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La Flèche Wallonne

Quinten Hermans, 14th last season, returns to Huy as part of a solid team

The peloton is preparing for the Walloon Ardennes classics this week with first of all the 86th edition of Flèche Wallonne (1.UWT, 20/04) planned on Wednesday. The start of the race of 202.1 kilometer takes again place in the province of Liège, in Blegny.

The riders will cross the hilly province via the Côte de Tancremont and the Côte des Forges before they enter the local circuit after 83 kilometer. On their way to the first crossing of the finish line, they will cover the three hills of the local circuit of 31.2 kilometer, which has to be repeated twice afterwards. The Côte d’Ereffe (2km at 5.8%) and the Côte de Cherave (1.4km at 7.9%) are positioned 18.5 and 5.8 kilometer before the finish line on top of the Mur de Huy (1.3km at 9.4%) with its maximal gradients over 20%.

After his third place in the second stage of Itzulia Basque Country, Quinten Hermans pursues his race programme with the Flèche Wallonne, in which he finished fourteenth and best Belgian rider in his debut last season. Also Italian climber Domenico Pozzovivo obtained a podium recently in the Tour of Sicily last week thanks to the help of among others his compatriot Simone Petilli and German rider Georg Zimmermann. Belgian rider Jan Bakelants will line up for the twelfth time in his career and together with his compatriot Laurens Huys and Frenchman Théo Delacroix he completes the selection under the direction of Valerio Piva and Hilaire Van der Schueren.

« I started April very well with a third place in the Basque Country, until I was hit by the wave of sickness in the peloton. After a couple of days with fever I resumed easy training, before adding intensity to my rides on the courses of Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Baastogne-Liège last weekend. It is always a good thing to do a course recon. I discovered for example how hard the Côte de Cherave is as in my debut last season the climb was exceptionally not part of the parcours. I was surprised about how steep it is in the beginning and it continues for a long time afterwards. It is because of the difficulty of the climbs in the final that not many riders dare to anticipate and I expect that also in this edition the selection will be made at the back. It is important to be energy efficient, I hope that I can reach the foot of the Mur de Huy with relatively fresh legs. »


General Classification


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