Valverde Wins La Fleche Wallonne
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d?Epargne) has won
The race took place in sunny conditions. After a couple of abortive sallies, Jose Luis Arrieta (Ag2r) and Frederic Finot (Francaise des Jeux) attacked at about
Milram and Discovery Channel began to chase. By
A series of attacks prompted the bunch to chase harder, which put paid to Arrieta and Finot at
Behind, Peter Luttenberger (Team CSC) attacked, which led Paolo Bettini (Quick Step), Igor Astarloa (Barloworld), and others to follow suit. The resulting acceleration in the bunch cut the escapees? lead to 0:39 with
Kessler attacked, and Astarloa, Bettini, and Valverde followed. Defending champion Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas), Schleck, Patrik Sinkewitz (T-Mobile), David Etxebarria (Liberty Seguros), and Sanchez bridged up to the move, and with four km left, so did Kroon, Joaquim Rodriguez (Caisse d?Epargne), Ruggero Marzoli (Lampre), Leonardo Bertagnolli (Cofidis), Fabian Wegmann, Koldo Gil Perez (Saunier Duval), and Bjorn Leukemans (Davitamon). Leukemans put in an immediate attack on the Mur de Huy.
Sanchez and then Astarloa bridged up to Leukemans. Astarloa lunged into the lead, but Etxebarria, Sanchez, Valverde, and Kroon overtook the former world champion near the summit. Valverde, a climber who can sprint, went into high gear for the win.
On Sunday, many of today?s riders will cross swords in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Who will prevail? Check at Roadcycling.com and find out!