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The peloton has gathered in Blegny-Mine for the start of Flèche Wallonne. The roll-out is at 11.25 local time, with the bunch due to hit kilometre zero at 11.30. There are 11 climbs along the 202km route, but this race usually comes down to the final haul up to the finish at the Mur de Huy. Since Igor Astarloa's victory in 2003, after all, no move before the final climb up the Mur de Huy has succeeded in staying away. Can somebody finally buck the trend this afternoon?

The peloton has rolled out of Blegny-Mine and the 2022 Flèche Wallonne is formally underway.

-200km

There are two non-starters to report, both due to illness. Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) is out with fever, though his team  specified that he does not have COVID-19, while Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal) is also unable to start. 

-193km

After a brisk start, the day's first breakaway attempt sees Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies) and Ruben Apers (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) establish a 10-second lead over the peloton. Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) stops for a bike change, but he is very quickly back in the peloton.

-191km

This break's advantage remains at just a handful of seconds amid a flurry of counter-attacks from the bunch behind. The race has not yet settled into its usual, early holding pattern.

The climbs on the menu today are as follows:

44.2km            Côte de Tancrémont

55.1km            Côte des Forges

121.3km          Côte d'Ereffe

134.1km          Côte de Cherave

139.8km          Mur de Huy

152.5km          Côte d'Ereffe

165.2km          Côte de Cherave

170.9km          Mur de Huy

183.6km          Côte d'Ereffe

196.4km          Côte de Cherave

202.1km          Mur de Huy

Julian Alaphilippe

Julian Alaphilippe reports for duty in search of a fourth Flèche Wallonne victory. (Image credit: Daniel Ostanek)

-188km

Gruppo compatto. Sébastian Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) and Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) made it across to the early escapees, but their time at the front was shortlived as the race came back together all over again.

Daniel Ostanek is on the Mur de Huy for Cyclingnews today, and you can read his preview of the race here

The race first finished in Huy in 1983, with the finale shifting to the Mur itself in 1985. That alteration, at least according to lore, was with local favourite Claude Criquielion in mind, given his limitations in the sprint. He duly won that 1985 edition in the rainbow jersey of world champion, and he added a second victory atop the Mur de Huy in 1989.

-177km

The peloton continues to trundle along at a brisk pace, but no sign yet of an early break taking shape. The day's first climb, the Côte de Tancrémont (2.9km at 5.4%) is 15km or so away.

-170km

Another group has gone clear, and this looks like it might gain a little bit of traction. Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) have a lead of 25 seconds over the peloton.

A year ago, Tadej Pogačar and UAE Team Emirates missed this race due to what later emerged to be false positives for COVID-19 on the team. He made amends by winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège the following Sunday and he downplayed the idea that he was out for a revenge this afternoon. 

"It’s already forgotten, the last year. It was a shame we couldn’t start last year but we are more than happy to be on the start this year," said Pogačar, who lines up with 2020 winner Marc Hirschi.

"We are here for the win as a team. We will work hard towards the end and try to do the best as possible." 

Pogačar won Strade Bianche with a 50km solo move and if anybody can bridge the 19-year gap to Igor Astarloa's pre-Mur de Huy winning attack, then it's probably the Slovenian.

"I think this race is different. It’s still possible to attack from far but we’ll see how the race goes itself, whether everyone is going to be conservative or not," he said. "We will see in the race."

Ronde van Vlaanderen 2022 - Tour of Flanders - 106th Edition - Antwerp - Oudenaarde 272,5 km - 03/04/2022 - Paterberg - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Gregory Van Gansen/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), fresh from his exertions at Paris-Roubaix, counter-attacks from the peloton in the company of Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces) in a bid to bridge up to the eight leaders.

-165km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM)

Chasers at 0:25:

Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces)

Peloton at 0:45

-157km

The peloton seems content to allow the eight leaders some leeway, as their advantage stretches out to 1:45. Reynders and Wirtgen, however, are stuck in no man's land, still 50 seconds off the break.

