La Flèche Wallonne 2023: Favourites
image: Cor VosLa Flèche Wallonne is a slow burner, building up to a brutal climax of 3 to 4 minutes. That's what it takes to get from the foot to the top of the Mur de Huy by racing bike. Or will Tadej Pogacar opt for a different approach this year? Cyclingstage.com brings you the favourites.
For years and year and years now, La Flèche Wallonne is the most predictable race on the calendar. It was also called the Alejandro Valverde Puncher’s Revue, and sometimes Alaphilippe’s Punch Parade.
The recipe for success is simple. Peloton tackles the Mur bunched, be good positioned, wait quietley until the climb flattens, punch, kick, sprint… win!
Alejandro Valverde was omnipotent in the years 2014-2017, Julian Alaphilippe picked up the baton in 2018-2019 and when missed the 2020 edition Marc Hirschi presented himself as interim pope, but it was Alaphilippe again in 2021.
Somewhat surprisingply, the dynasty came to an end last year. Dylan Teuns took the win with a perfect Valverde-imitation. The big man himself came home in second, Alaphilippe in fourth.
It would be something if Tadej Pogacar (who else?) invented a new success formula to win La Fléche Wallonne. An attack from far, for instance. Most of his major Classics wins – Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race most recently, but also Strade Bianche and the Tour of Lombardy – started out as longe-range attacks.
Favourites 2023 La Flèche Wallonne
*** Tadej Pogacar, Michael Woods, Sergio Higuita
** Giulio Ciccone, Enric Mas, Tom Pidcock, Mikel Landa
* Esteban Chaves, Romain Bardet, Warren Barguil, Andrea Bagioli
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