Only 10 kilometres into the race and the first obstacle takes the shape of the 2.1 kilometres climb up Côte d’Ereffe. The average gradient at 5 % is misleading as the climbs starts at 10% and continues like that for 1.5 kilometres before a false flat downsizes the average figure considerably.
The Ardennes are nowhere near flat, but the stage profile is espacially marked by peaks as Côte de Bellaire (1 kilometre at 6.3%), Côte de Bohissau (2.4 kilometre at 5.5%) and Côte de Solières (4.3 kilometres at 4%). With 65 kilometres done the first passage at the Wall of Huy is a fact after a 1.3 kilometres climb at 9.6%.
Again, this average figure is biased. In the first 400 metres the Wall may look like nothing special, but the next 400 metres are beginning to tell another story, rising at 11%, while the steepest section at section kicks in with a 17% grade. It is not over yet as in the next 300 metres a man with the hammer is waiting to knock the women of the bikes with a gradient at 14%. Only in the last 100 metres it drops to 6%.
Now the riders what the finale has in store for them. But first another round with all the climbs they just braved and one extra. In the second round Côte de Serave is slid in between the Solières and the arrival at the Wall of Huy. The 1.3 kilometre climb at 8.1% is crested with 6 kilometres left, so at 4.7 kilometres from the foot of the closing climb.
Race results/race report La Fleche Wallonne for women 2016.
La Fleche Wallonne Femmes 2016: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom.