This year’s edition packs in eleven climbs, which will make for a harder than usual race.
Julian Alaphilippe returns to Flèche Wallonne, the site of his maiden one-day race victory, where last season he triumphed after a powerful all-in attack on the mythical Mur de Huy, launched just after the hill’s famous S-bend. The 26-year-old Frenchman, who currently sits on eight wins in 2019, will lead Deceuninck – Quick-Step at the prestigious Belgian Classic, which has made new tweaks for this edition, set to start from Ans for the first time in history.
Côte de La Redoute is out, but both Côte de Ereffe and and Côte de Cherave will feature three times instead of two, as was the case last year. Together with the Mur de Huy (1300 meters, 9.6%), which once again will be tackled on three occasions, the last time at the end of the day, after 194 kilometers, these climbs will make the race more difficult and could alter its dynamic, especially if some riders decide to throw caution to wind before the final hills.
Alaphilippe will be joined for the 83rd edition of Flèche Wallonne by Rémi Cavagna, Dries Devenyns, Mikkel Honoré, Enric Mas, Pieter Serry and Petr Vakoč – a solid squad that will be hoping to feature once again in the business end of the race.
“Julian is in good form. He showed at Amstel that he has recovered after his crash in the Basque Country and will be very motivated to get a good result after last Sunday”, sports director Geert Van Bondt said. “This year’s circuit will be very hard and all eyes will be on us, but we have a strong team, capable of protecting Alaphilippe and bringing him in a perfect position at the start of the third and final ascent of the Mur de Huy.”
Photo credit: ©Vincent Kalut-Pool/ Getty Images