Evenepoel Wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège: ‘I am incredibly proud to win here in Belgium wearing the World Champion’s jersey’

By Monica Buck

Remco Evenepoel secured his second consecutive victory in the 109th Liège-Bastogne-Liège with a powerful solo effort. The World Champion earned his second Monument title after distancing his nearest competitor, Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), approximately 30 kilometres from the finish line.

Following the Soudal-QuickStep rider in second place was Pidcock, who emerged victorious in the chase-group sprint, while Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) claimed the third spot on the podium.

However, the race was somewhat overshadowed by Tadej Pogačar’s crash, which resulted in his withdrawal after 80 kilometres. Pogačar underwent surgery to address a fractured wrist.

Evenepoel’s triumph, similar to the previous year, showcased his overwhelming dominance and revived his team’s Classics season after Soudal Quick-Step’s subpar performance in the earlier one-day spring races.

“Securing two consecutive wins feels fantastic. I am incredibly proud to win here in Belgium wearing the World Champion’s jersey. I really wanted a photo of me doing that, and now I have it,” commented Evenepoel who has already claimed victories in the UAE Tour and stages in the Volta a Catalunya this year.

“It was a challenging race due to the rain, which made the roads quite slippery, and my back wheel skidded a bit like it did last year [in a corner]. However, my team provided tremendous support, and it wasn’t easy dealing with those early attacks from Jumbo-Visma,” he added.

“We remained composed, managed the situation well, and adhered to our plan of attacking after La Redoute. I knew I should seize the opportunity on the new unclassified climb [the Cote de Cornémont] and create the most significant gap between myself and the chasers.”

This victory on home soil, Evenepoel’s first race of the season in Belgium, not only marks another impressive accomplishment but also positions him favourably for the upcoming Giro d’Italia. As he pursues a second Grand Tour win, he will undoubtedly be among the top contenders.

Regarding Tadej Pogačar’s crash, Evenepoel mentioned hearing a “horrific noise when it happened. You never wish for something like that to occur. I extend my support to him and hope for a speedy recovery.”

Pogačar underwent successful surgery to treat a scaphoid fracture in his left wrist at a hospital in Genk on Sunday. UAE Team Emirates confirmed that the Slovenian will travel home to continue his recovery. There are no estimates on his recovery at the moment.

2023 Liege-Bastogne-Liege Results (258.5 km)

Rank Country Rider Team Time Gap
01 BEL EVENEPOEL Remco Soudal Quick-Step 06:15:49
02 GBR PIDCOCK Tom INEOS Grenadiers +01:06
03 COL BUITRAGO Santiago Bahrain Victorious +01:06
04 IRL HEALY Ben EF Education-EasyPost +01:08
05 FRA MADOUAS Valentin Groupama-FDJ +01:24
06 FRA MARTIN Guillaume Cofidis +01:25
07 BEL BENOOT Tiesj Jumbo-Visma +01:37
08 AUT KONRAD Patrick BORA-hansgrohe +01:48
09 DEN SKJELMOSE JENSEN Mattias Trek-Segafredo +01:48
10 SUI HIRSCHI Marc UAE Team Emirates +01:48