Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) executed the pre-race script to perfection powering away from the field on the Mur de Huy to complete a hat trick of wins and a historic fourth La Fleche Wallonne title.
Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step) finished second ahead of teammate Dan Martin.
How Alejandro Valverde won the race
La Fleche Wallonne is usually won by the strongest rider attacking out of the peloton on the final ascent of the Mur De Huy and this year was no exception as the early break of ten riders was reduced down to four by the penultimate climb of the Mur de Huy and then all back together before starting the Mur de Huy for the final time.
Joaquim Rodríguez was the first to attack on the Mur de Huy but faded as Dan Martin attacked followed by Julian Alaphilippe, behind the Etixx – Quick-Step riders Alejandro Valverde was perfectly placed to launch his attack and this was the moment the race was won, Valverde was simply too strong and sprinted away. Julian Alaphilippe went past Dan Martin to finish runner up while Dan Martin held on for third place.
Alejandro Valverde will now start Sunday’s Liège–Bastogne–Liège as favourite hoping to add to his 2008 and 2015 wins.
Video Highlights of La Flèche Wallonne 2016
Results of La Flèche Wallonne 2016
|Place||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||4:43:57|
|2||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step|
|3||Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step|
|4||Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky||0:00:04|
|5||Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty – Groupe Gobert||0:00:05|
|6||Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team|
|7||Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge|
|8||Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre – Merida|
|9||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|10||Rui Costa (Por) Lampre – Merida|
|11||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team|
|12||Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale Pro Cycling|
|13||Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|14||Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||0:00:12|
|15||Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||0:00:14|
|16||Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|17||Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|18||Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:00:17|
|19||Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|20||Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team|
|21||Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge||0:00:23|
Race report by TBL – The Bike Lane
Main photo via ASO – © ASO