Flèche Wallonne Breakdown: The mid-week Walloon traditional got here all the way down to the final meters of the steep summit of the Mur de Huy – Bahrain-Victorious’ Dylan Teuns took the win, what does that imply for Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège? Spencer Martin offers us his ‘Takeaways’ from Flèche Wallonne.
Dylan Teuns took on the dual King of La Flèche on Wednesday, Julian Alaphilippe (3 profession wins), and Alejandro Valverde (5 profession wins) with a mixture of uncooked energy and superior positioning head into the impossibly steep closing pitch. It might need been stunning to look at Teuns experience on the entrance from 300 meters and are available away with the win, but when we return and watch the movie of the ultimate kilometer, it tells an unusually wealthy story for such a brief stretch of tarmac and exhibits how Teuns made this doable.
4th for the World champion – Julian Alaphilippe
La Flèche Wallonne Ultimate Kilometer Race Notes
1km: Positioning is vital to successful on the Huy, and no person is aware of this greater than 5x winner Alejandro Valverde. If a rider is just too far ahead, they danger being swarmed from behind in direction of the highest, and if they’re too far again, they are going to by no means be capable of make up the mandatory floor to compete for the win.
Heading into the brutally steep end up the Mur de Huy, we are able to see two Movistar riders within the high ten, however neither are Valverde, two Ineos riders, together with their chief for the day, Dani Martinez. Dylan Teuns, the eventual winner, is surprisingly far up within the floor, and 3x winner, Julian Alaphilippe, is in excellent place round 12-riders again.
800m: Because the grade kicks up, the primary Movistar rider peels off whereas their final Valverde domestique takes over. Teuns, who’s using extraordinarily aggressively, strikes into 2nd wheel whereas Martinez falls again and Alaphilippe and Valverde aren’t even within the body but.
700m-ish: When Valverde’s Movistar teammate, Enric Mas, hits the entrance, he appears again and is probably going barely confused that he doesn’t see his staff chief on his wheel but. Teuns appears comfy in 2nd whereas the Ineos duo (Michał Kwiatkowski and Martinez) are rapidly falling by way of the sector. We will see the tippy high of Valverde’s helmet on the very backside of the body, however he nonetheless has vital floor to cowl.
600m: Valverde rapidly acknowledges he’s too far again and makes an enormous effort to shut the hole to Mas on the entrance. He neatly waits till a nook to make this transfer to chop down on the gap he has to cowl, however it’s nonetheless a large effort that he pays for later.
475m: With roughly 500m left to go on the climb, we are able to see that Valverde is in 2nd together with his teammate Mas within the lead with Teuns proper on their wheels. Is it value noting that Tadej Pogačar is in direction of the entrance however solely after a large effort to appropriate his poor place on the base of the climb.
At 30 meters
300m: Teuns hits the entrance a great distance from the end. Valverde jumps proper on his wheel, with Aleksandr Vlasov proper behind him. Pogačar is in 4th, however we are able to see him already struggling, probably resulting from his large effort to affix the leaders earlier on the climb.
100m: Teuns begins his full-on dash lengthy option to the end and solely Valverde is ready to comply with him. Only a few years in the past, Teuns could be organising a Valverde win with this transfer.
End: However this yr, an odd factor occurred. Proper once I anticipated Valverde to dash round Teuns for a simple win, he began to fall off the wheel of Teuns, who simply rides away for the win whereas Valverde limps house in 2nd.
Liège Prime Ten:
1) Dylan Teuns +0
2) Alejandro Valverde +2
3) Aleksandr Vlasov +2
4) Julian Alaphilippe +5
5) Dani Martinez +7
6) Mike Woods +7
7) Ruben Guerreiro +7
8) Rudy Molard +7
9) Warren Barguil +7
10) Alexis Vuillermoz +7
Teuns bought the higher of the ‘previous man’ Valverde
1)Dylan Teuns has a historical past of spectacular uphill wins
- Teuns has been a great uphill finisher his complete skilled profession, notably on a pair of comparable finishes on the 2017 Tour de Wallonie and the La Planche des Belles Filles end on the 2019 Tour de France.
