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Movistar’s Annemiek van Vleuten won Liège-Bastogne-Liège for a second time after attacking on the Côte de la Roche-Aux-Faucons and riding solo to the finish. Behind, Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Demi Vollering (SD Worx) sprinted for second and third from a chasing group of five.
Van Vleuten’s win ends a spring dominated by second places for the Dutchwoman.
Van Vleuten’s first attempt to get away from the other favourites was on the penultimate climb La Redoute. The former world champion was able to drop most of her competitors, except SD Worx’s Marlen Reusser who had been part of an eight-woman breakaway and had a headstart on the climb.
The two were only out front for about eight kilometres before they were brought back by a chasing group that started small but grew significantly between the two climbs. As soon as Van Vleuten and Reusser were caught, Grace Brown countered with a move of her own. Unfortunately, the FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope rider didn’t have enough road to get a significant advantage on Van Vleuten before the final climb of the day.
On Côte de la Roche-Aux-Faucons, Van Vleuten attacked again, but this time no one could match her pace. Behind Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (SD Worx), Vollering, Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Elisa Longo Borghini lost time.
With the climbing behind her and an 11-second advantage, all Van Vleuten had to do was hold off the chasing group of five. She successfully kept them at bay and by the finish had gained 43 seconds on second place finisher Brown.
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