• Country

Grace Brown Triumphs at Liège-Bastogne-Liège: “I waited and came with speed”

By Monica Buck

In a thrilling conclusion to the 2024 Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes, Australian cyclist Grace Brown outpaced everyone to clinch her first victory at this prestigious event. Brown, who previously secured two second-place finishes at La Doyenne, demonstrated remarkable tenacity and strategic prowess in the final moments of the race.

The pivotal moment unfolded after an early move initiated by Elise Chabbey on the Côte de Stockeu. This attack drew a select group, including Brown, ahead of the peloton. The dynamics continued to evolve as the race progressed, with key attacks on the Côte de la Redoute and the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons shaping the final composition of the lead group.

The chase group, including the likes of Elisa Longo Borghini and Kasia Niewiadoma, eventually caught up to Brown’s group, setting the stage for a nail-biting finish. Despite strong moves by her competitors, Brown leveraged her position and surged forward in the last hundred meters, overtaking Longo Borghini in a decisive sprint.

“It’s always a gamble when you go early, and you are in the break for a long time. You never feel fresh coming into the final, but it was just enough to make it over Roche-aux-Faucons and be there in the front group. I’m happy that it all worked out.

“The team is super excited. This is our first Monument win. It’s a bit of a history marker in the team. I’m super happy that I could do it.”

Brown’s journey to the podium was fraught with challenges, including a near mishap at 6.8km from the finish, where she narrowly avoided a crash. Describing the moment, Brown admitted, “It was kind of stressful trying to catch back up to the bunch. I’m glad I didn’t crash, but in the end, it was OK.

“There were a lot of attacks in the final. I followed some, but you also have to gamble a little bit. For some reason, I have slow-mo patience in a sprint final like that. I waited and came with speed, and it was enough to win the race. It’s pretty cool.”

This victory is especially sweet for Brown, who has had a rocky start to the season. “It’s unbelievable because I didn’t have the best spring. This week, I started feeling really good. It came just in time to finish these Classics. I’m really happy,” she explained, highlighting her turnaround just in time for one of cycling’s most iconic races.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes 2024 – Results

1. Grace Brown (Aus) – FDJ-Suez – 4:29:00
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) – Lidl-Trek
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) – SD Worx-Protime
4. Elise Chabbey (Swi) – Canyon-SRAM
5. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) – Canyon-SRAM
6. Kim Cadzow (NZl) – EF Education-Cannondale (All at same time)
7. Marianne Vos (Ned) – Visma-Lease a Bike (+52s)
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) – DSM-Firmenich PostNL
9. Ricarda Bauernfeind (Fra) – DSM-Firmenich PostNL
10. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZl) – SD Worx-Protime (All at same time)