Liege -Bastogne-Liege. Slovenian Tadej Pogacar won. First of the Italians Davide Formolo, finished sixteenth

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Liege -Bastogne-Liege. The Slovenian phenomenon Tadej Pogacar won. Slovenian affair. Last year Roglic won, this year the powerful and young Pogacar. Deservedly. Unquestionably the strongest won. The King of the Tour won. An imperious sprint, a devastating comeback. At 150 meters he was fifth.

Second, half a wheel, the world champion Alaphilippe. Just like last year. France consoles itself by placing two of its men on the podium for the first time in this monumental race. With the world champion Julian, a good third came David Gaudu, a 53 kg wren, proud bearer of Groupama.

Fourth is the eternal Valverde who at 41 found the strength to go on the run with a poker of stars. Fifth was the Canadian Woods who tried to surprise everyone in the last kilometer knowing that in the sprint he would not have had a chance. Indeed.

First of the Italians Davide Formolo, sixteenth. He worked mostly for Pogacar.

And, as announced, Lorenzo Rota from Bergamo showed up on the run for over 200 kilometers. The other nine have served as wingmen for their capitani.

A flop was the English battleship of Ineos, always ahead with its arrows: Adam Yates, Geoghegan and Carapaz; the latter attempted a solitary sortie 23 km from the finish. Caught in ten kilometers. Then disqualified for incorrect downhill position. Fatal to Roglic the last bump in la Roche-aux-Faucons (11% gradient). The legs got too heavy this time. It happens in a run of nearly seven hours.

The roots of this classic monument – one of the five recognized – go back to the nineteenth century. It was founded in 1892. They also call it the “race of the Italians”. For two good reasons. Because a large community of Italian emigrants lives here. And then because the Azzurri have won it twelve times. Moreno Argentin has won it four times, one less than Eddy Mercks (a record that has stood since 1975) when the “cannibal” entered the fifth to the delight of the French organizers of ASO (Amaury Sport Organization); the same ones that organize Tour de France, Vuelta, Paris-Roubaix and many other sporting events. Even the Tour of Oman (stage race scheduled in February) and the adventurous Dakar Rally with around 500 participants. The old Philippe Amaury (1940-2006) – French publishing magnate – had a long eye.

Liege, the roll of honor

In the roll of honor the best of cycling yesterday, today and tomorrow. All the strongest runners have run it at least once.

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Here authentic legends such as Anquetil, Hinault, Rik Van Looy, Bettini,
Valverde four times, Roglic last year. And the Italians first at the finish line? The first was Carmine Preziosi in 1965, a passer-sprinter from Sant’Angelo all’Esca (Avellino); he lived in Belgium, in Parcennes, to be close to his father employed in the Charleroi mines. Carmine did everything to make a living, even the waiter and the glassmaker.

Other times. Other men. He won the race of life in front of Vittorio Adorni. Things from 56 years ago. The last to win was Danilo De Luca in 2007. In the middle Contini, Argentin (4), Bartoli (2), Bettini (2), and the eternal Davide Rebellin who still runs at 50 (this year he was at Laigueglia Trophy with the Meridiana, Croatian team born in Italy). It has never stopped since 1992. An Italian fairy tale. Cycling is also this.

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