Alaphilippe beats king of Mur de Huy

Master of the Mur

 

Mr. Julian Alaphilippe beat Mr Flèche Wallonne.

With four straight wins, Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde pretty much owns La Flèche Wallonne. However, he didn’t have the legs or the good fortune to catch Alaphilippe after the Frenchman accelerated away near the summit of the Mur de Huy.

Second place is still on the podium but Valverde faded when the Quickstep star hit the gas about 200 meters from the finish line. Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Soudal) managed to hold on for third place.

“I’ve been twice on the podium here before today and the first time [in 2015] was a surprise, and the second the confirmation of my earlier result,” said Alaphilippe. “But I really needed to win a big race, and to do that and get my first Flèche Wallonne ahead of Valverde is something very special.”

Alaphilippe not has a Flèche Wallonne three-pack with a victory and two second places. The victory also gives the Quickstep Wolfpack another win in an Ardennes classic, to go with all their wins on the cobblestones.

It was a dominant performance by Alaphilippe, who simply rode everyone off his wheels as the peloton powered up Mur de Huy. With the exception of Valverde, nobody else could even come close to matching his speed and aggression.

“I lost it on the Mur. Alaphilippe was better. He attacked very early on the climb, I went behind and could close the gap, but then that energy I used up in closing it was what I was missing at the end,” said Valverde. “So, I cut my losses and concentrated on being sure I could finish second.”

Tour de France 2016

We will forever think of Alaphilippe was the man who miraculously survived one the the scariest crashes we’ve ever seen. Death seemed the most likely outcome while a crushed face and skull would have been the best case scenario. In the 2016 Tour de France time trial, a gust of wind threw the Frenchmen into a jagged rock wall at high speed.

Somehow he walked away from that crashed with minor abrasions. Two years later, on a Wednesday in April, he felt just fine. Good enough to dominate the 2018 La Flèche Wallonne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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