La Flèche Wallonne 2018, Alaphilippe takes the success!

Julien Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) wins La Flèche Wallonne 2018! The Frenchman stopped Alejandro Valverde’s domination on the Walloon classic and wins thanks to the sprint moved with 250 meters remaining. Mur de Huy has been decisive once again with a view to the results of La Flèche Wallonne but this year things went different. With only 300 meters to go Maximilan Schachmann (Quick Step Floors) was chased when Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Soudal) was moving his sprint. Alaphilippe, who was just behind the Belgian, attacked and gained a sensible gap on the rest of the group.  Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) needs to accept the runner-up position this year whereas Jelle Vanendert finishes in third ahead of Roman Kreuziger (Mitchelton – Scott) and surprising Michael Matthews (Sunweb).

Maximilian Schachmann was actually close to take a surprising win. The German attacked with over 54 kilometers remaining and was part of a group of 21 from which Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida), who launched the move, Jack Haig (Mitchelton – Scott), Anthony Roux (Groupama – FDJ), Cesare Benedetti (Bora – hansgrohe), Maximilian Schachmann (Quick Step Floors) and Tanel Kangert (Astana) went clear on the Cote de Cherave. Benedetti and Roux resisted in the lead since the first stages of racing because they were part of the initial breakaway. In the meantime Michal Kwiatkowski and Alessandro De Marchi tried to jump across the gap but in vain: the pace was too high to keep a gap on the bunch.

The group of 6 opened a 50″ gap on the peloton with 17 kilometers remaining. Because of the injection in pace mostly done by Lotto – Soudal at the front of the chase, their advantage lessened to 20″ on the summit of the last passage on the Cote de Cherave, where Benedetti and Roux lost contact. As soon as the leaders accomplished the descent Nibali and Kangert dropped Haig and Schachmann. Bahrain – Merida and Astana riders were swallowed in the peloton with 2 kilometers to go whereas the Australian went together with the German until they hit the Mur de Huy. Schachmann resisted solo in the lead of the race after a handful of meters of climbing but behind his back top-tier riders were coming back quickly. Alaphilippe, at the end, took the success leaving Valverde behind by four seconds. The Spaniard has been taking the success of this race since 2014 and after seven years La Flèche Wallonne is won by a non-Spanish rider.

La Flèche Wallonne 2018 Results

1 ALAPHILIPPE Julian Quick-Step Floors    4:53:37
2 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team    + 0:04
3 VANENDERT Jelle Lotto Soudal    + 0:06
4 KREUZIGER Roman Mitchelton-Scott   ,,
5 MATTHEWS Michael Team Sunweb   ,,
6 MOLLEMA Bauke Trek – Segafredo   ,,
7 WELLENS Tim Lotto Soudal   ,,
8 SCHACHMANN Maximilian Quick-Step Floors   ,,
9 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale   ,,
10 KONRAD Patrick BORA – hansgrohe   + 0:12
11 HENAO Sergio Luis Team Sky   + 0:15
12 SLAGTER Tom-Jelte Dimension Data   + 0:19
13 MOLARD Rudy Groupama – FDJ   + 0:21
14 ULISSI Diego UAE-Team Emirates   + 0:25
15 VUILLERMOZ Alexis AG2R La Mondiale   + 0:28
16 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team   ,,
17 PAUWELS Serge Dimension Data   ,,
18 ZAKARIN Ilnur Team Katusha – Alpecin   + 0:30
19 COSTA Rui UAE-Team Emirates   + 0:32
20 GESINK Robert Team LottoNL-Jumbo   + 0:34
21 MCCARTHY Jay BORA – hansgrohe   + 0:36
22 SERRY Pieter Quick-Step Floors   + 0:39
23 HERRADA Jesús Cofidis, Solutions Crédits   ,,
24 GILBERT Philippe Quick-Step Floors   + 0:42
25 EDET Nicolas Cofidis, Solutions Crédits   + 0:44
26 BUCHMANN Emanuel BORA – hansgrohe   + 0:47
27 GASPAROTTO Enrico Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team   + 0:49
28 URAN Rigoberto Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale   + 0:54
29 CRAS Steff Team Katusha – Alpecin   + 1:05
30 TEUNS Dylan BMC Racing Team   + 1:08

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