Astana’s Maxin Iglinsky broke the will of Vincenzo Nibali on the final approach to the line, breaking Italian hearts as he marched past the exhausted Sicialian. Nibali had attacked out of the chaos on the Cote de la Roche to put in a promising 40+ sec gap on the main favourites. As the Cote de San Nicolas loomed large, Joaquim Rodriguez and Iglinsky tried to close the gap on what looked like a potential winning move by Nibali. However, in a surprise display of form, Iglinsky powered away from the superior climber, Rodriguez, and began his slow but steady catch of the Liquigas captain.
As the group behind struggled over the San Nicolas, numerous favourites were unable to impact the race in the way Iglinsky was. Pre-race favourite Philippe Gilbert was out the back on the steep final climb. Joaquim Rodriguezz tried to work in the break only to be short on form. Alejandro Valverde was totally absent from the group after a mechanical which ended his hopes on the Cote de la Redoute. The superteam of BMC was overshadowed by the strength of Astana and the super duo of Pierre Rolland and Thomas Voeckler.
In the end, it was Iglinsky cruising over the line with a commanding solo lead over an exhausted Nibali. A select group came in 43 seconds later, their hopes dashed by the crafty Kazak Iglinsky, who wins the final spring classic and the biggest race of his career.
2012 Liege-Bastogne-Liege Top Twenty
1. Maxim Iglinsky (Astana)
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)___+21″
3. Enrico Gasparotto (Astana)___+36″
4. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
5. Dan Martin (Garmin)
6. Bauke Mollema (Rabobank)
7. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel)
8. Michele Scarponi (Lampre)
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin)
10. Jelle Vanendert (Lotto)
11. Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R)
12. Pierre Rolland (Europcar)
13. Daniel Moreno (Katusha)
14. Robert Kiserlovski (Astana)
15. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
16. Philippe Gilbert (BMC)
17. Rui Costa (Movistar)
18. Julien Simon (Saur-Sojason)
19. Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge)
20. Lars Peter Nordhaug (Sky)