Mitchelton-SCOTT come with youth and experience for La Fleche WallonneMon 16 Apr 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT bring a mixture of youthful climbers and older experienced riders to the 82nd edition of La Fleche Wallonne, as they look to continue their strong start to the Ardennes classics, after Roman Kreuiziger’s recent second place in the Amstel Gold Race.
Kreuziger, two-time podium finisher in the event Michael Albasini and Chris Juul-Jensen continue racing in the Ardennes, whilst four younger climbers come in fresh to bolster the team line-up.
The 198.5km race begins in Seraing and heads over four climbs before hitting the famous Mur du Huy for the first of three times after 140km.
The peloton then complete two local laps which contain the Cote d’Ereffe and Cote de Cherave climbs ahead of the final and decisive ascent of the Mur de Huy.
Roman Kreuziger - 2nd Amstel Gold Race
“Flèche Wallonne is a bit shorter than the other Ardennes classics, it isn’t so technical the parcours, usually on nice roads with the last 60kilometres or so on the circuit and there is where the race starts. With Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the race, he has won the race five times already and in the shape he is in he will be looking for his sixth win.
“We have some young guys in the team and it is the race where Albasini is normally really good. I am confident with the shape I have that if I am feeling well and in a good position coming into the Mur De Huy the last time then I can fight for a top result.”
Matt White - Sport Director
“This race comes down to the final minute of racing up the Mur de Huy, and in that way it is quite different to the other two Ardennes classics. Roman proved on Sunday in Amstel that he has really good legs and he can be confident after that performance.”
“Usually the race plays out the same with the bunch reducing down to 30riders or so on the penultimate climb and then a race to the bottom of the Mur de Huy. Then it all just depends on who can get there in a good position and then who has the best legs for the final metres. Albasini has podiumed here two times before so he knows what it takes on the Mur and we have a good group of climbers for this race.”
Previously in La Fleche Wallonne
Mr consistent in the Ardennes, Michael Albasini has twice podiumed in the race back in 2015 and 2012, and has finished in the top ten on another six occasions.
Last year Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) claimed the race win with Albasini fighting into fifth place after the usual firework of attacks on the final steep climb.
Wednesday, 18th April: Seraing to Huy, 198.5km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images