Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) took his fifth victory at Flèche Wallonne today, adding to his existing record number of wins at the Ardennes classic.
The Spaniard timed his acceleration to perfection as he followed 20 year-old David Gaudu (FDJ) inside the final 250 metres on the finishing climb of the Mur de Huy before surging clear alone. Nobody could keep pace with Valverde as he finished 1″ clear of his nearest challengers.
Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) made a late charge to take second, with Dylan Teuns (BMC) taking the final podium place ahead of Sergio Henao (Sky).
Today’s win for Valverde was his fourth in a row at the Belgian classic and it also marked his tenth individual win this year. Next up for Valverde is Liège-Bastogne-Liège where he will be looking for a fourth victory.
Alejandro Valverde: “It was a victory based on confidence, strength and a great team supporting me all the way. I had lots of respect to what my rivals could do, but also knew that I was in great physical condition, and I had to take advantage from it. We believed we could win it again, and the whole team worked from the very first kilometre to keep the race together before the finish.”
“There were plenty of attacks into the final 50km by riders from Quick Step and BMC, but ourselves, as well as Orica who took a big share of the work in the finale, made sure it all came down to the last Huy climb. We knew it would still be difficult to win there, because only one can achieve it and many fight for it, but to be honest, this feels like a race made for me.”
Beating everyone except suspicion