The final of the Ardennes Classics didn’t have the dream ending Bahrain Victorious hoped for with a back to back victory after Teuns win at Flèche. In the end it came down to a bunch sprint for second and Dylan managed to cross the line in sixth.
The oldest Monument on the calendar was also the hardest to face. Bahrain Victorious was at the start with a super strong lineup: including the Slovenian Champion Matej Mohorič, the former race winner Wout Poels, a brilliant Mikel Landa on his road to the Giro, Damiano Caruso coming out from Giro di Sicilia as GC and stages winner, the experienced Spanish rider Luis Leon Sanchez, and a back in form Jack Haig, who was also one of the possible contenders of this tough race. All in all, one of the strongest teams on the paper this morning at the start of La Doyenne.
And that’s what the team proved to be, riding an aggressive race and pulling in front of the peloton to bridge the gap to the day’s breakaway. Multiples attacks from Landa and accelerations from Poels aimed to make the race as difficult as possible. The plan worked well but was not enough to prevent and stop the winning move of Remco Evenepoel(Quick-Step), who went on the legendary Redoute climb, and nobody was able to follow him. He bridged the gap to the race leader and managed to solo to victory in Liège.
Behind him, Bahrain Victorious tried to arrange the chase, but without success. “Everybody of us was committed to working, except our leader Teuns and Haig”, Matej Mohorič explained. “I was not on a great day; therefore, I just worked for the team, and on the last ascent, I finished my job”.
Bahrain Victorious leader Dylan Teuns went hard on the Roche-aux-Faucons, where the race was usually decided in the past. But it was not enough to make the difference and take advantage of the rivals for the sprint for the remaining steps of the podium, finishing in 6th place in Liège.
“I can’t say to be happy with the result, as I was looking for the victory today,” says the Belgian rider. “We showed a strong team performance. This finale is always a little bit technical, without a climb. I tried several times on the last climb, and I got it away a bit, but they came back in the end, and there was no super collaboration. We tried to organize the chase to Remco Evenepoel without success, and the gap remained the same. I did the sprint, finishing 5th. It could be better, but it is what it is.”
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— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com