The escapees, meanwhile, are bounding up the Côte de Tancrémont, the day's first climb.

-155km

Pierre Rolland leads the break over the Côte de Tancrémont, where their advantage on the peloton has yawned out to 3:10.

-154km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM)

Chasers at 1:05:

Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces)

Peloton at 3:10

Rolland, Impey and the escapees approach the day's second climb, the Côte des Forges (1.3km at 7.8%) with a lead north of three minutes over the bunch.

A fine effort from Wirgten, who bridges across to the leaders on the Côtes des Forges. Reynders, meanwhile, still has a handful of seconds to recoup.

-144km

There is unity of purpose among the favourites' teams in the peloton, which has shaved half a minute or so off the break's lead. 2:35 the gap.

Reynders has succeeded in making it across to the break, leaving ten riders at the head of the race with a lead of 2:25 on the peloton.

-130km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces)

Peloton at 2:52

 

Ineos and UAE Team Emirates set the pace in the peloton. The British squad have Tom Pidcock and the on-form Daniel Martinez in action this afternoon, while UAE Team Emirates can count on Tadej Pogačar and 2020 winner Marc Hirschi.

The next classified climb, the Côte d'Ereffe, is 45km or so away, but there is precious little by way of flat road in this corner of the world. The ten escapees are negotiating the gentle undulations smoothly for now and collaborating well. Their lead over the peloton nudges out once again towards three minutes.

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl are also contributing to the chase effort at the head of the peloton. Three-time winner Julian Alaphilippe is the team's most obvious option on the Mur de Huy, but one wonders if Remco Evenepoel will be left off the leash to attack before the final haul up the climb. QuickStep, certainly, are in dire need of a big result in the Classics after their lacklustre campaign on the cobbles. 

-123km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces)

Peloton at 3:04

Bruno Armirail is in this move for Groupama-FDJ, who enjoyed a fine run in the cobbled Classics through Stefan Küng and Valentin Madouas. Their Ardennes prospects, however, have been limited by the absence of David Gaudu, who misses today's race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège after his preparation was hampered by bronchitis. The Breton made a strong start to 2022 at the Volta ao Algarve, and the Ardennes were an important target after his third place in Liège last year.

-117km

A mechanical problem for Marc Hirschi, who gets a quick bike change and chases back on.

-115km

Marc Hirschi has safely rejoined the peloton. There is no particular urgency at this point in the race, but that will start to change once the bunch hits the Cote d'Ereffe with 80km to go, and the winnowing process begins in earnest. 

Geraint Thomas is among the delegation of Ineos riders posted towards the head of the peloton. Remarkably, this is the Welshman's first-ever appearance at Flèche Wallonne. Indeed, on Sunday, he is slated to make what will be only his second start at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. His previous appearance came in his golden year of 2018, though he made little impact in the race on that occasion.

-110km

Laurens De Plus is the Ineos man currently setting the tempo in the peloton, 3:12 down on the escapees. 

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan) is back at Flèche Wallonne for the first time since 2018. His best finish on the Mur de Huy was 8th in 2012, which preceded his best Liège-Bastogne-Liège showing of 2nd the following weekend, when he was caught and passed by Maxim Iglinskiy in the finale. “It’s a long time since I’ve been here so it’s nice to be back racing in Belgium," Nibali said at the start. "Today I’ll see how I am for Liège and the Giro. I’ve recovered well since Sicily, I had two quiet days at home. Today’s finish in not suited to my characteristics, but maybe as a team, we’ll look to anticipate if we can. But in any case, it’s a good chance for me to test my condition. There’ll be a duel between [Pogačar and Alaphilippe] on the Mur de Huuy but there’ll be some outsiders in the mix too. In any case, we’ve usually seen that the race will be decided on the last time up the Mur.”

