Jörg Jaksche, Ángel Vicioso and David Etxebarria will lead Spanish team Liberty Seguros-Würth at La Flèche Wallonne. According to a statement from the team, they will start with the intention of victory, but their main focus, like many, will be a few days later at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Said Vicioso: "Manolo [Saiz] says that tomorrow we will ride calmer than in the Amstel, but it is clear that if we come in the front group, I will take the opportunity.
"In Amstel I felt really strong; I don't know if I was going to win, but I was sure of finishing in the first three," he recalled. "The rear wheel puncture at a critical moment was a great opportunity lost, at least until next year. I hadn't punctured the whole year, and then I had it happen at the worst moment."
Vicioso believes the legendary Mur de Huy is a harder ascent than the Cauberg experienced at last Sunday's Amstel Gold Race, but as well as being a tougher climb, he added the narrower road makes it more difficult to obtain a good position.
Not surprisingly, the Spaniard rates Amstel winner Danilo Di Luca as the man to beat. "When he started [attacking] in the Amstel, only three could go with him: Rebellin, Boogerd and me," he said. "Maybe I am a step below Di Luca, but only one."
With the favourites keeping a bit in reserve for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Vicioso feels the possibility of a breakaway at Flèche Wallonne is quite likely, and with Etxebarria and Jaksche also riding well, "we all have many desires of win one of these races", he said.
Team roster for La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Carlos Barredo, David Etxebarria, Jörg Jaksche, Koen de Kort, Isidro Nozal, Sergio Paulinho, Marcos Serrano, Ángel Vicioso.