Julian Alaphilippe and Jakob Fuglsang, whose lack of accurate time gap information may have cost Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race, continued their 2019 WorldTour rivalry in today’s La Flèche Wallonne. The Frenchman won a second successive La Flèche Wallonne with a well-timed jump on the Dane to continue his formidable form in the spring Classics.
“It’s always you!”😂
— Astana Pro Team (@AstanaTeam) April 24, 2019
The La Flèche Wallonne Course
This year’s route took place entirely within the Province of Liège, starting in Seraing. The course features 11 climbs over 198.5 kilometers of racing. The opening 80 kilometers featured climbs of the Côte de la Vecquée and La Redoute, soon followed by the Côte de Mont and the Côte d’Amay.
The 29 kilometer finishing circuit – which the riders completed twice – saw them climb the Côte d’Ereffe, Côte de Cherave and Mur de Huy – finishing atop the Mur de Huy which averages just over nine percent grade with sections at 26 percent.
Eleven climbs, including three ascents of the iconic Mur de Huy (1300 meters, 9.6%), are on the menu of the 195.5km-long #FlecheWallonne, which for the first time in history starts from Ans. pic.twitter.com/jqGVBofphS
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) April 24, 2019
Five riders broke away early and reached the first climb of the Cote de Tancremont at the 46 kilometer having amassed a gap of 4:10. By the top of the first of three passages of the Mur de Huy, the break was down to three riders who had 2:40 over the peloton.
Into the second circuit, a group of seven riders tried to bridge the gap to the trio up front.
Alaphilippe suffered a flat between Ereffe 2 and Cherave 2, at the same moment Gorka Izagirre attacked to make it over to the chase group, now 1:15 behind the breakaway. Behind, a crash took out Jon Gorka along with several others.
Peter Sagan and Dan Martin were dropped from the peloton on the Cherave.
Before the second ascent of the Mur the peloton swept up the Gorka chase. Then, another crash took out Roman Kreuziger, Domenico Pozzovivo and Adam Yates.
There were no attacks over the first half of the Mur until Fuglsang launched. Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) led up the climb, before Fuglsang launched with Alaphilippe on his wheel. Alaphilippe powered after him and passed him for his third WorldTour one-day race vicotry of the season.
La Flèche Wallonne 2019 Results
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, in 4-55-14
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, at same time
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 6 seconds
4 Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 8s
5 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb, all at same time
9 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 11s
10 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data, at same time