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Valverde grabs fifth victory at La Flèche Wallonne

Alejandro Valverde captured his fourth straight victory — and fifth overall — at La Flèche Wallonne Wednesday.

The Movistar rider broke away from the leading group near the top of the Mur de Huy and cruised to victory in the closing meters of the Ardennes classic.

Valverde won the 2006 edition of the one-day race, and has since won it every year since 2014. Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) placed second and third Wednesday.

“The Ardennes classics are courses that I love. I feel a bit like I’m at home here,” Valverde said. “I’m in excellent physical condition, I had to take advantage of it.”

Top 10 results

  • 1. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, in 5:15:37
  • 2. Daniel MARTIN, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :01
  • 3. Dylan TEUNS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :01
  • 4. Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA, TEAM SKY, at :01
  • 5. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA – SCOTT, at :01
  • 6. Warren BARGUIL, TEAM SUNWEB, at :01
  • 7. Michal KWIATKOWSKI, TEAM SKY, at :01
  • 8. Rudy MOLARD, FDJ, at :01
  • 9. David GAUDU, FDJ, at :01
  • 10. Diego ULISSI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :01

Bob Jungels of Quick-Step launched an attack before the Cote de Cherave and rode clear of the leading group, but he was caught on the third and final ascent of the Mur de Huy.

Valverde’s winning surge came seconds from the finish line of the 204.5-kilometer race. He cranked hard on his pedals and quickly separated himself from the front group of riders who were climbing up the Mur, with visions of winning flashing before their eyes.

“The team worked right from the first kilometer, we had the belief we were going to win,” Valverde said. “It’s a course that suits me very well, it’s made to measure for me.”

The 36-year-old Valverde has now won five races this season: La Flèche, Volta a Catalunya, Tour of the Basque Country, Vuelta a Andalucía, and Vuelta a Murcia.

Martin finished second behind Valverde in 2014 and was third last year.

“I came second again, it looks like I’ll have to wait for Valverde to retire,” Martin quipped.

The race organizer posted this clip of the final kilometer of racing on its Twitter feed:

