- It was a difficult race, not a usual race like others. It was a special day for us and we tried our best to do it like a team. There is no recipe how to do a race in such circumstances. It was our common decision as a team to start today and to give our 100% in honor of Michele. These things are never easy and will never be, - said sports director Lars Michaelsen.
Before the race started in Liège, the whole peloton remembered Michele Scarponi with a minute of silence.
Astana Proteam tried to do a strong race, supporting its leader Jakob Fuglsang. With the help of the teammates Fuglsang was always in front of the peloton together with the other favorites. Finally, Jakob finished 15th, giving his all for a better result.
- For Jakob the main motivation was to finish the race for Michele, he was not thinking about himself. Of course, he wanted to do as good as he could. But the most important for him was to ride for 100% and to finish it for Michele. With Michele they discussed this race a few days before, and it was important for Jakob to live this day in the race, - added sports director Lars Michaelsen.
After a lot of attacks in the final part of the race (258 km), finally it was decided in the powerful sprint from a reduced group of favorites. The winner of the Liège – Bastogne – Liège 2017 became Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde, who dedicated his victory to Michele Scarponi.
The race podium was completed by Daniel Martin of Ireland and Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland.
Photo credit: © Bettiniphoto