Albasini earns ORICA-SCOTT’s support at Fleche WallonneMon 17 Apr 2017
Fresh off his third-place finish at Amstel Gold Race yesterday, Michael Albasini will start La Fleche Wallonne this Wednesday with the full support of his ORICA-SCOTT outfit.
Albasini’s result on Sunday gave him the full suite of Ardennes podiums, but it is Fleche Wallonne that has seen his most consistent results.
The 36-year-old has twice podiumed, in 2015 and 2012, and has finished in the top ten on another five occasions.
“There’s nothing that particularly makes this race good for me but once you have one good result at a race, this helps you produce the performance again in the future,” Albasini explained.
“A good result gives you the confidence that you can go back and do it again with the best riders on this course.”
Sport director Matthew White said Albasini has earned the team’s commitment and he will in good company with the likes of Roman Kreuziger and Daryl Impey.
“Alba’s current form and his past performances at this race show he deserves to go into Fleche as one of our protected riders.
“We don’t start with one of the big favourites, that clearly sits with Alexandro Valverde and Daniel Martin, but we have seen that Alba can mix it with these big guys on the Mur du Huy in the past and we hope for another solid performance this week.”
The 2017 Fleche Wallonne will leave from new start town ‘Binche’ before hitting the famous Mur du Huy for the first of three times after 145km. From there the peloton will complete two local laps which contain the Cote d’Ereffe and Cote de Cherave climbs ahead of the Mur de Huy.
“They have reintroduced the Cote de Cherave into both local laps,” White indicated. “This won’t make too much difference to the guys who are a chance of winning but it will likely thin out the field behind them a little more.”
“There’s three kilometres of flat along the river after this climb to allow teams to regroup ahead of the decisive Muy de Huy.
“It will come down to this 1.3km climb again. All you can do is position your leaders well at the bottom and then there isn’t a lot you can do. It’s down to the legs.”
Joining the trio straight from Amstel is Dane Chris Juul-Jensen, whilst Sam Bewley, Alexander Edmondson, Jack Haig and Damien Howson come in fresh.
ORICA-SCOTT at Fleche Wallonne (Wednesday, 19 April):