Tim Wellens takes the polka dot jersey!
Also most aggressive rider award after a day on the attack!
Tim Wellens finished eleventh in Liège-Bastogne-Liège today after he rode a strong finale. On the final uphill slopes of the Côte des Forges, the penultimate climb of the day, the Lotto Soudal rider went on the attack, together with Daryl Impey. Moments later, they caught the leading duo Kangert-Konrad and at the foot of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, Wellens immediately attacked and left his breakaway companions behind. However, the Belgian was not able to stay ahead as Team Astana set a high pace at the front of the leading group, to ready their leader Jakob Fuglsang for an attack. The Danish rider, who was one of the main favourites before the start, dropped all his rivals after the Roche-aux-Faucons and eventually finished solo in Liège. Bjorg Lambrecht rode once again a strong race; the 22-year-old Belgian was part of a ten-rider move that attacked on the Col du Rosier. Lambrecht concluded his fine Ardennes campaign with a 27th place.
Tim Wellens: “I felt good today but unfortunately, Deceuninck-Quick Step lit up the race a long way from the line, just at the moment when I wanted to dispose some clothing and would have a final pee break. That way, we needed to chase and I already had to make a serious effort to get back to the front. I knew that I needed to go on the attack to get rid of some guys. I went over La Redoute quite comfortably and afterwards, I attacked. I felt good but I needed some more advantage at the summit of the Roche-aux-Faucons, because Team Astana was there in full strength to close the gap. That was the end of my story.”
“I can’t be completely satisfied with the past Ardennes Classics. The Brabantse Pijl went well, I had an off-day during Amstel Gold Race and the result in Flèche Wallonne did not match the good sensations. Today, I tried to obtain a nice result by riding aggressively. Then, you just know it might fail but I can’t be unhappy about today’s performance.”
Bjorg Lambrecht: “The tank is completely empty and due to an upcoming cold, I knew it would be difficult to battle until the very finale. But when the peloton split into different groups, I was part of the first one. Afterwards, I think that I’ve created a good situation by joining the nine other riders on the Col du Rosier. When we got caught, I hoped to be up there for a little longer to maybe end up in a first group, but at that moment, it went so fast that a nice result wasn't possible anymore.”