Moreno victorious on Mur de Huy

There is a subtle art to mastering the nuances of the Mur de Huy, and Daniel Moreno showed that he had paid close attention to the lessons of his Katusha leader Joaquim Rodriguez over the years as he captured Flèche Wallonne with a perfectly-timed attack.

Moreno carefully bided his time on the steepest section of the climb and then accelerated off world champion Philippe Gilbert’s shoulder in the closing 200 metres. The Spaniard’s burst brought him clear of the main group and saw him overhaul late escapee Carlos Alberto Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) within sight of the line to take the win.

Sergio Henao (Sky) emerged from the carnage behind to take second place at three seconds, while Betancur at least had the consolation of holding off a rapidly-finishing Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) for the third step on the podium.

Prior to the race, all of the focus in the Katusha camp had been on defending champion Joaquim Rodriguez, who had sustained an injury in a crash at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. Although Rodriguez was still strong enough to finish the race in 6th place, he was lacking the sharpness of twelve months ago, and in the tumult of the final haul up the Mur de Huy, Moreno was handed his opportunity to chase the win.

Wisely, Moreno maintained a watching brief when Carlos Alberto Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) careered off the front with 700 metres of the fearsome wall still to go. Indeed, there was a general reluctance to take up the pursuit, but as Betancur bounded up the steepest section of the climb with a sizeable advantage, the burden of responsibility fell on the shoulders of the pre-race favourite Gilbert.

The world champion began his first tentative forcing with 500 metres to go, with Peter Sagan (Cannondale) locked on his rear wheel, and he then sought to replicate the attack that brought him victory on the Mur two years as the gradient pitched upwards still further.

While Gilbert’s acceleration ended Sagan’s challenge (he would finish 12th), he was unable to rip clear of the group in the same manner as he did in 2011. This time, Gilbert simply played his hand too early. For his part, Moreno was sizing up his opportunity and when he bounded past as the road began to flatten out slightly, a disappointed Gilbert almost ground to a halt and would finish 16th.

From there, Moreno’s victory was inevitable, as he shot past the flagging Betancur and was never threatened by Henao’s late pursuit. The quickest man over the final 200 metres was undoubtedly Dan Martin, however, and the Irishman – who had punctured 20 kilometres from the line – will rue his positioning as the climb began.

How it unfolded

After a cold spring to date, unfamiliar sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the riders as they took off on their tour of the Walloon countryside from Binche. Only 20 kilometers into the race, the first break slipped away as Gilles Devilliers (Crelan-Euphony) and Pirmin Lang (IAM) took off to build up a nice lead. Accent Job-Wanty's Jurgen Van Goolen took off in pursuit, and after a seeming eternity of dangling between the leaders and the peloton, finally caught them.

The trio quickly pushed their gap up to nearly 10 minutes at one point, but as the first of the day's twelve climbs approached, the peloton finally decided to take action, and managed to cut it to about seven minutes for the first climb of the Mur de Huy after 108.5km.

From there the gap came down steadily. BMC looked determined to place world champion Philippe Gilbert atop the podium, and took firm responsibility for the chase, throwing their whole team to the front to reel in the group.

With some 53km to go, the gap was down to one minute, and a handful of riders took off out of the peloton in pursuit. Shortly thereafter on the day's seventh climb, the Côte de Bohisseau, the trio was caught.

The next to try their luck were Laurens Ten Dam (Blanco) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), and that brought BMC back to the front of the chase, as they saw too much of a threat in Ten Dam. Bardet fell back on the second climb up the Mur, but Ten Dam stayed away and was joined by Argos-Shimano's Simon Geschke.

BMC continued to hold control of the field, keeping the two leaders on a short rein. Their big German Marcus Burghardt put in a particularly strong performance, pulling the field along in pursuit of the break. On the penultimate climb, an Orica-GreenEdge rider then dashed out of the group to catch Ten Dam and Geschke, and the action was over.

That was enough to drop Andy Schleck of RadioShack-Leopard, but all the favourites were still near the head of the group, including injured defending champion Joachim Rodriguez (Katusha).

As expected, a large group charged up the Mur for the final time. Blanco led the way up, with Gilbert on second wheel. Carlos Betancur was the first to jump, and Gilbert led the chase but the world champion misplayed his cards this time and jumped too early. Instead of repeating his world championship explosion on the Mur, Gilbert backfired, and was engulfed by the chasers in the final 100 metres.

