Fleche Wallonne: Daniel Moreno’s Killer Blow


A year after Joaquim Rodriguez’s victory at the Fleche Wallonne, his Katusha team mate Daniel Moreno gave the Russian team yet another success in the Belgian classic.

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Like on the previous editions, the race was decided on the final climb up the Mur de Huy. After a first attack from Carlos Betancur, it was left to Phillippe Gilbert to chase the AG2R rider but the steep slopes, 26% in places, proved too much and Daniel Moreno managed to power away from the rest, catch up the Colombian and fly to the biggest victory of his career.

This 2013 edition will enter the history books with two Colombians finishing on the podium: Henao in second spot and Betancur, third, inches (two) in front of Dan Martin.

After taking off from the city of Binche for the very first time in the race’s history, the 196 riders of the 77th edition of the Fleche Wallonne officially started racing on the 205km course just after noon under bright sunshine in perfect weather conditions.

After twenty kilometres of riding, two riders managed to breakaway from the pack: Gilles Devillers (CRE) and Pirmin Lang (IAM). Fifteen kilometres later the front two were caught up by a third man, Jurgen Van Goolen (AJW). Their advantage reached a maximum 9’30 at km 53 when team Sky and BMC Racing decided to really take on the chase, helped out by Blanco and Saxo-Tinkoff.

Just before the climb up the Cote de Groynne, a crash occurred in the peloton sending one of the race favourites, Jelle Vanendert (LTB) to the ground. Nothing too serious however for the Belgian while the leaders could still enjoy an 8’40 advantage at the top of the hill. The gap dropped down gradually all the way to the Cote de Bellaire (km 151) where the front men could only enjoy 40” on a small group of ten counter-attackers and 50” over the pack.

Eventually, Van Goolen was the last to remain clear of the pack going up the Cote de Bohisseau. After a 138 km breakaway, he was finally caught while Romain Bardet (ALM) and Laurens Ten Dam (BLA) took off. On the second climb up the Mur de Huy, Bardet failed to keep up with the pace of Ten Dam. The Dutchman caught up by Simon Geschke just before the top, continued his effort at the front of the race. The leading two could still enjoy a 15” lead with 20 kilometres to go.

Just before the top of the penultimate climb, the Cote de Villers-le-Bouillet, the leading riders were caught by the hungry pack. The peloton remained bunched at a very fast pace, preventing any rider from giving it a go. With just over 600m to go on the frightening Mur de Huy, Carlos Betancur (ALM) managed to power away. A very impressive and explosive move that allowed the Colombian to enjoy a decent gap. Behind, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) made his move taking with him Sagan (CAN) and Moreno (KAT).

While Betancur fought his way to the line, he was finally caught and dropped by Moreno with under 100m to go. Daniel Moreno eventually crossed the line clear from any rival. A few seconds later, Sergio Henao (SKY) had to settle for second spot just ahead of his compatriot Betancur. A year after Rodriguez, another Katusha rider claims the Fleche Wallonne joined on the podium by two Colombians for the first time in the race’s history. Moreno adds this Fleche Wallonne to the two stage successes he captured on last year’s Dauphiné.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Michal Kwiatkowski  happy with 5th

“I am really happy about my performance today,” Kwiatkowski said. “We started this morning with a plan to protect myself, and the fact that I was a captain for the very first time gave me great motivation. I was really focused on the race and I felt also the guys surrounding me as a team. It was a special feeling. All the guys did an unbelievable job to put me in the best position and help me out. I don’t want to say one name because really, everybody on the team was motivated for me.”

“In the final, on the last passage on the Mur de Huy, I took the wheel of Gilbert. I started following and looked around me to see the gears other guys were using. I did my best to resist any accelerations. Then on the steepest part I had the power to pass well. In the last 300 meters I tried to get the best position possible and I think I did it. It’s a really big achievement for me and the team. I want to share this result with my teammates.”

170413 OPQS Fleche Wallonne-Kwiatkowski (c) TimDe Waele

“To be honest I am always surprised about the fact that I am still so strong,” Kwiatkowski continued. “My objective for the first part of the season was Tirreno-Adriatico and I did well there. I then focused a bit on Ronde van Vlaanderen and did well even there. Now I am a little bit surprised, but also really happy about how things are going and the feeling I have with my team. Tomorrow we will take a day of rest and then Friday we will go to the parcour to make a reconnaissance of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I really hope to do another good race for me and my teammates.”


1 MORENO FERNANDéZ Daniel Katusha Team 04:52:33
2 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Sky Procycling 00:03
3 BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos Alberto AG2R La Mondiale @ st
4 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp @ st
5 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
6 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 00:08
7 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team @ st
8 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
9 MOLLEMA Bauke Blanco Pro Cycling Team @ st
10 NOCENTINI Rinaldo AG2R La Mondiale @ st

12 SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
15 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team 00:15
19 HESJEDAL Ryder Garmin – Sharp 00:23
21 ALBASINI Michael Orica GreenEDGE @ st
33 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:40
34 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE @ st
37 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
43 EDMONDSON Joshua Sky Procycling @ st
50 VISCONTI Giovanni Movistar Team 01:05
86 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard 04:35
131 DE GENDT Thomas Vacansoleil – DCM @ 10.06
132 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling @ st
138 CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team @ st


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