La Flèche Wallonne - Race Overview

Michael Albasini is no stranger to racing himself into the top ten at Flèche Wallonne – he’s done it four times previous to today. Today the Swiss hardman went on to record the best result for ORICA-GreenEDGE as he notched his fifth top ten finish when he rolled across the line in seventh place.

It was a gorgeous day in Belgium for a bike race. Blue skies, warm temperatures and dry roads greeted the riders at the start town in Bastogne. The perfect conditions, big open roads and the lack of hills in the beginning of the race spurred the peloton to average 49.4 kilometres in the first hour of racing.

Despite the high speed in the early goings of the race, the majority of the race unfolded predictably and uneventfully. Shortly after leaving Bastogne, a three man break charged away from the peloton. The trio of Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp), Jonathan Clarke (United Healthcare) and Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) steadily built a gap that extended to as much as nine minutes before Katusha and BMC began the chase to set up their leaders for the finish.

The race unfolded exactly at projected. The breakaway maintained their lead over the peloton until the teams most invested in winning the race brought back the two remaining leaders at the 12 kilometre to go mark.

As the leading duo came into view, various riders risked their chances at slipping away from the peloton. An assortment of teams drove the pace at the front of the race, resulting in a whittled down peloton in the final charge up the Mur de Huy. With the help of his teammates, Albasini was well positioned at the foot of the climb to the line.

“For me, this is easiest of the three Classics this week. All you have to do is get to bottom of Mur in good position and then suffer to the finish. The last 200 metres is where the big difference is made. I was with the best guys after the really steep part. From there you have to ride tempo and then kick it to the top. This type of finish really suits me. Seventh was the max I could do today. I am happy with that.” - Michael Albasini

“We got what we were looking for, a top ten, so we are very satisfied. This race doesn’t necessarily suit Alba’s characteristics. He’s a hard man. He’s a powerful man. Seventh is a substantial result when competing against the best pure climbers in the world.” - Sport Director Matt White

 

Place Rider/Team Time
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) - Movistar Team 4:36:45
2 Daniel Martin (Irl) - Garmin Sharp 0:00:03
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:04
4 Bauke Mollema (Ned) - Belkin Pro Cycling Team ST
5 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) - Garmin Sharp 0:00:06
6 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) - Lotto Belisol ST
7 Michael Albasini (Swi) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:00:08
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) - Tinkoff-Saxo ST
9 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) - Team Katusha 0:00:11
10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) - BMC Racing Team 0:00:15
Place Mitchelton-SCOTT Riders Time
7 Michael Albasini (Swi) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:00:08
16 Simon Clarke (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:00:28
27 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:00:48
47 Cameron Meyer (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:01:25
72 Pieter Weening (Ned) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:04:14
78 Simon Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:05:12
97 Adam Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:05:23