VIncenzo Nibali

(Image credit: Daniel Ostanek)

-100km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces)

Peloton at 2:40

There's been a perceptible increase in urgency in the peloton inside the final 100km as the race draws nearer to the first haul over the Ereffe, Cherave, Mur de Huy troika. The gap is suddenly down to two minutes.

-91km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces)

Peloton at 1:54

Benoit Cosnefroy, who placed second in 2020, has to change bikes and the Frenchmman is now chasing back on through the team cars.

-82km

The break hits the finishing circuit and the first of three climbs over the Côte d’Ereffe with a lead of 1:47 over the peloton, which is now being led by QuickStep-AlphaVinyl.

-81km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces)

Peloton at 1:42

Jens Reynders leads the escapees over the top of the Côte d’Ereffe. Back in the bunch, meanwhile, a few riders have crashed after getting tangled up on the climb. Winner Anacona (Arkea-Samsic) is among them, but he gets a replacement bike from a teammate  and presses on quickly.

The ten leaders remain together after the Côte d'Ereffe and their buffer over the peloton stands at 1:33 with eight climbs remaining.

The next ascent on the agenda is the Côte de Cherave (1.3km at 8.1%), which is a little under 10km away. 

-74km

The ten leaders are still collaborating smoothly, but the intensity is ratcheting upwards behind and their lead is contracting.

-71km

Michael Woods (Israel Premier Tech) finished 3rd on the Mur de Huy last year and 4th in 2021. He is a contender today, but not the favourite. "We know who the favourite is: Pogacar, he's so amazing, he's had such an amazing season. But there's still quite a few contenders, myself included," Woods said before the start.

Michael Woods

(Image credit: Daniel Ostanek)

-69km

Onto the Côte de Cherave for the escapees, who have 1:21 in hand on the peloton. Bruno Armirail leads the break, which might well splinter on this climb, with Luc Wirtgen beginning to feel the strain. Laurens De Plus leads in the peloton, where EF Education-EasyPost are also moving up en masse.

Pierre Rolland leads the break over the top of the Côte de Cherave. Back in the peloton, meanwhile, a number of riders are beginning to lose contact, including Vegard Stake Laengen, who did so much work for UAE Team Emirates early in the race.

Tom Pidcock is sitting towards the rear of the peloton over the top of the Côte de Cherave. It will be fascinating to see if the Briton or Daniel Martinez is Ineos' chief option in the finale.

-65km

The break is down to eight riders on the run towards the first ascent of the Mur de Huy after Reynders and Wirtgen were distanced. The lined out peloton, meanwhile, has closed to within 1:20.

-64km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM)

Peloton at 1:17

-63km

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) hit the Mur de Huy for the first time with a buffer of 1:14. Impey sets the tempo on the lower slopes.

Movistar show themselves for the first time at the front on the first ascent of the Mur de Huy. Alejandro Valverde is making his final appearance in a race he has won five times.

Pidcock looks to be struggling at the rear of the peloton on this first ascent of the Mur de Huy. Remco Evenepoel, by contrast, looks very smooth indeed near the front and one wonders if the Belgian might soon be on the offensive. 

Pidcock has been distanced over the top of the Mur de Huy, and he is clearly not going to be in contention for victory this afternoon. 

-60km

The eight leaders stayed together over the top of the Mur de Huy, and their lead over the peloton holds firm at 1:15 on the peloton for the time being. 

-57km

There is an injection of urgency over the other side of the Mur de Huy as Bahrain Victorious hit the front of the peloton and look to split the bunch in the crosswind.

Tom Pidcock has abandoned Flèche Wallonne. We await confirmation of the reason, but the Briton's Classics campaign has, of course, already been blighted by illness.

-56k

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl join the pace-making at the head of the bunch. The peloton hasn't yet split in the crosswind section, but there is considerable tension at this point.

Meanwhile, the break's lead has dropped to 50 seconds as the pace ratchets up in the peloton.

