April 19, 2017, Binche, Wallonia, Road - WorldTour

Valverde wins fifth la Fleche Wallonne

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won his fifth la Fleche Wallonne in convincing fashion, jumping away from the select group of riders who made it to the bottom of the Mur de Huy and opening up a huge gap by the line. Quick-Step Floors' Dan Martin was second, followed by BMC Racing's Dylan Teuns in third.

Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) animated the finale when he bridged across to Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing) following the penultimate ascent of the Mur de Huy, and then forged clear alone with 12km to go.

Jungels had a lead of 50 seconds at the base of the second-to-last climb, the Cote de Cherave, and led into the base of the Mur de Huy, but he was caught as Team sky's Diego Rosa wound up the pace on the lower slopes, setting up Valverde's win.

2017 la Fleche Wallonne Top 10

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team5:15:37 
2Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors0:00:01 
3Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
4Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky  
5Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott  
6Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb  
7Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky  
8Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ  
9David Gaudu (Fra) FDJ  
10Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  

 

Run on the Wednesday in the middle of 'Ardennes Week' – following the Amstel Gold Race in the build-up to Liège-Bastogne-Liège – La Flèche Wallonne is perhaps the Ardennes Classic most suited to the pure climbers. The race finishes atop one of cycling's most iconic ascents: the Mur de Huy.

The 2017 edition of La Flèche Wallonne runs 200.5km through the Belgian Ardennes with a hilly second half that inevitably will inevitably wear away at the legs. Successful attacks before the Mur, however, are rare. Although it's just one of several climbs on the day's menu, the Mur is almost inevitably the battleground that decides La Flèche Wallonne. It is less than two kilometres in length, but the Mur's average gradient nears 10 per cent, with some stretches kicking up to nearly 20 per cent.

Alejandro Valverde won last year's race for the third straight year, besting Julian Alaphilippe and Dan Martin in a hard-fought slog to the finish. In line for an incredible fourth consecutive victory, Valverde will look to top the Quick-Step duo once more this April, with Michal Kwiatkowski and a powerful Sky squad among the others who might stand in his way.

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2016 La Flèche Wallonne Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team4:43:57 
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step  
3Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step  
4Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:00:04 
5Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:05 
6Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team  
7Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge  
8Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
9Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin  
10Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida  

 

2016 La Flèche Wallonne | 2015 La Flèche Wallonne | 2014 La Flèche Wallonne

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