Alaphilippe takes Valverde's Crown and wins Fleche Wallonne
The 82nd edition of the Belgium one-day race saw the break caught 6km before the finish. Shortly before the line Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) launched an attack and took the win ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Team Movistar)
Today the Ardennes Classics continued with “La Fléche Wallonne”, the 82ndedition of the Belgium one-day race started in Seraing and took the riders over nearly 200km up to the finish “Mur de Huy”. During the race the riders had to tackle the Mur de Huy twice before the third time built the finale. The course featured as well as eight other demanding ascents, like the “La Redoute” (2km length, 8,9%).
Racing under clear skies the breakaway of the day, went away early in the race and opened a gap of 4 minutes over the main bunch. As the eight riders at the front passed the climb Mur the Huy for the first time, they had still a gap of one minute. Team Movistar and Team Sky took control over the peloton and tried to close the gap and with 45km remaining the breakaway was caught.
36km before the finish, the race went on fire, as a new group of six riders, went away and built a small gap over the peloton.
The group was strong and stayed at the front until the final kilometres before the race headed into the final climb In an exciting finale J. Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) attacked shortly before the finish line and took the win ahead of A. Valverde (Team Movistar).
VIDEO: 2018 Fleche Wallonne Final Kilometres
2018 Fleche Wallonne Top 20
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 4:53:37
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:04
3 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:06
4 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott
5 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:12
11 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:00:15
12 Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data 0:00:19
13 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:21
14 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:25
15 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:28
16 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
17 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
18 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:30
19 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:32
20 Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:34