Di Luca finally does it at LiŠge

Danilo Di Luca held off last year's winner Alejandro Valverde and Frank Schleck to take out the 93rd

Danilo Di Luca held off last year's winner Alejandro Valverde and Frank Schleck to take out the 93rd
Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) won his first ever Lige-Bastogne-Lige after attacking breakaway companion Frnk Schleck (CSC) with one kilometre to go in the 262km classic. The pair had escaped on the Cte de Saint Nicolas with six kilometres left, and held a slender advantage over the next group of chasers until the end. Last year's winner, Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) caught the fading Schleck in the final metres to claim second place, but he could not match Di Luca. "It's a fantastic day for me," said the Italian afterwards. "I've just won the greatest race in the world." Di Luca added that it wasn't a surprise. "I knew I could do it especially after winning the Amstel Gold Race and Flche Wallonne two years ago." Finishing behind the consistent Valverde, third-placed Frnk Schleck was impressive. He showed no signs of suffering from the fractured rib and spine he sustained in last week's Amstel Gold Race. "I'm very pleased with not only my own effort out there, but also the team's effort," Schleck said to team-csc.com. "For me a third place in Lige-Bastogne-Lige is a big deal, and I think we did great today. "I think I chose the exact right moment to make my move, because none of the favourites wanted to risk making the first move, and I didn't want to end up in a large group at the end. Di Luca was smart and deserved to win for sure. I took my chances and after the week I've had with my crash and my injury, I can't be anything else but satisfied." The race was played out in typical fashion, with a four man group escaping inside the first 10km. The group contained Vasil Kiriyenka (Tinkoff), Jan Kuyckx (Landbouwkrediet), Remy Di Gregorio (Franaise des Jeux) and Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel), and reached a maximum lead of 18'30 after 77km. But on the return leg from Bastogne, the advantage melted as the climbs and the warm weather took their toll. Kuyckx was the first to get dropped on the Cte de la Haute-Leve (km 185), followed by Kiriyenka on La Redoute (km 224). The remaining pair had less than two minutes with 35 km to go and were caught 10km later. On the Cte de Sart-Tilman with 14km to go, Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) and Cedric Vasseur (Quick.Step) escaped, with Schumacher dropping the Frenchman and taking a 20 second lead into the last climb, the Cte de Saint Nicolas. Schumacher couldn't keep his advantage on the steep one kilometre climb, and the real finale was played out. Double LBL winner Paolo Bettini tried, but was countered by Schleck. The CSC captain was caught by Di Luca, and the two kept the next group at bay by around 10 seconds in the thrilling final kilometres. On the uphill run to the finish in Ans, Di Luca proved to be the strongest and powered away from Schleck to claim victory. The ProTour lead stayed with Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), who finished fifth today. Results 1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita, Liquigas) 6:37:24 (39.557 km/h) 2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 0:00:03 3 Frank Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 0:00:03 4 Paolo Bettini (Ita, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:00:06 5 Davide Rebellin (Ita, Gerolsteiner) 0:00:06 6 Michael Boogerd (Ned, Rabobank) 0:00:07 7 Damiano Cunego (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) 0:00:09 8 Matthias Kessler (Ger, Astana) 0:00:09 9 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:00:09 10 Kim Kirchen (Lux, T-Mobile Team) 0:00:09 11 Jrme Pineau (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:00:09 12 Franco Pellizotti (Ita, Liquigas) 0:00:09 13 Samuel Sanchez (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0:00:09 14 Benoit Salmon (Fra, Agritubel) 0:00:15 15 John Gadret (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:00:15 16 Philippe Gilbert (Bel, Franaise des Jeux) 0:00:15 17 Riccardo Ricco (Ita, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:00:20 18 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus, Credit Agricole) 0:00:20 19 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:00:20 20 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:00:20 21 Nicki Sorensen (Den, Team CSC) 0:00:20 22 Manuele Mori (Ita, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:00:25 23 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:28 24 Gilberto Simoni (Ita, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:00:31 25 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr, T-Mobile Team) 0:00:35 26 Jelle Vanendert (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) 0:00:40 27 Alberto Contador (Spa, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:50 28 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger, T-Mobile Team) 0:00:50 29 Fabian Wegmann (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 0:01:02 30 David Lopez Garcia (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 0:01:02 31 Francesco