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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) Team||Result|
|1||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||5:15:37|
|2||Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors||0:00:01|
|3||Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|4||Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky|
|5||Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott|
|6||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb|
|7||Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky|
|8||Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ|
|9||David Gaudu (Fra) FDJ|
|10||Diego 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.
2016 La Flèche Wallonne Results
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||4:43:57|
|2||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|3||Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|4||Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky||0:00:04|
|5||Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||0:00:05|
|6||Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team|
|7||Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge|
|8||Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida|
|9||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|10||Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida|
La Fleche Wallonne 201719 April 2017 | Wallonia | WorldTour
Top News on the Race
Alaphilippe on Flèche Wallonne: There's always more pressure when you're defending championPostponed Ardennes race would have taken place on Wednesday
Wildcards and routes announced for La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-LiègeVan der Poel's Alpecin-Fenix team top list as women's races get live TV
Liege-Bastogne-Liege finish confirmed to return to Liege from 2019Mur de Huy to stay as Fleche Wallonne finale as ASO and Liège Province sign new six-year agreement
Valverde eyes Merckx's Liege-Bastogne-Liege recordSpaniard says Tour of Flanders will be a big objective next year
Nibali helps light up Fleche Wallonne with '50km full gas'Italian part of breakaway that nearly broke tradition of mass dash up Mur de Huy
Mur de Huy to remain Fleche Wallonne finish for next six yearsReturn to city centre for Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2019 could be confirmed next week
Former Fleche Wallonne winner Gilbert pays tribute to teammate AlaphilippeBelgian all but rules himself out of contention for Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Kwiatkowski rues lack of success after fighting hard at Flèche WallonneTeam Sky rider hopes for better luck at Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Valverde vows to return to Fleche Wallonne fray for sixth titleSpaniard predicts more battles with Alaphilippe in years to come
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