Boswell & Berry podium at 2012 Liege Bastogne Liege


Joshua Berry placed third in his first race with USA Cycling, Liege Bastogne Liege. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
Joshua Berry placed third in his first race with USA Cycling, Liege Bastogne Liege. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)

One of the most prestigious U23 men's races in the world finished with a distinct American flavor as a pair of Americans earned spots on the podium at the 27th edition of the Liege Bastogne Liege on a cold and frequently rainy Saturday afternoon in eastern Belgium.

Riding in his first race with USA Cycling's National Development Program, Joshua Berry (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho/Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) finished in third place, only 52 seconds behind the race winner Michael Andersen (DEN) in the final results. Another rider in the National Development Program, Ian Boswell (Bend, Ore.), who was riding with the Bontrager Livestrong Team in this race, was the runner up, crossing the finish line at the Velodrome Liege 15 seconds after Andersen.

Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling Team) overcame a broken wheel rim to finish 24th, 2:40 behind Andersen.

Early in the race, three riders attacked the field, opening a gap that grew as large as 40 seconds on the chase group of approximately 15 riders. Berry was in that 15-rider chase group, charging hard despite plummeting temperatures and falling rain and hail.

"The weather was rough, but I feel that it played to my advantage," Berry said. "I knew a lot of people weren't going to take a lot of risks. I had a great opportunity being here, so I took a quite a bit of risk."

As the race entered the last 60 kilometers, Berry launched a successful attack, leaving the chase group shortly after passing through Stoumont.

Riding with Boswell with approximately 10 kilometers remaining in the 180-kilometer race, Berry attacked on the St. Nicholas climb. He was unable to shake Boswell, but the move created enough of a gap behind them to secure spots on the podium for the two Americans.

"I'm really grateful for the opportunity," Berry said about his first race with USA Cycling. "(Coach) Marcello (Albasini) really didn't give me a lot of direction. He just wanted to see what I could do. I hope I showed well."

The race featured teams from 11 different countries, including national teams from Australia and Austria.

"It's awesome to see," Boswell said of the two Americans on the podium. "It shows that American cycling has come a long way thanks to development teams like Chipotle, Bontrager Livestrong and USA Cycling. It's really helped the sport and helped American cycling."

Berry is scheduled to contest the five-day Toscana-Terra di ciclismo-Coppa delle Nazioni in Italy, beginning Tuesday along with Warbasse, Max Durtschi (Sun Valley, Idaho/Chipotle-First Solar Development Team), Daniel Eaton (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa Cycles Shop and Racing Team), Ty Magner (Athens, Ga./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) and Anders Newbury (Fairfield, Vt./Chipotle-First Solar Development Team).

2012 Liege Bastogne Liege
April 14, 2012
Bastogne to Liege, Belgium



Liege Bastogne Liege
1. Michael Andersen (DEN) 4:35:48
2. Ian Boswell (Bend, Ore./Bontrager Livestrong) +0:15
3. Joshua Berry (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho/Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) +0:52
24. Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling Team) +2:40

Berry talked about his performance at Liege Bastogne Liege in the video below:

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