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La Flèche Wallonne 2021

Julian Alaphilippe beat Primoz Roglic to win atop the Mur de Huy

Julian Alaphilippe beat Primoz Roglic to win atop the Mur de Huy (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Julian Alaphilippe wins La Flèche Wallonne

La Flèche Wallonne date: April 21, 2021
Distance: 193.6 km
Start: Charleroi, Belgium
Finish: Mur de Huy, Belgium

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) took his third victory at La Flèche Wallonne, following up his 2018 and 2019 wins with another at the 2021 edition.

The world champion timed his push to the line perfectly once again, overhauling an earlier push by Jumbo-Visma's Primož Roglič, who had looked all set to ride solo to victory.

The Slovenian hit out with 350 metres to go, but Alaphilippe bided his time and made his move around 75 metres later. Five-time winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was on his wheel, but in the end posed no threat to the Frenchman, who caught Roglič with 100 metres to go.

From there, it was a drag race to the line between the duo, with Alaphilippe coming past with 75 metres to go to seal his victory at the 193.6-kilometre race. 40-year-old Valverde finished in third, six seconds later.

2021 Fleche Wallonne brief results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:36:25
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:06
4Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:08
5Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:00:11
6Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
7David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange
9Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
10Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:16

La Flèche Wallonne history

Flèche Wallonne is the middle child of the Ardennes Classics, sandwiched in the middle of the week between younger sibling Amstel Gold Race and La Doyenne - the oldest - Liège-Bastogne-Liège,  which rounds out the triple crown.

Before the Amstel Gold Race was born in 1966, La Flèche Wallonne, which began in 1936, bounced around the calendar searching for its identity, finally linking up with Liège-Bastogne-Liège first on the same weekend in 1951, then as its post-script until it settled down in 1985 in its current Wednesday spot.

The start cities have changed over the years but came up with the winning formula when organisers chose the Mur de Huy as the finish in 1983, when Bernard Hinault claimed the victory.

In recent years, new climbs have been added to the finale, with the Côte d'Ereffe and Côte du Chemin des Gueuses adding another level of difficulty but the Mur de Huy is almost always the deciding climb from a large group.

La Flèche Wallonne climbs

  • Côte d'Yvoir, km. 51.5
  • Côte de Thon, km. 85.7
  • Côte de Gryonne, km. 94.9
  • Côte de Haut-Bois, km. 100.4
  • Côte de Gives, km. 114.7
  • Mur de Huy (1st), km. 130
  • Côte d'Ereffe, km. 142.7
  • Côte du chemin des Gueuses, km. 152.2
  • Mur de Huy (2nd), km. 161.8
  • Côte d'Ereffe, km. 174.4
  • Côte du chemin des Gueuses, km. 183.9
  • Mur de huy, finish - km. 193.6

La Flèche Wallonne most successful riders

  • Alejandro Valverde holds the record of wins with five
  • Valverde also won four in a row between 2014 and 2017
  • Valverde won both Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège three times (2006, 2015, 2017) but has never won all three Ardennes Classics

2021 La Fléche Wallonne teams

  • AG2R Citroën Team
  • Alpecin-Fenix
  • Astana-Premier Tech
  • Bahrain Victorious
  • Bingoal WB
  • Bora-Hansgrohe
  • Cofidis
  • Deceuninck-QuickStep
  • Delko
  • EF Education-Nippo
  • Gazprom-RusVelo
  • Groupama-FDJ
  • Ineos Grenadiers
  • Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
  • Israel Start-up Nation
  • Jumbo-Visma
  • Lotto Soudal
  • Movistar Team
  • Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
  • Team Arkea-Samsic
  • Team BikeExchange
  • Team DSM
  • Team Qhubeka Assos
  • Trek-Segafredo
  • UAE Team Emirates