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Fleche Wallone - Report and Photos
By Mark Sharon
Date: 4/23/2014
Fleche Wallone - Report and Photos
Untitled Document

23 April 2014

Valverde Triumphs after eight year gap

It took eight years, Alejandro Valverde triumphed again at the top of the Mur de Huy. The Spaniard claimed a second Fleche Wallonne beating Daniel Martin and Michal Kwiatkowski to the line. Since his last triumph, he made it into the Top 10 of the event on three occasions.

Valverde made the best of his climbing abilities and the hard work of his Movistar squad throughout the day. A team that first did the necessary to catch the three escapees of the day, before helping their leader capture a fine success.

Alejandro Valverde

Daniel Martin (Garmin Sharp), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michal Kwiartkowski (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) © ASO/Photographer G.Demouveaux

First fright early on
The 198 riders of the 78th edition of the Fleche Wallonne took off under a bright sun and clear skies from the city of Bastogne, hosting the start of the event for the very first time. Bastogne that the riders will visit again next Sunday during the 100th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The race started with a bang as several riders including title-holder Daniel Moreno (KAT) were caught in a crash after only 5kms. A fright and a potential blow for Katusha who had lost Joaquim Rodriguez last weekend on the Amstel Gold Race, already on a crash.

Three in command
The first serious move of the day occurred after 20kms when three men managed to break away from the pack. Ramunas Navardauskas (GRS) was the first to attack, taking with him Preben Van Heche (TSV) and Jonathan Clarke (UHC). While the pack wasn't too concerned by the front men, the escapees covered an impressive distance of 49.4kms during the first hour of racing and enjoyed a maximum lead of 8'45 at km 50. From then on riders from teams Katusha and BMC moved to the front of the pack and started chasing.

Chasing hard
At the top of the first of three climbs up the Mur de Huy, the gap had dropped down to 5'50. Men from Movistar and Lotto-Bellisol then joined the chase and the gap dropped seriously with just over 40kms to go. The first man to struggle and be dropped was Australian Clarke who was eventually caught by the pack with 38kms to go.

Alejandro Valverde

Tom Dumoulin (Giant Shimano), Philippe Gilbert (BMC) et Alberto Rui Faria Da Costa (Lampre - Merida)© ASO/Photographer G.Demouveaux

Vain attempts
Pierre Rolland (EUC) and Jan Bakelants (OPQ) were then the first of the top contenders to give it a go on a counter-attack going up the Côte d'Ahin, but they were immediately chased and caught. On the second climb up the Mur de Huy, it was Cyril Gautier's turn to try his luck. He managed to make it clear from the pack at the top while the escapees still enjoyed a 30” lead. But Gautier's attempt turned out to be vain.

Over for escapees
After an impressive effort, there wasn't much the front two riders could do against the chasing pack and the likes of Kolobnev (KAT) and Herrada (MOV) working hard for their leaders. They were finally caught with 12kms to go, after having spent 167kms in the lead.

No stopping Movistar
With 7kms to go, another Frenchman took off. Jeremy Roy indeed enjoyed a slim 10” advantage 5kms from the line but he too was gobbled up by a pack led by Katusha. Like on the previous years the decision would be made on the final climb up the Mur de Huy. After a first attempt by Romain Bardet in the first metres of the ascent, the favourites powered to the front with the likes of Vanendert and Kwitakowski leading the way. In the last 200m, Alejandro Valverde made his decisive effort and flew triumphantly to the line beating last year's winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Daniel Martin (GRS) and rising star Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQ).

Alejandro Valverde

Daniel Martin (Garmin Sharp), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michal Kwiartkowski (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) © ASO/Photographer G.Demouveaux

Third win this season for Valverde
The Spaniard wins the event for the second time after his victory in 2006. Valverde adds a third success to his 2014 season, having already claimed the Tour of Murcia and the Tour of Andalusia. With Amstel Gold Race winner Pjhilippe Gilbert, all eyes will be on the soon to be 34-year-old Valverde who would love to celebrate his birthday, on Friday, with a victory on the 100th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.


