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Vansevenant puts on a show in Flèche Wallonne

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HUY BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 30 Mauri Vansevenant of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Breakaway during the 84th La Fleche Wallonne 2020 Men Elite a 202km stage from Herve to Mur de Huy flechewallone FlecheWallone on September 30 2020 in Huy Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck-QuickStep) on the attack in the closing kilometres of La Flèche Wallonne (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Belgian rider Mauri Vansevenant of Deceuninck QuickStep crashes during the 84th edition of the mens one day cycling race race La Fleche Wallonne Waalse Pijl Walloon Arrow 220kms from Ans to Huy on September 30 2020 Switzerlands Marc Hirschi of Team Sunweb was the victor as the 2020 edition was postponed from April to September due to the ongoing Coronavirus Covid19 pandemic Photo by ERIC LALMAND BELGA AFP Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMANDBELGAAFP via Getty Images

Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck-QuickStep) comes to grief (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Belgian Mauri Vansevenant of Deceuninck QuickStep crashes during the 84th edition of the mens race of La Fleche Wallonne a one day cycling race Waalse Pijl Walloon Arrow 220km from Ans to Huy Wednesday 30 September 2020 This years edition was postponed from April to September due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND Photo by ERIC LALMANDBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in the weeds (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Belgian rider Mauri Vansevenant of Deceuninck QuickStep recovers after crashing during the 84th edition of the mens one day cycling race race La Fleche Wallonne Waalse Pijl Walloon Arrow 220kms from Ans to Huy on September 30 2020 Switzerlands Marc Hirschi of Team Sunweb was the victor as the 2020 edition was postponed from April to September due to the ongoing Coronavirus Covid19 pandemic Photo by ERIC LALMAND BELGA AFP Belgium OUT Photo by ERIC LALMANDBELGAAFP via Getty Images

Neutral support helps Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck-QuickStep) get back out (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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La Fleche Wallonne 2020 - 84th Edition - Herve - Mur de Huy 202 km - 30/09/2020 - Injury - Mauri Vansevenant (BEL - Deceuninck - Quick Step) - photo Vincent Kalut/PN/BettiniPhoto©2020

(Image credit: Bettini Image)

Belgian Mauri Vansevenant looked determined to show himself as one of Deceuninck-QuickStep's young champions, attacking from the start of La Flèche Wallonne and remaining as the last man standing off the front of the race into the final kilometres. 

With echoes of Remco Evenepoel's victories in Tour de Pologne and Vuelta a Burgos, Vansevenant doggedly held onto a 30-second advantage as he approached the Mur de Huy for the final time, only to come to grief on the descent of the Côte de Chemin de Gueuses with only 4km to go.

Vansevenant escaped along with Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Mathijs Paaschens (Bingoal WB) and Marlon Gaillard (Total Direct Energie) in the first 10 kilometres of the 202km Classic and built a lead of over five minutes. The group imploded and the gap fell to just over a minute in the final 20 kilometres, but Vansevenant pushed on with Paaschens until he dropped his companion on the Côte d'Ereffe.

The 2019 winner of the Giro della Valle d'Aosta held tenaciously to a 40-second advantage over the top, but while Rigoberto Urán (EF Pro Cycling) chased solo behind, Vansevenant slid out in a turn on the descent and flipped headfirst into a ditch of weeds and bramble. 

Fortunately he was able to right himself and remount his bike, but he had lost valuable time. Vansevenant was first caught by Urán, and then the peloton with 400m to the base of the Mur de Huy.

"I felt very good today and started with a lot of confidence, despite making my first presence in a World Tour Classic," Vansevenant said in a team press release. 

"I worked in the breakaway, and then, when I realised that the gap was rapidly coming down, I accelerated and continued by myself. I could still tap a good rhythm in the last kilometers, but then I entered in that corner with too much speed and I crashed immediately. 

"I got up and then on my bike and continued to push hard, but it was over. It's a pity, because I am confident that without that incident, I could have fought for a good result on the Mur de Huy."