Results

  • 1. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, in 5:15:37
  • 2. Daniel MARTIN, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :01
  • 3. Dylan TEUNS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :01
  • 4. Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA, TEAM SKY, at :01
  • 5. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA – SCOTT, at :01
  • 6. Warren BARGUIL, TEAM SUNWEB, at :01
  • 7. Michal KWIATKOWSKI, TEAM SKY, at :01
  • 8. Rudy MOLARD, FDJ, at :01
  • 9. David GAUDU, FDJ, at :01
  • 10. Diego ULISSI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :01
  • 11. Michael WOODS, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :01
  • 12. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :01
  • 13. Romain BARDET, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :08
  • 14. Pierre Roger LATOUR, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :08
  • 15. Robert GESINK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :08
  • 16. Patrick KONRAD, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :08
  • 17. Jelle VANENDERT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :13
  • 18. Tim WELLENS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :13
  • 19. Jay MCCARTHY, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :13
  • 20. Jonathan HIVERT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :16
  • 21. Tom-Jelte SLAGTER, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :16
  • 22. Jakob FUGLSANG, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :16
  • 23. Rigoberto URAN URAN, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :21
  • 24. Eduardo SEPULVEDA, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at :21
  • 25. Maurits LAMMERTINK, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :24
  • 26. Alexis VUILLERMOZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :24
  • 27. Mathias FRANK, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :29
  • 28. Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :29
  • 29. Rafal MAJKA, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :35
  • 30. Diego ROSA, TEAM SKY, at :35
  • 31. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, UAE ABU DHABI, at :37
  • 32. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM SUNWEB, at :39
  • 33. Pavel KOCHETKOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :42
  • 34. Arthur VICHOT, FDJ, at :42
  • 35. Elie GESBERT, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at :45
  • 36. Nathan HAAS, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :45
  • 37. Jarlinson PANTANO GOMEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :48
  • 38. Paul MARTENS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :50
  • 39. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :53
  • 40. Xandro MEURISSE, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :54
  • 41. Thomas SPRENGERS, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at :54
  • 42. Thomas DEGAND, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :54
  • 43. Rúben GUERREIRO, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :54
  • 44. Mikael CHEREL, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :54
  • 45. Louis MEINTJES, UAE ABU DHABI, at :54
  • 46. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:01
  • 47. Ben HERMANS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:01
  • 48. Julien SIMON, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 1:01
  • 49. Daniel MORENO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:01
  • 50. Guillaume MARTIN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:01
  • 51. Laurens DE PLUS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 1:01
  • 52. CYRIL GAUTIER, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:01
  • 53. Simone PETILLI, UAE ABU DHABI, at 1:01
  • 54. Eliot LIETAER, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 1:01
  • 55. Michael GOGL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:13
  • 56. Maxime VANTOMME, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 1:13
  • 57. Pello BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:13
  • 58. Jacques Willem JANSE VAN RENSBURG, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 1:17
  • 59. Floris DE TIER, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:21
  • 60. Serge PAUWELS, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 1:21
  • 61. Lilian CALMEJANE, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 1:21
  • 62. Silvan DILLIER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:21
  • 63. Armindo FONSECA, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:26
  • 64. SEBASTIAN HENAO GOMEZ, TEAM SKY, at 1:26
  • 65. Bart DE CLERCQ, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:34
  • 66. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM SUNWEB, at 1:34
  • 67. Michael MATTHEWS, TEAM SUNWEB, at 1:34
  • 68. Enrico BATTAGLIN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:34
  • 69. Jose ROJAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:38
  • 70. Dion SMITH, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 1:44
  • 71. Juan Jose LOBATO DEL VALLE, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:52
  • 72. Roman KREUZIGER, ORICA – SCOTT, at 2:09
  • 73. Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 2:09
  • 74. André CARDOSO, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 2:09
  • 75. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 2:09
  • 76. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 2:09
  • 77. Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 2:09
  • 78. Stéphane ROSSETTO, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 2:13
  • 79. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 2:13
  • 80. Ben O’CONNOR, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 2:13
  • 81. Sander ARMEE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 2:13
  • 82. Dimitri PEYSKENS, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 2:13
  • 83. Alex HOWES, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 2:13
  • 84. Simon CLARKE, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 2:13
  • 85. Brendan CANTY, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 2:13
  • 86. Maxime BOUET, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 2:13
  • 87. Brice FEILLU, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 2:20
  • 88. Alexey VERMEULEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 2:20
  • 89. Andrea PASQUALON, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 2:23
  • 90. Perrig QUEMENEUR, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 2:23
  • 91. Romain SICARD, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 2:27
  • 92. Nicolas EDET, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 2:27
  • 93. Nikita STALNOV, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 2:31
  • 94. Giovanni VISCONTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 2:31
  • 95. Antoine WARNIER, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 2:31
