After the hilly 263-km course had shredded the lead group to two
dozen, the Orica-GreenEdge rider tore ahead of Valverde and Poland’s
Michal Kwiatkowski in the final kilometre to win the centenary
edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the last major one-day Classic of
the first half of the 2014 season.
"I wasn’t expecting to see such a big group coming in together, but
it seemed like everyone was a little more tired than expected and
no-one had the legs to break away," Gerrans, the Australian national
champion and winner of another cycling 'Monument', the Milan-San
Remo Classic in 2012, told reporters.
"I myself was not feeling to good with about 30 kilometers to go, I
said I wasn't feeling so good, but the team stuck by me and that
gave me the extra confidence.
"My card to play in this race was try to be in a small group and see
if there was a sprint, and that was what happened."
Third in the hilly Dutch Classic Amstel Gold last Sunday, the
33-year-old added: "I’ve had some very special victories in my
career, including stage wins in all three Grand Tours, but I always
thought to win in Liege everything would need to unfold perfectly."
"Winning here is always special, but to get the hundredth edition of
Liege-Bastogne-Liege really puts my name in the history of the
On a day when several of the favorites suffered bad luck or
injuries, defending champion Dan Martin of Ireland crashed on the
last corner when making a late attack.
[to top of second column]
World Champion Rui Costa of Portugal crashed and abandoned with 90km
to go with minor injuries and Britain’s 2013 Tour de France winner
Chris Froome failed to start the race because of a chest infection.
Froome’s team, Sky, confirmed that he will be at his next scheduled
event, the Tour of Romandie, which starts on Tuesday.
"He probably could have started but he wouldn’t have got rid of what
he’s got," team principal Dave Brailsford said.
"So (in that situation) you’ve got to make some calls."
(Editing by Josh Reich)
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