fi’zi:k’s Poels wins Team Sky’s first-ever monument

Wouter Poels, aboard his fi’zi:k Antares VS carbon saddle, yesterday made history by winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The 28-year-old Dutchman beat the competition – and brutal conditions – to win his and Team Sky’s first-ever Monument. A quartet including Poels, Rui Costa, Michael Albasini (Orica GreenEDGE and fi’zi:k Arione saddle) and Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing and fi’zi:k Antares saddle) rounded the final corner of the 253km classic together, but Poels unleashed a superb sprint to pip Albasini to victory, with Costa taking third.

Poels was understandably delighted at the Ans finish line. ‘To be able to win the first Monument for the team, especially a team like this, is really special,’ Poels said. ‘I’m riding with the best riders in the world and it’s a huge win.’

It truly was a monumental effort from Poels who coped with mini snowstorms along the entire route, peaking at the halfway mark between Liege and Bastogne as teams posted photos of their snow-covered team cars.

All day, Team Sky showed upfront with riders of the standing of Chris Froome (fi’zi:k saddles) and Salvatore Puccio (fi’zi:k R1B Uomo shoes) working tirelessly for the team. But it was on the 15km run to the third-last climb, the Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons, that the race warmed up with attacks by several teams shrinking the peloton to around 25.

With around 10km remaining, Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky and fi’zi:k) accelerated before Albasini surged on the penultimate hill, the Rue Naniot – a 600m cobbled climb with average gradient 11% introduced this year. By the time Albasini crested the final climb, the leaders were down to four. And thanks to the perfect strategy, Poels led them home for a memorable victory.