Instead, the day belonged to Dani Moreno, who proved to be the perfect understudy for Joaquim Rodriguez on the steep slopes of the Mur de Huy and took an identikit victory twelve months on from his friend and teammate’s triumph.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha4:52:33
2Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling0:00:03
3Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La MondialeRow 2 - Cell 2
4Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-SharpRow 3 - Cell 2
5Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 4 - Cell 2
6Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha0:00:08
7Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 7 - Cell 2
9Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 9 - Cell 2
11Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) KatushaRow 10 - Cell 2
12Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 11 - Cell 2
13Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:13
14Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:15
16Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard0:00:17
17Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 16 - Cell 2
18Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ0:00:21
19Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp0:00:23
20Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 20 - Cell 2
22Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 21 - Cell 2
23Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack LeopardRow 22 - Cell 2
24Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 23 - Cell 2
25Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:30
26Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack LeopardRow 25 - Cell 2
27Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:32
28Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 27 - Cell 2
29Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling0:00:35
30Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:00:38
32Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:40
34Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 33 - Cell 2
35Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) ColombiaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:00:43
37Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 36 - Cell 2
38Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:49
39Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:51
40Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 39 - Cell 2
41José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:53
42Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Joshua Edmondson (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 42 - Cell 2
44Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ0:00:59
46Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling0:01:01
47Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 46 - Cell 2
48Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Dalivier Ospina Navarro (Col) Colombia0:01:03
50Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team0:01:05
51Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard0:01:12
52Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack Leopard0:01:14
53Eduard Vorganov (Rus) KatushaRow 52 - Cell 2
54Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:01:21
55Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-SharpRow 54 - Cell 2
56Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Sojasun0:01:23
57Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:01:26
58John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 57 - Cell 2
59Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team0:01:33
60Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 59 - Cell 2
61Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:01:36
62Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:39
63Anthony Delaplace (Fra) SojasunRow 62 - Cell 2
64Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ0:01:43
65Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ0:01:49
66Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:01:51
67Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 66 - Cell 2
68Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:02:07
69Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
70Travis Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:02:10
71Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:02:15
72Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:02:16
73Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:02:23
75Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-SharpRow 74 - Cell 2
76Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge0:02:36
77Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha0:02:39
78Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) KatushaRow 77 - Cell 2
79Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:02:41
80Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 79 - Cell 2
81David Tanner (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:02:43
82Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:03:23
83Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:03:26
84Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:03:40
85Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team0:04:02
86Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard0:04:35
87Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:04:52
88Bram Tankink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:04:55
89Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ0:04:59
90Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 89 - Cell 2
91Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 90 - Cell 2
92Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 91 - Cell 2
93Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 92 - Cell 2
94Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 93 - Cell 2
95Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 94 - Cell 2
96Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) KatushaRow 95 - Cell 2
97Yury Trofimov (Rus) KatushaRow 96 - Cell 2
98Cyril Lemoine (Fra) SojasunRow 97 - Cell 2
99Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 98 - Cell 2
100Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
101Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 100 - Cell 2
102Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 101 - Cell 2
103Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
104Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJRow 103 - Cell 2
105Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 104 - Cell 2
106Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 105 - Cell 2
107Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
108Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 107 - Cell 2
109Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:05:07
110Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:07:02
111Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:04
112Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 111 - Cell 2
113Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Sojasun0:08:36
115Wilson Alexander Marentes Torres (Col) Colombia0:09:47
116Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-SharpRow 115 - Cell 2
117Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 116 - Cell 2
118Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM CyclingRow 117 - Cell 2
119Juan Esteban Arango Carvajal (Col) ColombiaRow 118 - Cell 2
120Arthur Vanoverberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 119 - Cell 2
121Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 120 - Cell 2
122Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda) IAM Cycling0:09:53
123Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:09:58
124Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Crelan-Euphony0:09:59
125Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:10:02
126Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 125 - Cell 2
127Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:10:06
128Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack LeopardRow 127 - Cell 2
129Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 128 - Cell 2
130Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 129 - Cell 2
131Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
132Richie Porte (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 131 - Cell 2
133Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 132 - Cell 2
134Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 133 - Cell 2
135Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 134 - Cell 2
136Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 135 - Cell 2
137Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 136 - Cell 2
138Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing TeamRow 137 - Cell 2
139Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 138 - Cell 2
140Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 139 - Cell 2
141Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 140 - Cell 2
142Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:10:15
143Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 142 - Cell 2
144Reinier Honig (Ned) Crelan-Euphony0:10:20
145Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Sky Procycling0:10:41
DNFMaurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFRuben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFEdwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) ColombiaRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFJulio Alexis Camacho Bernal (Col) ColombiaRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFArmondo Quintero Artunduaga (Col) ColombiaRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFJuan Pablo Valencia (Col) ColombiaRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFTim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFJérôme Gilbert (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFStaf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFSander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFWarren Barguil (Fra) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFJohannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFYann Huguet (Fra) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFThierry Hupond (Fra) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFGilles Devillers (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFChristophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFKlaas Sys (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFFrédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFWill Routley (Can) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Hivert (Fra) SojasunRow 166 - Cell 2
DNFKlaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 167 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack LeopardRow 168 - Cell 2
DNFMaciej Paterski (Pol) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 169 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin SharpRow 170 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Howes (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 171 - Cell 2
DNFMoreno Hofland (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 172 - Cell 2
DNFAngel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 173 - Cell 2
DNFMikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 174 - Cell 2
DNFPatrick Schelling (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 175 - Cell 2
DNFMiguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 176 - Cell 2
DNFJean Marc Marino (Fra) SojasunRow 177 - Cell 2
DNFYannick Talabardon (Fra) SojasunRow 178 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 179 - Cell 2
DNFMassimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 180 - Cell 2
DNFCédric Pineau (Fra) FDJRow 181 - Cell 2
DNFDirk Bellemakers (Ned) Lotto BelisolRow 182 - Cell 2
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 183 - Cell 2
DNFLaurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 184 - Cell 2
DNFStijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 185 - Cell 2
DNFPirmin Lang (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 186 - Cell 2
DNSDaniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 187 - Cell 2


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