Alejandro Valverde abandons Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2019

Dan Martin has also abandoned the race

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has abandoned Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2019.

The Spaniard climbed off with just over 100km to go, just as the race was livening up with Deceuninck – Quick-Step splitting the peloton as they chased down the day’s breakaway.

His Movistar team tweeted saying he had been “suffering from various physical problems in the last few days and will not be able to reach the finish. We’ll give you more information when we have it.”

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) also abandoned earlier in the race as the bunch passed through the feed zone. The Irishman had reportedly been recovering from illness at the Vuelta al País Vasco and was riding in support of team-mate Diego Ulissi.

Four-time La Doyenne winner Valverde was looking to claim a record-equalling fifth win, despite a change to the finish which saw a flat run-in that would have impacted his chances.

There is currently under 100km left to race with the day’s breakaway, that features Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie), only 2-24 up the road.