Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez bounced back from a disappointing Classics campaign so far to win La Flèche Wallonne. In a dominating performance the 2010 and 2011 runner-up rode away from everyone on the final ascent of the Mur de Huy to win by four seconds. GreenEDGE’s Michael Albasini continued his superb form in second place, with last year’s winner Philippe Gilbert third.
A damp start
It was a messy start to the race in damp conditions, with numerous crashes claiming a few riders early on, and even splitting the peloton in half. Fortunately, as the race wended its way towards Huy the conditions improved and the average speed ramped up, with the riders slipping off rain jackets and sliding down arm warmers. Continue reading
La Flèche Wallonne – which literally translates as ‘The Walloon Arrow’ – is the second of three races that make up the Ardennes Classics, and is rather bizarrely sandwiched mid-week between the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Originally a race started to boost sales of a newspaper in the 1930s, it’s certainly made it on to the WorldTour calendar on racing merit.
What kind of race is it?
Welcome to our preview of what’s happening in the world of road cycling in April. With the first of this year’s three Grand Tours, the Giro d’Italia, just around the corner, this is a busy month for the professional peloton, featuring no fewer than seven WorldTour events – five one-day Classics (including three of the five ‘monuments’) and two six-day stage races – comprising exactly a quarter of the 28 WorldTour races for 2012. Continue reading