The race is doubling back towards its second ascent over the Côte d'Ereffe (2.1km at 5%). 

-51k

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl continue to force the pace in the bunch on the Côte d'Ereffe, and still more clumps fall off the break's lead, which has dropped to 49 seconds.

Out in front, the break fragments still further, with Juul Jensen and Hulgaard dropped on the lower slopes of the climb. Pierre Rolland lasts a little longer, but he, too, is distanced as Armirail sets the tempo.

-50km

 Janssens leads the five survivors of the break over the top of the Ereffe with a buffer of 1:11 over the peloton.

-48km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies)

Peloton at 1:10

Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) attacks from the peloton after the Ereffe and the Belgian is trying to forge across to the remants of the break.

At the rear of the peloton, meanwhile, the on-form Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) stops for a bike change, but he quickly rejoins the fray.

Anthony Delaplace drops back to help Barguil back up to the rear of the peloton. The Breton is among the team cars and should make it back by the next climb, the Côte de Cherave.

Bakelants makes it across to Juul Jensen, Rolland and Hulgaard, who were dropped from the break on the Ereffe. This quartet is 1:08 down on the five leaders, while the peloton has relented slightly and sits at 1:41.

-41km

A front wheel puncture for Tadej Pogacar. It's not the quickest change, not least because the UAE team car had driven past him, but he has Juan Ayuso to help him chase back on. Pogacar doesn't look unduly concerned and he should it back on swiftly, but this is energy he could have done without spending at this early juncture.

-40km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies).

Chasers at 1:09:

Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Goberrt), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team)

Peloton at 1:50

Jan Polanc has also dropped back to help Pogacar's pursuit. The speed was already picking up on the approach to the Cherave, but Pogacar will make it back on.

-38.5km

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) and Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) swing onto the second ascent of the Cherave with a lead of 1:04 on the Bakelants group and 1:22 on the bunch.

Pogačar, meanwhile, has rejoined the peloton just before the start of the Côte de Cherave. 

Alberto Bettioli accelerates on the Cherave to tee up an attack from his EF-EasyPost teammate Simon Carr. That move has seen the Bakelants group pegged back by the peloton. Carr bounds clear of the bunch, where Mauri Vansevenant sets the pace for QuickStep.

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) is dropped from the bunch on the Cherave, as the pace rises in response to Carr's attack.

-36km

The break's lead over the top, meanwhile, has dropped to just 30 seconds over Carr. The peloton is a handful of seconds behind the Briton on the descent.

-35km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies)

Chaser:

Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost)

Peloton at 1:04

Geraint Thomas takes over at the head of the peloton for Ineos, with Kwiatkowski tucked in on his wheel. Following Pidcock's abandon, Daniel Martinez appears to be the Ineos leader this afternoon.

-33km

The race is running along the Meuse on the approach to Huy for the second haul up the Mur. Simon Carr is committed to his lone attempt to forge across to the break, though he still trails them by 32 seconds.

-32km

The five leaders hit the foot of the Mur de Huy (1.3km at 9.6%) for the second time with 23 seconds in hand on Carr and 42 seconds on the reduced peloton.

Ferron leads the peloton on the Mur de Huy, where Guglielmi loses contact through the famous S-bend. Carr, meanwhile, closes to within 17 seconds. The peloton, which sped into the climb, has taken a steadier pace on the slopes of the Mur itself, and the gap is out to 55 seconds.

-31km

Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) leads Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) and Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) over the top of the Mur de Huy. The leaders have 18 seconds on Carr and 52 seconds on the peloton as they take the bell for the final lap.

-30km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies)

Chasers at 0:15:

Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost)

Peloton 0:49

Matt Holmes (Lotto Soudal) attacks over the other side of the Mur de Huy. He doesn't manage to break away just yet, but he has strung out the peloton considerably.

-28km

Carr picked up the dropped Guglielmi on the Mur de Huy, and they are almost within touching distance of the four leaders. The peloton, however, is closing in quickly.

