Liege-Bastogne-Liege in quotes
Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp, winner):
I can’t believe it, I’m really in shock. I’ve never seen the team ride so strong – they kept me protected all day. It felt like one of the easiest races I’ve ever did. It really is incredible, I’m so happy.
Still in shock here. Team rode unbelievably well. Made my job easy. Thanks so much to them. I just won liege bastogne liege. #wow
— Dan Martin (@DanMartin86) April 21, 2013
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha, second):
I think I did an almost perfect race, thanks also to my team: we adopted a very smart strategy, in my opinion, and we did our best in order to win. I started my rush in the best place, but Martin was able to catch me very quickly and pass me in the last hundred meters. At first, I thought it was Scarponi, so I considered to have some chances at the final sprint: but when I realized it was Martin, and how easy he managed to catch me, I understood he would have defeated me. Now I’ll rest a little bit, then I’ll get ready for Tour de France, my next goal.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar, third):
I’m really happy to reach the podium again, and this race makes for a really good Ardennes trio. 2nd in the Amstel Gold, 3rd in here… I’m satisfied with what I got. Two podiums in three classics are not at anyone’s reach. It’s obvious I was coming here for a victory, but all the big riders were here and aspire to the same thing. Martin and Purito were stronger in the finale today and I’ve got to be satisfied with my 3rd place. It was a hard trio of classics and we’ll try to recover well tomorrow and get ready for the Tour de Romandie from Tuesday – it will be my last race before the build-up to the Tour.
Johnny Weltz (Garmin-Sharp DS):
Today we had a plan similar to Fleche with Ryder and Dan as our team leaders. As a group went off the front early we thought it would suit us well. Several teams picked up the chase but we didn’t want to move too early as the wind in the race today made it less vital and less stressful.
Once the break was caught very far from the finish the attacks started and we were up there. Michel Kreder brought back a dangerous group and from there it went fast to the second-to-last climb. There we had a plan with Ryder to attack; and he certainly did causing a lot of damage! He was on the front with 5 of the strongest riders in the field but they didn’t work with him, so he just attacked them and stayed away to the last 3 km.
Finally he was joined by a small group of strong riders that Dan was in as well. Dan could sit all the way to the final kilometer and benefit fofromr an amazing ride by Ryder who paved the way for Dan who finished it off with a great sprint. The whole team road fantastic today and Dan thanked them all by taking the win.
Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE):
Liège is a race that creeps up on you. It gets tougher and tougher as the day goes on. The boys did a fantastic job looking after me. I was right there with the leaders heading into Saint Nicholas. When the pace picked up and attacks began, I wasn’t able to stay with the first six or so riders. I was in the next group, and we just grovelled to the line basically. I ended up tenth. I suppose it’s not a bad result, seeing as it’s a bloody hard race.
Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE):
It was a quick start as usual here in Liège. The race has a slight uphill start, and the first attacks usually begin almost immediately. The race was always animated. Somebody was always pulling, and it kept the pace quite high. We managed to do good work until the Saint Nicholas, bringing Gerro [Simon Gerrans] into position there. We did a good job putting him in position, and tenth isn’t a bad result after that.
Whenever you do the maximum, you have to be happy with what you get out of it. We did the maximum today. Tenth place is a good reward for the work we did, and we get some WorldTour points out of it, too.
Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEDGE):
From the moment the early breakaway went, the whole race was controlled very well. When we came to La Redoute, that’s where the chase started to get really hard. It was full on towards the final from La Redoute. We tried to bring Gerro in a good position, and in the end, I think we were maybe feeling a little empty compared to the other two Ardennes races. Still, Gerro finished tenth, and we have to be happy with that.
I have a lot of support when it comes to the Dutch and Belgium races. Today my brother and a group of my mates came out. They like cycling a lot, and if there’s a race in the neighbourhood, they will usually be around. It’s a little bit of extra motivation.
Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE):
My job today was obviously to look after Gerro for as long as possible. I had to help with his position at the crucial spots early in the race. Coming into the Côte de Wanne, I had him in a really good place. It’s not a spot where you’re going to win the race, but you can waste a lot of energy here if you’re stuck in the base with the series of climbs that follows. When the race hit La Redoute, it was job over for me. The other boys took over from there.
It was actually a really straightforward day. We rode steady hard for the entire race, and teams controlled it pretty well until the end. It’s always a little bit easier when it’s consistent rather than stop and go all day long. I think we all took good care of Gerro.
Personally, I always look to come to the races with the best possible form so that I can give the best possible support. This year, I was happy with the form I had at the start of this block of racing, and my legs felt good throughout the entire week. I’m happy on a personal level, and I’m happy with the team.
Wesley Sulzberger (Orica-GreenEDGE):
Coming off the last two races, we had raced really well as a team, so we were confident we could do the same here – and we did. My job was to be attentive to any early moves that looked dangerous, so I stayed present around the front early, and I also stayed a bit around Pieter during the day. I made sure everybody was okay and helped people move up towards the pointy end of the race.
Personally, I’m feeling really positive with how the classics went for me. Compare my races to last year. I wasn’t even finishing these races 12 months ago. This year, I’m right up there until the last 25 kilometres. I’m really happy with my form. It’s picking up each race, and I hope to continue on like this all year.
Travis Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE):
Today was a difficult day. Five or six guys went up the road early, and the move was fine for us. We left the other teams to set the tempo and control the pace. Everybody was well positioned at the crucial moments. Gerro ended up tenth overall, so we can call it a good day.
In my opinion, I was on a really good day. I did what I needed to do to stay right up there and help the team. I was really happy with my dad.
Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE):
We moulded together really well as a team today. Everybody did their bit, but we just didn’t have it at the finish. It would have been nice to have had a better result to cap off our classics campaign, but there are still plenty of other opportunities throughout the year.
I had been a bit scared of these races before I came here, and in the end, they were a little easier than I had originally assumed. The team’s approach and plan definitely made things easier for my head and my legs.
Jerome Pineau (Omega Pharma – Quickstep):
We started this race to help Michal and we were committed to do it. We did it well. Probably in the final I could have followed the group of Gilbert on Saint-Nicolas, but I maybe spent a little too much energy before. It’s a shame, but I am happy about my race and am looking forward to the next races.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep):
Today wasn’t a great day. I was good until La Redoute but then after that I wasn’t so super. I tried, but it was just a bad day. I have to see the positive things of this experience — I finished the race and I did all of the parcour. It will be important for the future. I really would like to thank my teammates for the support they gave me the last three races. Even today the guys were perfect and I am sad I couldn’t finish with a strong performance today. I wanted to repay everyone for their efforts.
Overall, this week was good for me because I gained good experience and I was able to finish in the top five two times out of three. Now I go home and I will recover a bit. I will then try to be ready for the next races.
Daniel Moreno (Katusha):
I’m sorry, I was really unlucky today. I crashed before Saint Nicolas and I couldn’t put the right way up my handlebar, so I lost a lot of time there. I’m sure without that accident we would have been in two of Katusha ahead, and maybe we could have obtained a different result. It’s a pity, it could have been the perfect epilogue of this incredible week.