Roglic wins thrilling Liege-Bastogne-Liege after Alaphilippe celebrates too early and is relegated to fifth
Primoz Roglic claimed victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liege after a spectacular sprint finish saw Julian Alaphilippe celebrate too early and eventually be relegated to fifth.
Following a superb day’s racing, it came down to a five-man dart to the line between Roglic, Alaphilippe, Marc Hirschi, Matej Mohoric and Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar.
World champion Alaphilippe took up the sprint and as Hirschi and Pogacar attempted to come past him the Frenchman diverted from his racing line to block them off and then proceeded to throw his hands in the air, only for Roglic to come past him and clinch the race in the final few metres.
After the finish, Alaphilippe was relegated to the back of the five-man group for his dangerous swerve across the road during the sprint.
Speaking after his victory, Roglic said: "It’s just unbelievable. It was so close. I just never stopped believing, and kept pushing until the last metres, actually the last centimeters. I’m super happy that I managed to win.
"It’s an incredible feeling. It was a really long period for me, three months away from home. I’m just super, super happy, and proud of the whole team and everyone. Finally, I managed to win something, eh!
"Tom [Dumoulin] was really good at the end. Not just him, all of the guys, they did a really super job, I was protected all the time.
"It was on my wishlist to win a monument and I’m super happy that I managed to do it."
Roglic’s win in Liege comes just two weeks after he lost the Tour de France in agonising fashion to compatriot Pogacar, relinquishing the yellow jersey on the penultimate day after crumbling in the individual time trial.
Meanwhile, Alaphilippe’s anguish follows his biggest career win just seven days earlier when he claimed the world road race title in Italy with a superb solo victory.
Next up for the Classics riders is Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, October 11.