Bob Jungels took the biggest win of his career on Sunday with a solo victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liege as his Quick-Step team continued to dominate the season.
Just days after his teammate Julian Alaphilippe won the Fleche Wallonne, Jungels secured a 27th win for Quick-Step this season in Ans.
Jungels became the first rider from Luxembourg to win ”La Doyenne” since former Tour de France champion Andy Schleck did it in 2009.
Michael Woods came second with Romain Bardet third to complete an unexpected podium at the end of the 258km race.
Jungels had made a break from 20km as a decoy, he admitted after the race, but he opened such a gap that the chief contenders failed to galvanise themselves until it was too late.
“We all thought Julian (Alaphilippe) and the others would pass me at Ans, but they never made it,” said Jungels. “I was trying to keep Julian, our captain, in a strong position. But then I was alone and kept getting further ahead,” he said.
“I’m super proud, it’s a pleasure to finish off the Spring in a nice way.”
At the penultimate climb, with 20km to go at the Cote de la Roche aux Faucons, Philippe Gilbert, then Sergio Henao and finally Jungels made attempted breaks off the front that kept everybody working.
Jungels looked around and saw a chance and the Luxembourg champion set off alone. With 17km to go Dan Martin went after him with such conviction that Alaphilippe briefly followed him.
But Martin’s run of bad luck continued and he suffered a puncture with 6km to go.
Woods then followed a lightening break from Bardet and the pair came in some 37 seconds after Jungels had crossed the line in a joyous zig-zag celebration.
Woods finishing second was maybe more of a sursprise then Jungels
“I was a runner and only became a pro-cyclist at 29,” said the Education First rider who was ninth last year.
“This is the best race of my life, you have to cherish these moments. Earlier in the season I was questioning my own talent,” said Woods, who said Bardet inspired him to make the break 2km from the line.
Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2018 results:
|1||Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)|
|2||Michael Woods (EF Education First-Drapac)|
|3||Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|4||Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)|
|5||Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)|
|6||Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain-Merida)|
|7||Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|8||Roman Kreuziger (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|9||Sergio Henao (Team Sky)|
|10||Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)|
|11||Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Soudal)|
|12||Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb)|
|13||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)|
|14||Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|15||Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)|
|16||Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)|
|17||Jesus Herrada (Cofidis)|
|18||Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates)|
|19||Michael Valgren (Astana)|
|20||Dylan Teuns (BMC)|