Britain’s Lizzie Deignan won Liege-Bastogne-Liege in Belgium on Sunday to claim her first ever ‘monument’ – one of cycling’s biggest one-day races
Deignan made a solo break with 24km left to open up a minute’s lead.
Australian Grace Brown produced a late counter-attack to get within 10 seconds, but Deignan held on for her third victory since the season resumed.
A dramatic men’s race saw Primoz Roglic steal victory from Julian Alaphilippe as he celebrated on the line.
A ‘special’ win for Deignan
The 31-year-old Trek-Segafredo rider said having the “perfect team” was key to ending her wait to win a ‘monument’.
“It’s really special,” said Deignan, who adds the title to her recent victories in the GP Plouay and La Course.
Dutch riders had won each of the three races since the event’s inauguration in 2017, with two victories for Anna van der Breggen (2017 and 2018) and one for defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten, who finished 28th on Sunday.
Deignan, who finished second behind Van der Breggen in 2017, said she “raced on instinct”.
“In this team we’re allowed to race on instinct and not to fear failure,” she added.
From elation to embarrassment for Alaphilippe
Deceuninck-Quick Step rider Alaphilippe was in scintillating form during the men’s race, a week on from winning the World Road Championships road race in Imola, Italy.
Despite crashing during the race and having to change a shoe, the Frenchman launched an attack off the front of the peloton with 15km of the 256km route remaining.
He was followed by Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic, who lost the Tour de France on a thrilling final day to Tadej Pogacar just two weeks ago.
Slovenian countryman Pogacar of UAE Team-Emirates was also in pursuit, alongside Tour stage winner Marc Hirschi of Sunweb.
As the four sprinted to the line, Alaphilippe appeared to block Hirschi, who unclipped from his pedal and unintentionally barged Pogacar.
As Alaphilippe sat up from his handlebars to spread his arms wide and roll over the line to embrace victory, he did not see Roglic racing up on his right-hand side. Roglic just managed to sneak ahead by half a wheel.
A frustrated Alaphilippe was then demoted to fifth for the block on Hirschi.
“Unbelievable – finally I managed to win something, huh?” said Roglic in disbelief. “Really happy I managed to win. It was on my wish list to win a monument.”
The races were delayed from their usual April ‘spring classics’ spot because of the coronavirus pandemic.