Bahrain Victorious seal another podium place

Bahrain Victorious took another podium place at the Ardennes Classics, as Santiago Buitrago was third in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège, crossing the finish line with Thomas Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) 2nd at 1’06” from Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quickstep), winner for the second consecutive time.

After the abandonment of one of the biggest favourites, Tadej Pogacar, who crashed out of La Doyenne after 84.5km, no other significant plot twist happened in the race, and the World Champion lived up to the expectations with a powerful attack on one of the most iconic climbs of this Monument, the Côte de la Redoute (224.2km).

Bahrain Victorious’ young Colombian rider was not among the riders who tried to respond immediately but managed to keep pace with a strong chase group that formed behind the first four riders. The final 30km were made even more selective due to the rain. While the few remaining riders chasing the solo leader were dropped approaching the last côtes, Pidcock, Buitrago and Healy (EF Education-Easy Post) showed to be the best to try to fight for the second and third place.

“Maybe I opened the sprint too early”, Buitrago explained after the finish line of the third Classic Monument he tackled in his career. “I knew Pidcock was faster than me, but I wanted to try. With 300 metres to go, the effort was endless, especially after a tough race and the week at the Tour of the Alps. This is my first podium in a Monument. I’m surprised to take it, and I’m super happy!”

Bahrain Victorious sports director Roman Kreuziger said, “We are proud to celebrate the first podium for the team in this Classic Monument. We had a different plan, with Mikel Landa as our leader, but he had a bad day and was dropped.

“But we had a strong lineup, and Santiago did a perfect race. Remco was just the strongest one, and we couldn’t follow his attack. Getting a podium both on Flèche and Liège is a big achievement. Moreover, Buitrago showed up a great shape in view of the Giro.”


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