Wout Poels was delighted with what was his biggest career win to date as he won Liege-Bastogne-Liege in what was Team Sky’s first ever Monument win since their inception.
It was dreadful weather in Belgium and the route had to be redirected because of snow, but it didn’t stop Poels winning a race he ‘dreamed’ about as a young lad.
Liege is the oldest monument, and it brought down the curtains down to what has been a great opening to the season; but it was Sky who finally had reason to cheer in regards to the Classics as they finally got the job done, on terrain they previously hadn’t.
Poels says it’s ‘amazing’ to win Liege
There were plenty of big hitters in the peloton on Sunday; the likes of Michal Kwiatkowski, Poels fellow teammate was tipped for victory; as was Alejandro Valverde who won La Fleche Wallonne last week.
But Poels managed to hold off Michael Albasini and Rui Costa in a sprint finish to claim the big victory.
Speaking after the race, the 28-year-old said: “It was a really hard day due to the weather. You had to keep warm and I had prepared well to cope with that.”
Poels nearly had to end his cycling career short after a dreadful crash in the 2012 Tour de France in which he suffered internal injuries; but his rise through the ranks has been marvellous, and now at Sky he is regarded as an integral part of the team.
“It’s amazing to win Liège, it’s like a dream come true after my bad crash of three years ago,” admitted the Sky rider.
But the Dutch rider feels he has learnt from his experiences on the road, and feels he is more of a ‘complete’ rider.
In closing an ecstatic Poels said: “Liège is a monument I would watch on TV when I was a child. To win it is incredible.”