News: Valverde wins fifth Flèche Wallonne

Movistar cycling team’s Alejandro Valverde’s season got even better today when he won his fifth Flèche Wallonne ahead of Dan Martin

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News: Valverde wins fifth Flèche Wallonne

Movistar Press Release
Alejandro Valverde has no rivals at the Flèche Wallonne. After breaking a tie against Merckx, Kint, Argentin and Rebellin, all with three victories before the Spanish superstar claimed his fourth in 2016, the marvel from Murcia was able to increase that tally on Wednesday and take his fifth (four on a row) in the second event of the Ardennes trio.


Valverde was as strong as usual on the decisive climb to the Mur de Huy (1.3km at 9.6% average, slopes up to 26%). Following impressive work from the Movistar Team –with Erviti, Sutherland, Soler, Herrada, a remarkable Betancur and the final, key contribution from Rojas and Dani Moreno, Valverde controlled the opposition with ease before doing his classic acceleration from just less than 200 meters from the finish line.

Behind him, Dan Martin (QST) and Dylan Teuns (BMC) completed the podium behind the Spaniard, who improves his already amazing start to the 2017 season: most winning UCI rider this year (10 wins, 19 already for the Movistar Team since January), 107 victories as a pro, eight triumphs in the Ardennes (5 in La Flèche Wallonne, 3 in Liège-Bastogne-Liége, which he’ll tackle on Sunday with the intention of claiming his second double, after 2006 and 2015) for a legendary cyclist who continues to amaze the world, just six days away from turning 37 years old.
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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 kilometer 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.

“Rojas and Dani Moreno set me up in perfect position before the final kilometer and I took to the front before the double hairpin halfway through the ascent – I wanted to make sure everything was under control and also go on my own trajectory through the last few corners. I went after Gaudu’s attack and didn’t hesitate to launch my sprint afterwards. Even though it might seem easier, it was just as difficult as the other four wins I got here. There’s no secret: you need to be in perfect form and have no doubts about how to reach when someone jumps in the final meters. No one had four victories here, and now that I’ve got five, it seems like it will be a record very hard to beat.

“Liège? We’ll see how we feel on Sunday. It’s a race that I really like a lot and won three times. I’m in great shape at the moment, but as always, enjoying this win comes first and thinking about what’s next comes after that.”


Daniel Martin (2nd) “This year’s Flèche Wallonne was strange, because we had a strong headwind on the Mur and the peloton was very nervous. That made for a messy finish and as a result I didn’t have the best position on the climb, where my plan was to take Alejandro’s wheel. Although things weren’t perfect and I didn’t have good legs today, I managed to come back and grab second place at the end of the race, and this makes me look with optimism to Liège–Bastogne–Liège.”

Dylan Teuns (3rd): “I was able to keep calm until the last two or three kilometers. The only important thing with the Mur de Huy is positioning, to be in front, and to try and ride as fast as possible up the climb. With Alessandro De Marchi in front in the final 30km we didn’t have to chase, and even if we didn’t have De Marchi, we were able to wait because Valverde (Movistar Team) was the big favorite. The pressure was on him and Movistar Team, and ORICA-SCOTT also took the pressure because they were riding for Michael Albasini. For us it was perfect to have De Marchi in front.”

“You need to be in the top ten riders when you approach the Mur de Huy. I knew from two years ago because I was in 25th or 30th position and I came up to 5th position at the steepest part but by then I had already made a big effort. I was with the big favorites towards the top of the climb so it was the perfect position for me. I was here in 2011 when Philippe Gilbert won and I was at the place where he attacked but I was boxed in by Michael Kwiatkowski and Sergio Heano, and I was thinking this was the moment to go. But when you are in a race with a top favorite like Valverde you need to wait until he goes. I tried to follow and I could for five meters but then I lost a bike length. Then it was just about keeping going to the end. The legs hurt.”


“In 2015 I was a neo pro and now it’s my third year with BMC Racing Team. I did my first Grand Tour last year and they always say that this helps you to step up a lot. So, I guess that helped me. I’m 25 now and Valerde is 37 so I think I still have a lot of years to progress and try and win this race one day. Today I shared the leadership with Samuel Sanchez and I took my chance that I got from the team. I’m really thankful for this chance from the team and I think I still have time to grow, to compete more for winning in the next few years.”

Michal Kwiatkowski reflected on the race and its famous final climb. He said: “Mur de Huy really makes us sweat and there was no mercy this time. We failed to beat Alejandro, but together with Sergio we can be proud of our team, especially in the last difficult kilometres.

“We were there until the final cut and this is what matters before La Doyenne (Liege-Bastogne-Liege). Thanks for the great support along the course.”


1. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team400
2. Daniel Martin Quick-Step Floors :01
3. Dylan Teuns BMC Racing Team
4. Sergio Henao LuisTeam Sky
5. Michael Albasini ORICA-Scott
6. Warren Barguil Team Sunweb
7. Michal Kwiatkowski Team Sky
8. Rudy Molard
9. David Gaudu
10. Diego Ulissi UAE Team Emirates
11. Michael Woods Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
12. Ion Izagirre Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
13. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale :08
14. Pierre Latour AG2R La Mondiale
15. Robert Gesink Team LottoNL-Jumbo
16. Patrick Konrad Bora – Hansgrohe
17. Jelle Vanendert Lotto Souda 0.13
18. Tim Wellens Lotto Souda
19. Jay McCarthy Bora – Hansgrohe
20. Jonathan Hivert Direct Energie :16

112. Tao Geoghegan Hart, Team Sky 3:22



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