-27km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies)

 

Chasers at 0:08:

Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost)

Peloton at 0:40

 

On the last time through this exposed section, Bahrain Victorious made an attempt to split the race in the crosswinds, but there has not yet been a similar effort this time around.

The pace is high, mind, with Louis Vevake winding things up for QuickStep.

-25km

Carr and Guglielmi finally catch the four leaders, leaving six men at the head of the race, though their advantage is down to just 20 seconds over the fast-closing peloton.

The leaders are 5km or so from the Côte d'Ereffe. A reminder of the three climbs left in the finale:

183.6km          Côte d'Ereffe

196.4km          Côte de Cherave

202.1km          Mur de Huy

-23km

Break:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost)

Peloton at 0:15

-20km

Carr look the strongman of this leading group as he forces the pace on the lower slopes of the Ereffe, and only Ferron can follow him. This duo has 22 seconds on a peloton of 50 or so riders. Damiano Caruso sets the tempo for Bahrain, but UAE have also moved up en masse.

Carr presses on with Ferron on his wheel. Armirail, Impey, Guglielmi and Janssens are sticking to their task not far behind, while the Bahrain-led peloton is at 32 seconds. 

-18km

Carr and Ferron lead over the Côte d'Ereffe, with Armirail et al a handful of seconds back and the peloton at 25 seconds.

-17km

Break:

Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost)

Chasers at 0:15:

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic)

Peloton at 0:28

-15.5km

Geraint Thomas leads the peloton for Ineos on this fast, fast run towards the Côte de Cherave, which begins with just over 7km to go. 

Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) and Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic) are caught by the peloton, leaving two riders out in front, Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) and Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost).

-15km

Break:

Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost)

Peloton at 0:16

Ferron was struggling to hold Carr's wheel on the climb, but the Frenchman has been a most willing contributor to the pace-making over the other side. The two leaders retain a gap of 17 seconds over the peloton, but they surely won't survive over the Cherave. 

-13km

UAE, QuickStep, Ineos and Bahrain are all posted near the head of this peloton. The question is whether we see pyrotecnics on the Cherave - perhaps from Evenepoel - or whether these teams are content to collaborate and tee up the usual shoot-out on the Mur de Huy.

Israel Premier Tech join the pace-making effort at the head of the peloton on behalf of Michael Woods. Daryl Impey gives a turn after his exertions in the early break.

-11km

Break:

Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Simon Carr (EF Education-EasyPost)

Peloton at 0:10

-10km

Jumbo-Visma move up on behalf of Tiesj Benoot, while Bora-Hansgrohe look to position Aleksandr Vlasov.

-9km

Simon Carr and Valentin Ferron are caught by the peloton shortly before the race hits the Côte de Cherave (1.3km at 8.1%).

-8km

Jumbo-Visma look to take over at the head of the peloton ahead of the Côte de Cherave, but then Geraint Thomas moves past them and resumes his pace-making role.

-7km

Geraint Thomas leads on the lower slopes of the Cherave, but then Cofidis take over with a three-man acceleration...

Remy Rochas (Cofidis) zips off the front on the Cherave with Mauri Vansevenant (QuickStep) on his wheel. 

Rochas kicks again and rids himself of Vansevenant. The Frenchman is alone at the head of the race with a buffer of a few seconds over the Ineos-led peloton.

-6k

Rochas is alone at the head of the race, with Vansevenant chasing alone a little further behind, and Belgian could yet make it across over the top of the climb.

-5.5km

Soren Kragh Andersen (DSM) attacks over the top of the Cherave. He joins Vansevenant and they both catch Rochas at the head of the race...

-5km

Andersen, Rochas and Vansevenant have a handful of seconds over the Kwiatkowski-led peloton. 

-4km

Rochas loses contact with Andersen and Vansevenant on the descent off the Cherave....

