the move on the last climb of the day, was the fifth and final of the quintet across the line.
Ineos Grenadiers had tried to animate the race over the closing kilometres, Tao Geoghegan Hart whittling down the peloton on La Redoute before Richard Carapaz attacked solo, brought back on the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.
UAE Team Emirates’ Marc Hirschi led home the chase group, seven seconds later after his team-mate had crossed the line in first place.
More to follow…
Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2021, Liège to Liège (259.1km)
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 6-39-26
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar
5. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation, all at same time
6. Marc Hirschi (Sui) UAE Team Emirates, at seven seconds
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, both at same time
9. Max Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at nine seconds
10. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain-Victorious, at same time