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Wout van Aert: Evenepoel was by far the strongest at Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Wout van Aert: Evenepoel was by far the strongest at Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) wasn’t able to follow winner Remco Evenepoel on the Côte de la Redoute and he was surprisingly beaten to second place…

Sunday, Apr 24

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Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) wasn’t able to follow winner Remco Evenepoel on the Côte de la Redoute and he was surprisingly beaten to second place by Quinten Hermans, but he came away from his Liège-Bastogne-Liège debut reassured that he could one day win the race.

The Belgian champion’s third place meant that he became the first rider since Adrie van der Poel in 1986 to finish on the podium of both La Doyenne and Paris-Roubaix in the same year. That achievement was the more remarkable given that Van Aert’s Classics campaign was interrupted by the COVID-19 diagnosis that forced him to miss the Tour of Flanders .

“I think it’s a happy feeling,” Van Aert said when asked to assess his race afterwards. “Of course, I always try to win the race but I think it’s a bit the same as last week [at Paris-Roubaix]: I did the best result possible. Remco was really strong, by far the strongest. The way he stayed in front was really impressive.”

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Van Aert won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic earlier this Spring, when his form meant that his Jumbo-Visma team usually dictated the terms of engagement on the cobbles. At Liège-Bastogne-Liège, by contrast, Van Aert’s target was to hang tough on the final climbs in the hope of a reduced group sprint at the finish.

Although Van Aert was distanced by the chasing group on […]

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