-3km

Søren Kragh Andersen (DSM) and Mauri Vansevenant (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) have a lead of 10 seconds or so with 3km remaining. Andersen looks for a turn from Vansevenant, but the Belgian shakes his head, given that he has Alaphilippe and Evenepoel in the peloton behind.

Andersen presses on undeterred as the two leaders hug the south bank of the Meuse. They have 17 seconds on the Israel Premier Tech-led peloton.

-2km

Break:

Søren Kragh Andersen (DSM) and Mauri Vansevenant (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl)

Peloton at 0:16

Michal Kwiatkowski winds up the pace for Ineos, who have Daniel Martinez and Carlos Rodriguez lined up with intent near the front.

-1.2km

Vansevenant and Andersen begin the Mur de Huy with 10 seconds on the chasers...

-1km

Carlos Verona leads the peloton for Valverde, and they are almost upon the two leaders.

Andersen and Vansevenant are caught with 900m to go. Enric Mas takes up the pace-making for Movistar, with Dylan Teuns and Vlasov on his wheel...

Alejandro Valverde moves up behind Mas and looks poised to make his effort, but a seated Pogacar is also cruising up the outside...

Mas leads through the S-bend with his Movistar leader Valverde on his wheel. 300 metres to go...

Vlasov and Valverde are in front, but then Teuns launches his effort. This trio have opened a gap...

Teuns and Valverde pull away, and it looks like it will be between these two...

Valverde tries to raise the pace as the road flattens out, but he can't get past Teuns... 

Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) wins La Flèche Wallone ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Pogacar was well placed, but he simply couldn't follow the move from Teuns, Valverde and Vlasov. Alaphilippe was further back and he made a fearsome effort to rip past Pogacar, but he never looked like getting on back on terms with Teuns and Valverde.

Result
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious 4:42:12
2Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:02
3Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Bora-Hansgrohe
4Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:00:05
5Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:07
6Michael Woods (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
7Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-EasyPost
8Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
10Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) TotalEnergies

Dylan Teuns beats Alejandro Valverde on the Mur de Huy.

(Image credit: Getty)

La Flche Wallonne 2022 86th Edition Blegny Mur de Huy 2021 km 20042022 Dylan Teuns BEL Bahrain Victorious Alejandro Valverde ESP Movistar Team photo Dion KerckhoffsCVSprintCyclingAgency2022

(Image credit: Dion Kerckhoffs/CVSprintCyclingAgency)

Dylan Teuns on his victory: "It's maybe not always the best one who wins, but on the Mur it's definitely a climb where you need the legs and today I had strong legs. Maybe I was the strongest today. I knew a little bit the place where he always makes the first acceleration. Five years ago when I became third I was there in the wheel, and when he made the second move I couldn't follow anymore. Today, I made the second move and I felt him coming but I still had a little left in the legs to keep him behind me.

"I always dream of a Classic victory and today it happened finally. I was never so strong in the Spring Classics like this year and I'm super happy with this victory. Sunday I also have big motivation to go for it."

Julian Alaphilippe on his fourth place: "The first feeling is that I’m relieved, relieved the race is over. I obviously had quite a bit of pressure on my shoulders before the race and I just tried to do the best race possible. I don’t have regrets because the team did great work today. In the final, the legs spoke. I did what I could. I think my positioning wasn’t too bad, and even if I had been further up, I don’t think I could have won. No regrets.

"I had the impression that the pressure rose a bit since last year, especially after everything that’s been said about our start to the season. I’d like to have won for the team and for myself, especially with the rainbow jersey again, but no regrets. I gave the maximum and the team did great job. The strongest rider won today. Today I did what I could, I hope it will be better in Liège."

HUY BELGIUM APRIL 20 Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl crosses the finish line during the 86th La Flche Wallonne 2022 Mens Elite a 2011km one day race from Blegny to Mur de Huy 204m WorldTour FlecheWallonne on April 20 2022 in Huy Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

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