Already winner in 2018 and 2019, the French world champion Julian Alaphilippe took the upper hand in the last meters over Primoz Roglic at the end of the 193 kilometers of the Belgian classic.
→ READ. Cycling: Julian Alaphilippe at the foot of his wall in Belgium
At the cost of an extremely intense effort in the very steep last kilometer of the Wall of Huy, the tricolor rider of the Deceuninck-Quick Step team beat the Slovenian to put his name on the prize list for the third time. Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, who holds the record for victories in this event (five), finished third ahead of Canadian Michael Woods and another Frenchman, Warren Barguil.
“This victory does a lot of good”
Briton Tom Pidcock, who crashed during the event, took the 6e place of this 85e edition of the first of the Ardennes classics, four days before the “doyenne”, Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “This victory, it does me a lot of good”, reacted Julian Alaphilippe, who had so far only one success this season, a stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.
– La Flèche Wallonne (@flechewallonne) April 21, 2021
“I was able to save myself throughout the day, I knew what I had to do in the end”, added the 28-year-old Frenchman. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy with Roglic, and Valverde in the wheel”. The race ended, as in previous years, in the third and final ascent of the Mur de Huy, a brutal climb of 1,300 meters at almost 10% gradient. Roglic started almost 400 meters from the line and Alaphilippe was the only one to come back on him and pass him before the line, despite a start from the Slovenian who discovered this Belgian final.
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The UAE team of Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, winner of the last Tour de France, and the defending champion in Huy, the Swiss Marc Hirschi, was forced to withdraw because of a positive result for two of its members during a Covid-19 test performed two days ago. She was not allowed to leave despite negative results on further tests afterwards.