Dylan Teuns wins La Flèche Wallonne

Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) scored the biggest one-day win of his career, taking out La Flèche Wallonne ahead of five-time winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe).

"I always dream of a Classic victory and today it happened finally," an elated Teuns said in the post-race flash interview. "I was never so strong in the Spring Classics like this year and I'm super happy with this victory."

La Flèche Wallonne is almost always decided in the last 300 metres and the formula continued this year, with Movistar's Enric Mas attempting to launch Valverde into the steepest section of the climb.

Vlasov tried to accelerate on the inside but found himself bogged down in his gears and Teuns came past to ramp up the pace, tracked closely by Valverde. The Spanish veteran gave one big push in an attempt to get in front of Teuns but had to concede to his younger rival in the final 50 metres, while the Bora-Hansgrohe rider suffered to the line for the final podium spot.

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl's dry run continued as World Champion Julian Alaphilippe could only manage fourth.

"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," Teuns said. In 2017, Teuns was third on the Mur de Huy and learned Valverde's winning formula but it took five years to have the blend of form, confidence and fortune to put it to work.

"I knew a little bit the place where he always makes the first acceleration," Teuns said. "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."

The 2022 edition of La Flèche Wallonne was one of the faster editions of the race, clocking in at 42.97 kph.

Valverde, turning 42 in five days, said he wished he was a little stronger but couldn't have done anything more after such a hard race. "I didn't have the sensations like in years past when I thought I could suffer a little more, but today, no way, I was at my absolute limit. The whole race was very fast. I think we did the fastest Mur de Huy ever."

Vlasov was happy with his first podium in a Belgian classic and in his Flèche debut. "I'm very proud of this result and of my team, they did a good job. It's impressive, first podium at first Flèche Wallonne. I did the maximum that I could.

"Dylan Teuns surprised me today because he was the strongest at the finish and he won it with a huge advantage. I saw Alaphilippe behind me, so the race was how we expected with all the favourites together for the last climb."

How it unfolded

La Flèche Wallonne got underway in Blegny without Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco), a late withdrawal due to illness. After a brisk opening to the race, the day’s early break took shape a little over 30km in, when Daryl Impey (Israel-Premier Tech), 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) forged clear.

By the second of the day’s 11 climbs, the Côte des Forges, the group had expanded to ten riders, with Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces) bridging across. Their advantage edged out beyond three minutes shortly afterwards, but a loose coalition of Ineos, UAE Team Emirates and QuickStep-AlphaVinyl ensured it went no further.

The final 90 kilometres of the race were composed of three laps of a circuit over the Côte d’Ereffe, Côte de la Cherave and the Mur de Huy, and pre-race contender Tom Pidcock (Ineos) was soon visible near the rear of the bunch. He was distanced on the first time up the Mur de Huy and he abandoned shortly afterwards.

With a slight crosswind buffering the race on the exposed roads after the Mur de Huy, Bahrain Victorious made an effort to force an echelon, and though their attempt failed, it was a demonstration of intent ahead of the finale.

The pace continued to augment on the second lap of the circuit, where Tadej Pogacar had to chase back on after a puncture, while out in front, the break was reduced to five riders: Impey, Guglielmi, Armirail, Janssens and Ferron.

QuickStep and Ineos performed much of the pace-setting on that second lap, but it was EF Education-EasyPost who took up the reins on the Cherave, where Alberto Bettiol teed up a stinging attack from Simon Carr.

The Briton was perhaps expecting company, but he pressed on gamely, picking up Guglielmi on the second ascent of the Mur de Huy, and then leading the Frenchman back up to the break over the other side.

As usual, there was a scramble for positions before the Mur, but the pace in the bunch relented on the climb itself, allowing the six leaders to maintain a 40-second lead at the beginning of the final lap, though it would be whittled down steadily thereafter, despite Carr’s dogged attempt to stay clear.

The presence of Evenepoel and Pogačar in this race had sparked speculation that the winning move might go clear before the Mur de Huy for the first time in almost two decades, but instead, an anticipatory attack came from Cofidis, who propelled Remy Rochas off the front on the Cherave. He was followed by Mauri Vansevenant (Quickstep-AlphaVinyl), and soon Søren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM) blasted across to the pair on the descent in an attempt to become the first escapee to survive on the Mur de Huy since Igor Astarloa in 2003.

Rochas let go of the wheels with 5km to go and Kragh Andersen towed Vansevenant with a 10-second lead as they approached the base of the Mur de Huy but the Movistar-led bunch put them out of their misery with 850m to go.

