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Valverde Victorious in La Flèche Wallone – Men’s Report, Results, Photos

release by ASO

Alejandro Valverde wins.  ©  Cor Vos

April 23, 2014 (Huy, Belgium) – Already a winner in 2006, Alejandro Valverde triumphed again at the top of the Mur de Huy. The Spaniard claims a second Fleche Wallonne beating Daniel Martin and Michal Kwiatkowski to the line. Since his last triumph, he had entered 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.

The peloton in Mur.  ©  Cor Vos
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.
Podium (l-r) Daniel Martin, Alejandro Valverde, Michal Kwiatkowski  ©  Cor Vos
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.
Peloton on a climb.  ©  Cor Vos
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.
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.  ©  Cor Vos
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 (Esp) Movistar Team 4:36:45
2. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 00:03
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:04
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
5. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp 00:06
6. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
7. Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica Greenedge 00:08
8. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
9. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Esp) Team Katusha 00:11
10. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:15
11. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing 00:17
12. WoutPoels (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:19
13. Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:23
14. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:24
15. Mathias Frank (Sui) IAM Cycling 00:26
16. Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica Greenedge 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 (Esp) Movistar Team 00:32
23. Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 00:37
24. Sébastien Reichenbach (Sui) IAM Cycling 00:40
25. Daan Olivier (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano 00:43
26. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:45
27. Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica Greenedge 00:48
28. Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 00:51
29. Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert 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 (Esp) BMC Racing Team
35. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:58
36. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale 01:00
37. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 01:03
38. Alex Howes (USA) Garmin Sharp 01:04
39. Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
40. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 01:12
41. Jesus Herrada Lopez (Esp) Movistar Team 01:14
42. Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling 01:17
43. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
44. Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr 01:23
45. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 01:25
46. Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr
47. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica Greenedge
48. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha 01:30
49. Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha
50. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 01:32
51. Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar 01:40
52. John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team
53. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 01:44
54. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 01:45
55. Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 01:51
56. Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
57. Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale
58. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp 01:54
59. Andres Torres Agudelo (Col) Colombia 01:56
60. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol 01:57
61. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 02:02
62. Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 02:08
63. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 02:13
64. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 02:30
65. Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 03:01
66. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
67. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 03:54
68. Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 04:01
69. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 04:04
70. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Esp) Team Katusha 04:06
71. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Esp) Movistar Team 04:12
72. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica Greenedge 04:14
73. Angel Vicioso Arcos (Esp) Team Katusha 04:17
74. Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka 05:02
75. Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 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 (Esp) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
83. Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.fr
84. Reto Hollenstein (Sui) 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 05:19
94. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team 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 (Esp) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
101. Marcel Wyss (Sui) IAM Cycling 05:28
102. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 05:30
103. Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 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 05:35
109. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
110. Alberto Losada Alguacil (Esp) Team Katusha
111. Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar
112. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing
113. Rafael Valls Ferri (Esp) Lampre-Merida 05:42
114. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida
115. Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida
116. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 05:47
117. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
118. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert 05:49
119. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
120. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale 05:51
121. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Esp) Movistar Team 05:59
122. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 06:04
123. Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 06:05
124. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr 06:06
125. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale
126. David Lopez Garcia (Esp) Team Sky 06:18
127. Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 07:52
128. Edward Beltran (Col) Tinkoff-Saxo
129. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 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 (Sui) IAM Cycling
135. Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky
136. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.fr
137. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale
138. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida 09:27
139. Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
140. Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale
141. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 09:35
142. Davide Frattini (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 10:07
143. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
144. David Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
145. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing 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 (Esp) 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 (Esp) Movistar Team
DNF José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Esp) 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 (Sui) 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) FDJ.fr
DNF Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr
DNF Laurent Mangel (Fra) FDJ.fr

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