Victory for Dylan Teuns on Flèche Wallonne, Julian Alaphilippe 4th

For the first time since Philippe Gilbert in 2011, a Belgian won the Flèche Wallone on Wednesday. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) won the 86th edition ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who will not win a sixth title here, at 41, and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe). Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) finished 4th and will not win his 4th Ardennes classic after 2018, 2019 and 2021. La Flèche Wallonne is also resisting Tadej Pogacar. The Slovenian only finished in 12th place. 110 kilometers from the finish, the gap between the breakaway, where four Frenchmen emerged with Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) and Pierre Rolland (B & B Hotels -KTM), and the peloton controlled by the Ineos-Grenadiers, UAE Team Emirates and QuickStep-AlphaVinyl was 3 minutes and 20 seconds. In the Côte de Cherave, just before the Mur de Huy (1.3 km at 9.6%), which Pierre Rolland approached in the lead, the breakaway was only 1’30 ahead of the peloton and the English outsider Tom Pidock (Ineos-Grenadiers), definitely struggling, gave up any chance of winning the race. Eight riders, Impey (Israel-PremierTech), Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Ferron (TotalEnergies) and Rolland (B & B Hotels-KTM) began the first of three climbs of the Mur de Huy while two laps of the final 31.2 kilometer circuit remained to be completed. At kilometer 54, the leading men had lost a lot of time since their arrival on the circuit and were only 50” ahead of the peloton, Rolland, Juul-Jensen and Hulgaard finding themselves behind. 47.5 km from the finish, Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) had to change bikes while Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates), who punctured at kilometer 41 km, changed wheels. On the Côte de Cherave, one of the favourites, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) literally exploded, left behind by the peloton. Valverde well led by Mas At the start of the third and final climb of the Ereffe coast, Simon Carr continued his effort and attacked the leading group 16 km from the finish. Only Valentin Ferron tried to follow him while Impey, Guglielmi, Armirail and Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix) were taken over by the peloton, still led by the INEOS Grenadiers and the Trek-Segafredo. 7 km from the finish the riders of the Cofidis team went on the attack with three riders, with Perez launching Rochas and Zingle. But Rochas, too strong for his teammates, flew alone in the lead. At 6 km, Soren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM) came out in turn and easily returned to Rochas and Vansevenant. “I have no regrets. I gave my all, the team did a great job. I’ve already been stronger here but I did what I could, I’m not completely full » At 4:12 p.m., Mas and Valverde took the lead, but three minutes later it was the Belgian Dylan Teuns winning at the finish line. The rider from the Bahrain Victorious team is ahead of Alejandro Valverde and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe). Julian Alaphilippe, fourth, however, had no regrets about not getting on the podium again. “Honestly the first feeling is that I am relieved that the race is over, I had a lot of pressure from the start, explained the double world champion at the microphone of Eurosport. I wanted to have the best race and not have any regrets. In the end it was the legs that spoke, I did what I could. Even if I had been in the wheel in the last meters, I don’t think I could have won. I have no regrets. I gave my all, the team did a great job. I’ve already been stronger here but I did what I could, I’m not complete. »