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Vos runs out of steam before the line, and Stevens gets the win
Former winner Evelyn Stevens back for Belgian Classic
Specialized-lululemon will line up for the 16th edition of La Flèche Wallonne Féminine ready for an exciting race with Evelyn Stevens leading the team. The team recently enjoyed success at the Energiewacht Tour with a TTT victory, a sprint stage win for Chantal Blaak and three riders within the overall top-ten.
Stevens is confident of a good result by the team in the fourth round of the 2014 Women's World Cup with racing moving on from the cobbles to the côtes.
The peloton will tackle 12 climbs over 127km of racing including two loops around the town of Huy and a finish atop the Mur de Huy at the same location as the men.
Last year it was Marianne Vos ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini and Ashleigh Moolman who claimed the win, her fifth.
The Mur de Huy at 1.3km in length rises to a gradient of 26% in parts and is set to decide the winner on Wednesday as Stevens explained.
"The Mur de Huy is always a battle," said Stevens. "In the past few years the race has always been decided on it; but you never know what can happen in a bike race."
Stevens won the race in 2012 with a well timed attacked on the Mur de Huy to beat Vos across the line by four seconds having let her get out in front and start her sprint before coming around around the world champion to record a thrilling victory.
"It was an amazing day, the team rode flawlessly and to win it at the end was so special," said 30-year-old Stevens of her victory two years ago.
"The team is definitely motivated. We left Energiewacht on a great note and are looking forward to Fleche.
"This will be an exciting race, like all the big one day races."
Stevens will be supported by Australian Tiffany Cromwell who joined the team after two years with Orica-AIS and will provide support for her American teammate.
Specialized-lululemon for La Flèche Wallonne Féminine: Evelyn Stevens, Ally Stacher, Tayler Wiles, Trixi Worrack, Karol Ann Canuel and Tiffany Cromwell.