The Wall of Huy is 1.3 kilometres long and the average gradient is 9.6%. Typically, we’ll see a lot of movement on prior climbs. Last year, Jack Haig, Maximilian Schachmann, Tanel Kangert and Vincenzo Nibali saw their attack being neutralized on the Wall of Huy, while Bob Jungels and Tim Wellens have tried to outsmart the punchers with attacks on Côte de Cherave or earlier. This is basically how the race unfolded in recent years: attack, hit the Wall, loss of energy, hello peloton… puncher’s win.
Usually, Dan Martin is in the mix when the race boils down to a sprint at the crest of the Wall, but he seems to lack the final kick. Adam Yates didn’t race La Flèche Wallonne since his DNF in 2016 and seems to be in a better position to finish off the race. Winning stages in the Tours of Valencia, Catalonia and Basque Country, he has good credentials in 2019.
The last time that La Flèche Wallonne didn’t come down to the last climb was as far back as 2003. Igor Astarloa brought the early break home and outsprinted Aitor Osa on the line.
Favourites 2019 La Flèche Wallonne
***** Julian Alaphilippe, Adam Yates
**** Michal Kwiatkowski, Alejandro Valverde, Wout Poels
*** Maximilian Schachmann, Daniel Martin, Michael Matthews
** Michael Woods, Enric Mas, Romain Bardet, Tim Wellens
* Peter Sagan, David Gaudu, Davide Formolo, Bjorg Lambrecht, Dylan Teuns