  • 96. Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM, at 2:31
  • 97. Brian NAULEAU, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 2:31
  • 98. AMAEL MOINARD, BMC RACING TEAM, at 2:31
  • 99. Sébastien DELFOSSE, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 2:41
  • 100. Christophe MASSON, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 2:41
  • 101. Dries DEVENYNS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 2:46
  • 102. Yukiya ARASHIRO, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 2:46
  • 103. Manuele MORI, UAE ABU DHABI, at 2:56
  • 104. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at 2:56
  • 105. Michel KREDER, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 2:56
  • 106. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 3:00
  • 107. Guillaume BONNAFOND, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 3:04
  • 108. Lennard HOFSTEDE, TEAM SUNWEB, at 3:04
  • 109. Ángel VICIOSO ARCOS, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 3:11
  • 110. Fabien GRELLIER, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 3:14
  • 111. KEVIN REZA, FDJ, at 3:19
  • 112. Tao GEOGHEGAN HART, TEAM SKY, at 3:22
  • 113. Franck BONNAMOUR, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 3:30
  • 114. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 3:32
  • 115. Maximilian SCHACHMANN, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 3:32
  • 116. Jenthe BIERMANS, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 3:55
  • 117. Preben VAN HECKE, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 3:55
  • 118. Marco MINNAARD, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 4:20
  • 119. Tomasz MARCZYNSKI, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:36
  • 120. Mark CHRISTIAN, AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 4:36
  • 121. Gregor MÜHLBERGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 4:36
  • 122. Gianluca BRAMBILLA, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 5:51
  • 123. Michal GOLAS, TEAM SKY, at 5:51
  • 124. Cesare BENEDETTI, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 5:51
  • 125. Jack HAIG, ORICA – SCOTT, at 5:51
  • 126. Petr VAKOC, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 5:54
  • 127. Matej MOHORIC, UAE ABU DHABI, at 5:54
  • 128. Matteo BONO, UAE ABU DHABI, at 5:54
  • 129. Jaco VENTER, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 5:54
  • 130. Christopher JUUL JENSEN, ORICA – SCOTT, at 6:09
  • 131. Tsgabu Gebremaryam GRMAY, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 6:16
  • 132. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 6:42
  • 133. Daryl IMPEY, ORICA – SCOTT, at 7:04
  • 134. Toms SKUJINS, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 7:04
  • 135. Rory SUTHERLAND, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 7:04
  • 136. ANDREY GRIVKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 7:14
  • 137. Damien HOWSON, ORICA – SCOTT, at 7:16
  • 138. Bert-Jan LINDEMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 7:46
  • 139. CEDRIC PINEAU, FDJ, at 8:56
  • 140. Quentin JAUREGUI, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 8:56
  • 141. Axel DOMONT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 8:59
  • 142. Paul OURSELIN, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 8:59
  • 143. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 8:59
  • 144. Anthony PEREZ, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 8:59
  • 145. Alessandro DE MARCHI, BMC RACING TEAM, at 8:59
  • 146. Floris GERFS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 8:59
  • 147. Grega BOLE, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 9:05
  • 148. Simon GESCHKE, TEAM SUNWEB, at 9:05
  • 149. Sindre SKJOESTAD LUNKE, TEAM SUNWEB, at 9:05
  • 150. Gregory HABEAUX, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 9:05
  • 151. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 9:05
  • 152. GREGORY DANIEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 12:40
  • 153. Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 12:40
  • 154. Johannes FRÖHLINGER, TEAM SUNWEB, at 12:40
  • 155. Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 12:40
  • 156. Jens WALLAYS, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 12:50
  • 157. Romain GUILLEMOIS, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 12:52
  • 158. Antonio NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 12:55
  • 159. Johann VAN ZYL, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 12:55
  • 160. Justin JULES, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT, at 12:55
  • 161. Tom SCULLY, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 13:00
  • 162. Arnaud COURTEILLE, FDJ, at 13:00
  • 163. Koen BOUWMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 13:00
  • 164. Alexey LUTSENKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 13:15
  • 165. Jerome COUSIN, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 13:41
  • 166. Yoann BAGOT, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 13:41
  • DNF Olivier PARDINI, WB VERANCLASSIC AQUALITY PROTECT
  • DNF Daniel PEARSON, AQUA BLUE SPORT
  • DNF Lasse Norman HANSEN, AQUA BLUE SPORT
  • DNF Aaron GATE, AQUA BLUE SPORT
  • DNF Conor DUNNE, AQUA BLUE SPORT
  • DNF Adam BLYTHE, AQUA BLUE SPORT
  • DNF Lars Petter NORDHAUG, AQUA BLUE SPORT
  • DNF Kenneth VAN ROOY, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Dries VAN GESTEL, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Ruben POLS, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Maxime FARAZIJN, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Romain HARDY, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT
  • DNF Arnold JEANNESSON, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT
  • DNF Meiyin WANG, BAHRAIN – MERIDA
  • DNF Enrico GASPAROTTO, BAHRAIN – MERIDA
  • DNF Anthony ROUX, FDJ
  • DNF MARC FOURNIER, FDJ
  • DNF Michael SCHWARZMANN, BORA – HANSGROHE
  • DNF Mads Würtz SCHMIDT, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
  • DNF Nils POLITT, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
  • DNF Marco MATHIS, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
  • DNF MICHAEL VALGREN ANDERSEN, ASTANA PRO TEAM
  • DNF Laurens DE VREESE, ASTANA PRO TEAM
  • DNF Thomas DE GENDT, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Sean DE BIE, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Oliviero TROIA, UAE ABU DHABI
  • DNF Alexander EDMONSON, ORICA – SCOTT
  • DNF Sam BEWLEY, ORICA – SCOTT
  • DNF Fabien DOUBEY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Jérôme BAUGNIES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Owain DOULL, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Martin VELITS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS
  • DNF Marc SOLER GIMENEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Imanol ERVITI, MOVISTAR TEAM

Information from AFP was used in this report.