Bellotti (Ita, Credit Agricole) 0:01:12 32 Bram Tankink (Ned, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:01:13 33 Rmi Pauriol (Fra, Credit Agricole) 0:01:21 34 Thomas Dekker (Ned, Rabobank) 0:01:21 35 Bernhard Kohl (Aut, Gerolsteiner) 0:01:21 36 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor-Lotto) 0:01:21 37 Patxi Vila Errandonea (Spa, Lampre-Fondital) 0:01:21 38 Mikel Astarloza (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0:01:21 39 Gorka Verdugo (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0:01:21 40 Egoi Martinez (Spa, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:01:21 41 Cristian Moreni (Ita, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:01:24 42 Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita, Barloworld) 0:01:24 43 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz, Astana) 0:01:33 44 Christophe Moreau (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:01:33 45 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus, Team CSC) 0:01:36 46 Andy Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 0:01:36 47 Hubert Dupont (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:01:36 48 Flix Cardenas (Col, Barloworld) 0:01:36 49 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa, Predictor-Lotto) 0:01:36 50 Wim Van Huffel (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 0:01:36 51 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz, Astana) 0:01:36 52 Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Col, Barloworld) 0:01:36 53 Karsten Kroon (Ned, Team CSC) 0:01:36 54 Axel Merckx (Bel, T-Mobile Team) 0:01:36 55 Thomas Lvkvist (Swe, Franaise des Jeux) 0:01:36 56 Johan Van Summeren (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 0:01:36 57 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:01:36 58 Pedro Arreitunandia (Spa, Barloworld) 0:01:36 59 Vladimir Gusev (Rus, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:01:46 60 Evgeni Petrov (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) 0:01:46 61 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita, Liquigas) 0:01:55 62 Benot Vaugrenard (Fra, Franaise des Jeux) 0:02:27 63 Maxime Monfort (Bel, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:02:27 64 Mirko Celestino (Ita, Team Milram) 0:02:27 65 Carlos Barredo (Spa, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:02:27 66 Cdric Vasseur (Fra, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:02:27 67 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz, Astana) 0:02:27 68 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz, Credit Agricole) 0:02:27 69 Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Spa, Agritubel) 0:02:27 70 Laurent Lefevre (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:02:27 71 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita, Liquigas) 0:02:27 72 Andrea Noe' (Ita, Liquigas) 0:02:27 73 Iker Camano (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:02:27 74 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) 0:02:59 75 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 0:03:26 76 Stefan Schumacher (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 0:05:06 77 Christopher Horner (USA, Predictor-Lotto) 0:05:06 78 Oscar Freire (Spa, Rabobank) 0:05:25 79 Laurent Brochard (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:07:19 80 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:07:19 81 Jos Benitez (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:07:19 82 Rmy Di Gregorio (Fra, Franaise des Jeux) 0:07:19 83 Bert De Waele (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) 0:07:19 84 Michael Rogers (Aus, T-Mobile Team) 0:07:19 85 Christian Vandevelde (USA, Team CSC) 0:08:31 86 Alexander Efimkin (Rus, Barloworld) 0:08:31 87 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol, Lampre-Fondital) 0:08:31 88 Pieter Weening (Ned, Rabobank) 0:09:30 89 Unai Etxebarria (Ven, Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0:11:13 90 Salvatore Commesso (Ita, Tinkoff Credit Systems) 0:15:09 91 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita, Team Milram) 0:15:09 92 Oliver Zaugg (Swi, Gerolsteiner) 0:15:09 93 Kjell Carlstrm (Fin, Liquigas) 0:15:09 94 Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita, Team Milram) 0:15:09 95 Morris Possoni (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) 0:15:09 96 Serge Pauwels (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) 0:15:09 97 Manuel Calvente (Spa, Agritubel) 0:15:09 98 Jens Voigt (Ger, Team CSC) 0:15:09 99 Xavier Florencio (Spa, Bouygues Telecom) 0:15:09 100 Sylvain Calzati (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:15:09 101 Koos Moerenhout (Ned, Rabobank) 0:15:09 102 Antonio Colom (Spa, Astana) 0:15:09 103 Leonardo Duque (Col, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:15:09 104 Sergio Paulinho (Por, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:15:09 105 Theo Eltink (Ned, Rabobank) 0:15:09 106 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra, Agritubel) 0:15:09 107 Bingen Fernandez (Spa, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:15:09 108 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:15:09 109 Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz, Astana) 