Those cycling books I used to read in the 70’s told me that the ‘Fleche Wallonne’ had a route which resembled an arrow in flight. I could never see it, personally – but I later read it was because the route slices across Wallonia like an arrow. Whatever the reason, it’s the ‘Walloon Arrow’ or ‘Waalse Pijl’ as they say in Flemish.
There is a moment of great anticipation that cradles the beauty of La Flиche Wallonne just before the first riders break the horizon 100 meters from the finish line on the top of the Mur de Huy. And while this moment brings elation for one, it is followed closely by the cruel despair of defeat for others, the defining space of victory that slips one step in front of defeat, the suspenseful animation that the television screen cannot define well enough the physical brutality that paves the Chemin des Chapelles.