Photog's Report: Fleche Wallone is defined by its passages up the fearsome Mur de Huy - 1200m of the steepest climbing you can find. PEZ photog Wei Yuet Wong was at the top for the men's and women's races, and filed his favorite 15 pics of the day.
Apr 24, 2014 - Alessandro Valverde won Flèche Wallone for his 8th victory of the season and Cadel Evans is overall leader in Trentino, a busy EuroTrash Thursday. Lots of video and rider quotes from all the races and we preview Liège, look at Johan Bruyneel’s ban, Rund um Köln, Giro d’Italia, Michael Rogers and round 4 of the Sky v Orica battle. Café grande time!
The thing about the Fleche Wallonne parcours that surprised me most was just how hard this 200km ‘semi-Classic’ is. There’s nothing ‘semi’ about it… This hard course deserves the prime time and throws up 11 rated climbs, including 3 passes over a 1300 meter brute called the Mur. Here’s how it happened to me…
Tomorrow the 78th Flèche Wallonne takes place. This WorldTour race is the second part of the Ardennes triptych. The start will be given in Bastogne, the finish lies of course on the Mur de Huy. It’s only after 83 of 199 total kilometers we find the first climb on the course, that’s the Côte de Bellaire. After a passage over the Côte d’Ahin the riders have to get over the Mur de Huy for the first time. The climb has a length of 1.3 kilometers and an average gradient of 9.3% with a maximal ramp of 19%!
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will participate in La Flèche Wallonne, The 199 kilometer race includes 11 climbs, including three ascents of the Mur de Huy (9.3% average gradient, maximum ramp 17 percent) with the last being the final of the race.
The Classics just keep on coming and next up is Wednesday's Fleche Wallonne. With a finish on the brutal Mur de Huy this mid-week race is suited for the tough and explosive climbers that can power up the climb's steep slopes. Ed Hood takes a look at the course and contenders for 2014.
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.