The Spaniard rider for the Caisse d’Epargne team: Alejandro Valverde has won La Flèche Wallonne. At the end of the race at Le Mur de Huy, Valverde left behind his compatriot from the Euskaltel-Euskadi team Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez who finished second. Karsten Kroon and his teammate Frank Schleck from the Team CSC finished third and fourth. T- Mobile’s rider Patrik Sinkewitz ended the run in the fifth place.
Two riders left the group early in the cycling race: Frédéric Finot from Française des Jeux and Ag2R’s José Luis Arrieta but around 80 Km to go the pack reached them. Conditions for the race were fine but the hard wind didn’t let some of the riders get ahead from the group.
The next important gap took place when Phonak’s Alexandre Moss and Rabobank’s Oscar Freire gained some distance from the other riders when they were at 63 Km from the end but they got caught by a group of almost 30 competitors on the penultimate climb of the day: Côte de Ahin with 12 km to go.
The circuit consisted of 202 Km from Charleroi to Huy and at the end, riders climb the Mur de Huy. The Flèche Wallonne is traditionally one of the most open of the spring classics, where as 2005 champion Danilo Di Luca says: “you need the power to explode in that grueling final ascent to the finish.”
The group of riders climbs the Huy three times during the race, including the summit finish. While stragglers have time to rejoin the leaders after the first two ascents, it is power what it takes at the end and that’s what Valverde proved when winning the race.