The recent world champion Julian Alaphilippe fooled himself and celebrated too soon when Primoz Roglic snatched the victory in the prestigious Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday.
The end of the Belgian big race was exceptionally dramatic with several of cycling’s biggest stars in the lead roles.
In the last kilometers it was clear that the victory battle was between Alaphilippe, Roglic, Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar and the strong Swiss Marc Hirschi. When the sprint went, Alaphilippe had clearly the greatest speed, and a few meters before the finish line, the Frenchman stretched his hands towards the sky in the belief that he had won.
On the inside, however, Roglic came at great speed and snatched the victory from a confused Alaphilippe. Thus, the Slovenian got a little revenge after the victory in the Tour de France smoked on the penultimate stage.
– Amazing. It was so close. I never stopped believing that I could win and fought to the last inches. I’m super happy to win, Roglic said in the victory interview.
Waterfall with a sparkling fifth place in the Giro debut
In cycling, people often talk about the curse of the World Cup jersey. It’s about the fact that for many it has turned out to be difficult to win races wearing the rainbow stripes. On Sunday, it was at least a solid boom for Alaphilippe in what was his first ride in the coveted jersey.
After the finish, more bad news was waiting for the French star. The jury decided to move the world champion to fifth place for asking unregulated questions.
In the race, Alaphilippe made a maneuver that in particular caused trouble for Hirschi.
Liege-Bastogne-Liege is one of the biggest single races a cyclist can win. No Norwegians took part in Sunday’s race.