- Whereas he doesn’t win usually (13 profession wins) the potential for this successful experience was proper in entrance of our faces all the time, however we have been simply too enamored with large names like Julian Alaphilippe, Tadej Pogačar, and Tom Pidcock to see it.
Not straightforward to place on the Mur de Huy
2)Positioning heading into the climb was key
- Exterior of being a really sturdy uphill finisher, Teuns received this race resulting from his supreme positioning heading into the climb. Whereas he lacked the staff assist of Valverde, it didn’t significantly matter since as soon as he had his place on the entrance, he was in a position to maintain it and the results of drafting have been extraordinarily minimized on the extraordinarily steep slopes.
- This steepness implies that riders who wish to win must be in place on the entrance earlier than they even get to the climb, and being simply 10-slots again could make the distinction between successful and dropping. Even Pogačar, the stronger rider on the planet when the highway goes uphill, couldn’t make up for his lack of positioning on the base.
Place is every little thing
3)Teuns dash regarded doomed to fail, however his place made it doable
- It would appear like he launched his dash far too early, however by the point he sprinted for the road, Teuns had used considerably much less power than the others resulting from the truth that he got here into the climb on the entrance and didn’t must make up any distance on the others.
4)Alejandro Valverde is a legend
- Valverde, at 41-years-old, bought his greatest end on some of the explosive and tough finishes in professional biking since his 2nd place in 2018.
- Nevertheless, the sight of him fading whereas Teuns rode away within the closing meters would have been unthinkable in his prime, and, whereas it’s inevitable, it’s nonetheless stunning to be reminded that the foundations of time nonetheless apply to Valverde.
Teuns exhibits a clear pair of heels to the highest males
5) Bahrain is an rising powerhouse
- After an ideal 2021 after years within the wilderness, one would have excused the Bahrain staff in the event that they reverted to the imply in 2022.
- Nevertheless, they’ve made it clear that 2021 was not a fluke and they’re ready to construct on that success. They have already got a Monument win within the bag resulting from Matej Mohorič’s Milano-Sanremo win, and now have Pello Bilbao within the GC lead on the Tour of Alps and have beat a number of the sport’s greatest uphill finishers at La Flèche.
- And all of this has come after dropping a tough 2020 low season that noticed entrance workplace upheaval like staff supervisor Rod Ellingworth leaving to run Ineos.
Teuns now a favourite for Liège?
What Does This Imply for Liège-Bastogne-Liège?
- Whereas a number of the Liège favorites like Pogačar and Alaphilippe appeared to wrestle at present at Flèche, it’s value remembering the significance of positioning and that these are two extremely completely different races. Whereas they’re each run in the identical area and in the identical week, there aren’t too many parallels we are able to draw between occasions.
- However, two issues I wish to level out that I seen at present have been the performances of Julian Alaphilippe and Aleksandr Vlasov.
- Vlasov, after displaying glimpses of greatness, is lastly placing all of it collectively after his transfer to Bora-Hansgrohe within the low season and his third place at Flèche on such a steep and explosive end is additional proof that he’s on the type of his life. He can’t dash, which can damage his probabilities at Liège, however I wouldn’t rule him out on Sunday (and regulate him on the upcoming Giro d’Italia).
- The opposite efficiency I seen was Julian Alaphilippe’s, who earlier than Wednesday had received three out of the 4 editions, and regardless of near-perfect place heading into the Huy, couldn’t match the tempo of Vlasov, Valverde, or Teuns. Whereas one unhealthy day doesn’t imply something, that is half of a bigger development of the World Champion being routinely overwhelmed on finishes he would have dominated prior to now. It appears foolish to criticize a rider who has received two World Championships prior to now two seasons, however Alaphilippe is unquestionably not on the peak of his recreation thus far in 2022.
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# Spencer Martin is the creator of the cycling-analysis publication Past the Peloton that breaks down the nuances of every race and solutions large image questions surrounding staff and rider efficiency. Enroll now to get full entry to all of the out there content material and race breakdowns. #