La Flèche Wallonne 2015: Second win in a row Alejandro Valverde
On the penultimate climb young Belgian Tim Wellens detonates the fireworks. He attacks and races up the Wall of Huy with a tiny margin, but halfway up his party is over. Just before the climb flattens out Alejandro Valverde powers away and he is too strong to bring back. Just like last year the Spanish puncheur wins the first of the two Wallonian Ardennes classics. (Slideshow route/profile)
La Flèche Wallonne 2015: Race results
1. Alejandro Valverde (spa)
2. Julian Alaphilippe (fra) s.t.
3. Michael Albasini (swi) s.t.
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) s.t.
5. Daniel Moreno (spa) s.t.
6. Alexis Vuillermoz (fra) + 0.04
7. Sergio Henao (col) s.t.
8. Jakob Fuglsang (den) s.t.
9. Tom-Jelte Slagter (nld) s.t.
10. Wilco Kelderman (nld) s.t.
After 8 km’s Rienier Honig, Thomas De Gendt, Pieter Vanspeybrouck, Jérôme Baugnies and Daniele Ratto take off. Soon Mike Teunissen and Romain Feillu bridge the gap and they race to a 8 minutes gain.
The pack keeps the break on a leash. Not too tight though. It lingers at 7 minutes for a while and it’s only after cresting the Mur de Huy for the first time the reeling in gradually begins. At Côte de Bellaire, with 55 km’s left, Teunissen and Honig are dropped. A little later favourite Philippe Gilbert hits the tarmac and abandons.
The escapees’ gain is going down fast now and aafter the second passing of the Wall of Huy Baugnies, De Gendt and Ratto are the survivors of the front group. Giovanni Visconti and Luis Leon Sanchez leave the peloton and take charge. De Gendt, Ratto and Baugnies are dropped.
Tejay van Garderen tries to bridge the gap, but he doesn’t make it.
At the bottom of the Côte de Cherave the leaders have a 0’22” gain. Nibali attacks and closes the gap. Wellens takes over and power up the Wall of Huy with a 0’12” gain.
It’s not enough and the Young Belgian is reeled. The pack takes the steepest sections in close formation and just before the climb flattens out Valverde attacks. The Spaniard powers to victory, while the 22-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe comes in second
La Flèche Wallonne 2015: Route, profile and more
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