Peter Sagan may have dropped out of Bora-Hansgrohe‘s line up at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but his teammates more than made up for the former world champion’s absence, thanks to a second and third place with Davide Formolo and Max Schachmann.
Formolo was dropped by Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) on the final segment of the Cote de Roche aux Faucons, but still managed to fend off a small peloton of chasers for second. Then Schachmann continued his spectacularly good 2019 season by winning a small group sprint for third.
At 26 and 25 respectively, nearly a decade younger than the 34-year-old Fugslang, in the process both Bora-Hansgrohe riders success confirmed that the next generation of potential Liège winners is fast closing in on the top spot overall.
For Formolo, after his stage win in the last day of the Volta a Catalunya, the young Italian has now taken his third consecutive strong ride in Liege, too. Seventh in 2018, Formolo made a powerful late attack on the San Nicolas in 2017 that was only reeled in in the final kilometre. The route may have changed, then but Formolo clearly knows how to adapt to it.
“I’ve been close before here, two years ago I cracked in the final 300 metres,” Formolo pointed out to reporters afterwards. “This year, if I could have held on for another two pedal strokes, I might have stayed away with Jakob.”
Asked if it was a question of “stay with Jakob or die”, Formolo pointed out wryly “for me, it was mostly about dying by then, everyone was just waiting for Fuglsang to go, but his legs were stronger than mine.”
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