1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 4:36:45
2 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 0:00:03
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:04
4 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
5 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp 0:00:06
6 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
7 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge 0:00:08
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo  
9 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:11
10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:15
11 Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:17
12 WoutPoels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:19
13 Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:23
14 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:24
15 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:00:26
16 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica Greenedge 0:00:28
17 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
18 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
19 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team  
20 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
21 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
22 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:32
23 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:37
24 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:00:40
25 Daan Olivier (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:43
26 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:45
27 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica Greenedge 0:00:48
28 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:00:51
29 Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:00:54
30 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
31 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar  
32 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Cannondale  
33 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha  
34 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team  
35 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:58
36 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:00
37 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:03
38 Alex Howes (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:01:04
39 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
40 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:12
41 Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:14
42 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling 0:01:17
43 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
44 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) 0:01:23
45 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:25
46 Jérémy Roy (Fra)  
47 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica Greenedge  
48 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha 0:01:30
49 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha  
50 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:01:32
51 Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar 0:01:40
52 John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team  
53 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 0:01:44
54 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:45
55 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:51
56 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
57 Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale  
58 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp 0:01:54
59 Andres Torres Agudelo (Col) Colombia 0:01:56
60 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol 0:01:57
61 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:02:02
62 Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:02:08
63 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:02:13
64 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:02:30
65 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:01
66 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
67 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 0:03:54
68 Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:04:01
69 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:04:04
70 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:04:06
71 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:12
72 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica Greenedge 0:04:14
73 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha 0:04:17
74 Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka 0:05:02
75 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:05:12
76 Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
77 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin Sharp  
78 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica Greenedge  
79 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team  
80 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
81 Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team Europcar  
82 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
83 Laurent Pichon (Fra)  
84 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling  
85 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin Sharp  
86 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team  
87 Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) Colombia  
88 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
89 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
90 Stef Clement (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
91 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
92 Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) Colombia  
93 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:05:19
94 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:05:23
95 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Tinkoff-Saxo  
96 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka  
97 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica Greenedge  
98 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale  
99 Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale  
100 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
101 Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:05:28
102 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:05:30
103 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:05:32
104 Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano  
105 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
106 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
107 Jaco Venter (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
108 Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:05:35
109 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo  
110 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team Katusha  
111 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar  
112 Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing  
113 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:05:42
114 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida  
115 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
116 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:05:47
117 Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
118 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:05:49
119 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
120 Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale 0:05:51
121 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:59
122 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:06:04
123 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:06:05
124 Anthony Roux (Fra) 0:06:06
125 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale  
126 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky 0:06:18
127 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:07:52
128 Edward Beltran (Col) Tinkoff-Saxo  
129 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 0:09:21
130 Gustav Larsson (Swe) IAM Cycling  
131 Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
132 Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
133 Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
134 Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling  
135 Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky  
136 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin)  
137 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale  
138 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:09:27
139 Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
140 Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale  
141 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:09:35
142 Davide Frattini (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 0:10:07
143 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
144 David Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
145 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing 0:10:22
DNF Darwin Ferney Pantoja Tobar (Col) Colombia  
DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNF Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNF Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNF Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNF Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNF Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNF Juan Pablo Valencia (Col) Colombia  
DNF Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNF Felipe Paredes (Col) Colombia  
DNF Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNF Fabian Diaz Cardenas (Col) Colombia  
DNF Jeffry Johan Romero Corredor (Col) Colombia  
DNF Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNF Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNF Kenny De Ketele (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNF Martijn Maaskant (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNF Marc de Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNF Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNF Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky  
DNF Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNF Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNF Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNF Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNF Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNF Arthur Vanoverberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNF Andy Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
DNF Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNF Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky  
DNF Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNF Joshua Edmondson (GBr) Team Sky  
DNF Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNF Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin Sharp  
DNF Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp  
DNF Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNF José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNF Jack Bobridge (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNF Nelson Simoes (Por) Lampre-Merida  
DNF Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky  
DNF Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNF Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNF Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing  
DNF Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing  
DNF Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNF Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNF Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra)  
DNF Arnold Jeannesson (Fra)  
DNF Laurent Mangel (Fra)  

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