Marianne took fourth place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday. The victory in the Ardennes Classic went to the British Lizzie Deignan.
After sixty kilometres, Marianne attacked with a group that would expand to nine riders in total. With the toughest climbs of the day approaching, the front group built up a considerable lead. On the Côte de la Redoute, Deignan turned out to be too strong for her co-escapees. She got away and held on to the finish.
Grace Brown, who had countered, finished second. Marianne sprinted to fourth place. In the heavily thinned-out peloton, Soraya Paladin (fifteenth) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (sixteenth) crossed the finish line after 3 minutes and 27 seconds.
Response to the attack
“To be honest, we had not counted on this kind of progress of the race. In the descent of the Côte de Wanne, eight riders took initially off. Only two teams tried to chase the leading group. When the gap narrowed a bit, Brown made the jump to the front and the peloton did not react”, says sports director Jeroen Blijlevens.
“We were reasonably convinced that the leading nine would compete for the win. Right before the Côte de la Redoute, Marianne informed me that she was not feeling well enough today. When Deignan accelerated on that climb, she still tried to react. A fourth place is fine, we have to be satisfied with this result.”