• Jakob Fuglsang wins the 2019 edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Getty)Source: Getty
Jakob Fuglsang put a string of near misses behind him in the Classics with a dominant ride for victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
By
SBS Cycling Central

29 Apr 2019 - 2:28 AM  UPDATED 29 Apr 2019 - 9:33 AM

The Danish climber finished third at Amstel Gold, second in Fleche Wallonne and Strade Bianche but managed to claim the biggest victory of his career by soloing to victory after attacking late in the race.

"I was a hard one," said the Astana rider. "The last climb I had the team giving me perfect position before the climb. They were a little bit everywhere most of the day but in the important moment they were there."

"When Woodsy started the attack it was the perfect way for me to jump with him first and then I knew my finish line was on top. I knew from the parcours that I could not wait." 

Fuglsang's ride to victory looked nearly assured as he entered the final kilometres but he nearly crashed on a fast corner, only just managing to stay upright and continue on to win.

WATCH: Fuglsang's amazing save

"Just a small one," said Fuglsang, when asked if he got much of a fright. "It was a scary moment but a bit of adrenaline for the last part." 

WATCH: Jakob Fuglsang talks about his Liege-Bastogne-Liege victory

Wet and miserable conditions were the scene for the 105th edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, with a revamped finish in the heart of Liege, rather than the nearby Ans set to change the nature of the race slightly.

The early break went quickly with Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ), Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Gobert) and Jérémy Maison (Arkéa-Samsic) jumping clear initially before being joined by Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Énergie), Kevin Deltombe (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Kenny Molly and Mathijs Paasschens (both Wallonie-Bruxelles) to make a group of eight up front.

At one point, the break’s maximum advantage peaked at just over 10 minutes but the peloton was never in serious discomfort, with Deceuninck-QuickStep doing the lion's share of the work for Fleche Wallonne winner Julian Alaphilippe.

A number of attacking moves showed some promise, even including names like pre-race favourites Greg van Avermaet (CCC) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), but the attacks were kept under wraps by an attentive peloton. 

The most successful attacker was Tanel Kangert (EF Education First) who rode solidly off the front and stayed out by himself until joined by Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe) when the Austrian attacked with 22 kilometres left to race, with Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) also bridging to the front group on the road. 

The quartet reached the foot of the Roche-aux-Fachons with 17 seconds lead, but the gap quickly evaporated as Michael Woods (EF Education First) attacked, to be quickly followed then counter-attacked by Fuglsang.

Fuglsang distanced the peloton, but Woods and Davide Formolo (BORA-hansgrohe) were able to hold on initially. The trio stuck together for a few kilometres before another surge from Fuglsang saw first Woods then Formolo dropped from his wheel. 

Fuglsang then went into time-trial mode to the finish line, holding off Formolo to take the win. Woods was swept up by a chase group, which was led to the finish line by Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe) to give the German team two riders on the podium.