As per tradition, the race came down to a slugging match on the Mur de Huy, and three-time winner Julian Alaphilippe, fourth on the day, had no argument with the verdict. “In the final, the legs spoke,” he said. “The strongest rider won today.”

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Full results
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
11Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
12Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
13Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
14Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
15Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
16Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis 0:00:15
17Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:17
18Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:21
19Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-EasyPost 0:00:24
20Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
21Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
22Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
23Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
24Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) EF Education-EasyPost
25Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
26Jai Hindley (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
27Kamiel Bonneu (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
28Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
29Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
30Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
31Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team
32Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
33Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:33
34Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team 0:00:35
35Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:37
36Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
37Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
38Jeremy Cabot (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:00:41
39Floris De Tier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:44
40Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM
41Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:47
42Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-EasyPost 0:00:51
43Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
44Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
45Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) TotalEnergies
46Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:54
47Elie Gesbert (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
48Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
49Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis 0:00:58
50Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:01:00
51Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
52Gijs Leemreize (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:08
53Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech 0:01:16
54Hugo Houle (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
55Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious
56Victor Koretzky (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM 0:01:22
57Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:33
58Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
59Jonas Gregaard (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
60Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
61Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
62Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
63Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:38
64Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:01:40
65Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana Qazaqstan Team 0:01:54
66Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
67Jonathan Hivert (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
68Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
69Simone Velasco (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
70Robert Stannard (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix 0:02:06
71Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:02:08
72Paul Ourselin (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:02:12
73Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team 0:02:20
74Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team 0:02:34
75Cesare Benedetti (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:36
76Kenny Molly (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
77Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal 0:03:01
78Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroen Team 0:03:11
79Eliot Lietaer (Bel) B&B Hotels-KTM
80Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:03:28
81Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:33
82Tony Gallopin (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
83Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Arkea-Samsic
84Leon Heinschke (Ger) Team DSM
85Winner Anacona (Col) Arkea-Samsic
86Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:40
87Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team 0:03:45
88Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
89Romain Combaud (Fra) Team DSM
90Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
91Alan Jousseaume (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:03:53
92Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers 0:04:14
93Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis 0:04:48
94Henri Vandenabeele (Bel) Team DSM 0:05:01
95Viktor Verschaeve (Bel) Lotto Soudal
96Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
97Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
98Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
99Stephen Williams (GBr) Bahrain Victorious
100Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
101Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
102Frederik Wandahl (Den) Bora-Hansgrohe
103Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) BikeExchange-Jayco
104Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
105Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Movistar Team
106Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Arkea-Samsic 0:05:26
107Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:06:13
108Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost
109Valentin Ferron (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:06:15
110Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
111Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
112Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:06:22
113Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel-Premier Tech 0:07:05
114Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM 0:08:01
115Jenno Berckmoes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:10:24
116Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroen Team 0:10:41
117Fredrik Dversnes (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 0:11:00
118Tom Paquot (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB 0:11:05
119Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel-Premier Tech
120Alexandre Balmer (Swi) BikeExchange-Jayco
121Jan Maas (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
122Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
123Morten Hulgaard (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
124Scott Thwaites (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix
125Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) BikeExchange-Jayco
126Marco Tizza (Ita) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
127Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost
128Antonio Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team 0:11:30
129Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Cofidis 0:11:42
130Ben Healy (Irl) EF Education-EasyPost 0:11:58
131Théo Delacroix (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:12:16
132Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:13:18
133Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
134Michel Heßmann (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
135Ruben Apers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:13:30
136Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:16:32
137Florian Stork (Ger) Team DSM 0:16:50
138Paul Lapeira (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team 0:17:04
139Jesus David Peña Jimenez (Col) BikeExchange-Jayco 0:19:21
140Gilles De Wilde (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:19:37
DNFPieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
DNFStan Van Tricht (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
DNFJonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
DNFOier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFJenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
DNFGuillaume Boivin (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
DNFAlan Riou (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
DNFJuan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
DNFThomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFLaurens De Plus (Bel) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFOmar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
DNSMichael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNFPatrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFAlexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
DNFLeonardo Basso (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNFYevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNFLaurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFIdar Andersen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNFJacob Madsen (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNFTorjus Sleen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNFJoris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM
DNFKevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM
DNFFabien Doubey (Fra) TotalEnergies
DNFThomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNSAndreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
DNFRune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFJens Reynders (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFAaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFMathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFJohan Meens (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFRemy Mertz (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFLuc Wirtgen (Lux) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFFranck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNFAlan Boileau (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNFCyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.

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