La Flèche Wallonne 2018: Julian Alaphilippe outguns Alejandro Valverde

La Flèche Wallonne features almost 200 kilometres and eleven hills. Despite a strong attack by Vincenzo Nibali, the race comes down to the last 1.3 kilometres on the Mur de Huy. Julian Alaphilippe climbs to victory ahead of Alejandro Valverde and Jelle Vanendert. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 2018 La Flèche Wallonne

1. Julian Alaphilippe (fra)
2. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.04
3. Jelle Vanendert (bel) + 0.06
4. Roman Kreuziger (cze) s.t.
5. Michael Matthews (aus) s.t.
6. Bauke Mollema (nld) s.t.
7. Tim Wellens (bel) s.t.
8. Michael Schachmann (fra) s.t.
9. Romain Bardet (fra) s.t.
10. Patrick Konrad (aut) s.t.

Race report
Shortly after the start Romain Hardy, Anthony Roux, Cesare Benedetti, Anthony Perez, Romain Combaud and Patrick Müller jump clear. Kevin Van Melsen and Antoine Warnier track them down and the eight race to a lead of more than 5 minutes.

At Côte d’Ereffe, with 46 kms remaining, the breakaway is caught when a large group bridges across. Philippe Gilbert, Vincenzo Nibali, Ion Izagirre, Rafal Majka and Rui Costa are on board. They take a lead of more than half a minute.

Before the Cherave the front group breaks. Only Nibai, Schachmann, Haig, Kangert, Roux and Benedetti left. The second time over the Wall of Huy they are 42 seconds ahead of the main group. Dan Martin is dropped.

When the front group tackles the penultimate climb, the Cherave, the gap is down to half a minute. On the top Roux and Benedetti are overboard and the gap is down to 12 seconds.

Haig and Schachmann open up a gap, while Kangert and Nibali are brought back just before the last haul up. Haig is the first leader to be reeled in and Schachmann’s story is done when Vanendert accelerates with Alaphilippe on his wheel. When the climb flattens out in sight of the line the Frenchman goes alone to take the win. Valverde comes around Vanendert but he lacks a final kick to best Alaphilippe.

Read also: route La Flèche Wallonne 2018.

La Flèche Wallonne 2018: route, profiles, more

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Julian Alaphilippe

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