0:15:09 110 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr, Tinkoff Credit Systems) 0:15:09 111 Amal Moinard (Fra, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:15:09 112 David De La Fuente (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:15:09 113 Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 0:15:09 114 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita, Barloworld) 0:15:09 115 Steven Kleynen (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) 0:15:09 DNF Paul Manning (GBr, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Jrmy Roy (Fra, Franaise des Jeux) DNF Fabien Patanchon (Fra, Franaise des Jeux) DNF Thierry Marichal (Bel, Franaise des Jeux) DNF Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) DNF Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) DNF Stijn Devolder (Bel, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) DNF Ludovic Turpin (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) DNF Julien Loubet (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) DNF Simon Gerrans (Aus, Ag2r Prevoyance) DNF Didier Rous (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) DNF Erki Ptsep (Est, Bouygues Telecom) DNF Mickal Buffaz (Fra, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) DNF Markus Zberg (Swi, Gerolsteiner) DNF Tim Klinger (Ger, Gerolsteiner) DNF Markus Fothen (Ger, Gerolsteiner) DNF Benoit Poilvet (Fra, Credit Agricole) DNF Christophe Le Mevel (Fra, Credit Agricole) DNF Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa, Agritubel) DNF Aivaras Baranauskas (Ltu, Agritubel) DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Jan Kuyckx (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Frdric Gabriel (Fra, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Eddy Clancy (GBr, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Frederik Veuchelen (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Tom Stubbe (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Sven Renders (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Benny De Schrooder (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Johan Coenen (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Alexander Serov (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) DNF Ruggero Marzoli (Ita, Tinkoff Credit Systems) DNF Daniele Contrini (Ita, Tinkoff Credit Systems) DNF Elio Aggiano (Ita, Tinkoff Credit Systems) DNF Romain Feillu (Fra, Agritubel) DNF Freddy Bichot (Fra, Agritubel) DNF Mads Kaggestad (Nor, Credit Agricole) DNF Christophe Edaleine (Fra, Credit Agricole) DNF Bobby Julich (USA, Team CSC) DNF Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa, Rabobank) DNF Jan Boven (Ned, Rabobank) DNF Adam Hansen (Aus, T-Mobile Team) DNF Scott Davis (Aus, T-Mobile Team) DNF Michal Barry (Can, T-Mobile Team) DNF Tadej Valjavec (Slo, Lampre-Fondital) DNF Daniele Righi (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) DNF David Loosli (Swi, Lampre-Fondital) DNF Matteo Bono (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) DNF Giovanni Visconti (Ita, Quick Step - Innergetic) DNF Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel, Quick Step - Innergetic) DNF Matteo Tosatto (Ita, Quick Step - Innergetic) DNF Addy Engels (Ned, Quick Step - Innergetic) DNF Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) DNF Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) DNF Vicente Reynes (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) DNF Igor Abakoumov (Bel, Astana) DNF Thomas Frei (Swi, Astana) DNF Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) DNF Hugo Sabido (Por, Barloworld) DNF Ryan Cox (RSA, Barloworld) DNF Niki Terpstra (Ned, Team Milram) DNF Sebastian Schwager (Ger, Team Milram) DNF Matej Jurco (Svk, Team Milram) DNF Andriy Grivko (Ukr, Team Milram) DNF Igor Astarloa (Spa, Team Milram) DNF Ruben Perez (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) DNF Inigo Landaluze (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) DNF Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) DNF Yon Bru (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) DNF Francesco Failli (Ita, Liquigas) DNF Michael Albasini (Swi, Liquigas) DNF Pieter Mertens (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) DNF Dario Cioni (Ita, Predictor-Lotto) DNF Christophe Brandt (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) DNF Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) ProTour standings 1 Davide Rebellin (Ita, Gerolsteiner) 157 points 2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 107 3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita, Liquigas) 100 4 Oscar Freire (Spa, Rabobank) 82 5 Stuart O'Grady (Aus, Team CSC) 79 6 Stefan Schumacher (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 75 7 Frnk Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 63 8 Juan Jose Cobo (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 62 9 Alberto Contador (Spa, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 58 10 Tom Boonen (Bel, Quick Step - Innergetic) 57 Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.
This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
  • Discipline: Road, Mountain, Urban, Womens
  • Location: UK, USA, Australia
Back to top