Vibrant Flèche Wallonne
It is true that you can not always win, but Alejandro Valverde was again among the best in one of the most exciting editions of the recent history of the Fleche Wallonne. The Movistar Team cyclist finished in the second place, just behind the Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), the rider who has ended the streak of four consecutive victories of Valverde in the Wall of Huy.
It turned out to be a vibrant race, with an attack of six riders -among them Vincenzo Nibali- that threatened to reach with advantage the finish line. His advantage reached 1 minute but the work of Movistar Team, with special mention for a formidable Mikel Landa, kept the break at a reasonable distance for a group where other teams joined to the work in the final part.
The demanding ramps of Huy were once again the key of the race. Alaphilippe, Valverde’s great rival in this race in recent years, attacked in the final meters opening a gap that the Murcian couldn’t close.
Statements: This second position is not a disappointment. If I had won again it would seem easy, and people should be aware that it is never easy to win. On the contrary, I am satisfied because I have shown again that I am still there, and that with this second place in Huy and fifth place in Amstel, we have very good options for Liège. I started Huy a little behind and, although we knew that our rival had to be Alaphilippe, he has jumped earlier than usual, he has caught me still climbing and that effort that I had to make to win meters has taken my toll on the straight final. Alaphilippe has always been a great rider; he had several second places and this time he had to win. I have to congratulate him.
Photo and statements: Movistar Team