Julian Alaphilippe has 82nd edition of the Walloon Arrow won. The Ardennes classic which is normally locked will remain until the final ascent of the Wall Of Huy, broke this time surprisingly open early. However, everything came back together for the final climb. After four victories in a row was the big favourite Alejandro Valverde is satisfy with the second place.
After a minute of silence for the recently deceased Jeroen Goeleven (25) was something for the afternoon in Seraing the start of the 82nd edition of the Walloon Arrow.
Six escapees had a safe-conduct from the peloton and only the Belgians Kevin Van Melsen (WGG) and Antoine Warnier (PLA) could still make the jump to the forward car. The other six names were Romain Hardy, Cesare Benedetti, Anthony Roux, Patrick Müller, Romain Combaud, and Anthony Perez. Their lead was never more than five minutes.
The course burst at 58 kilometers from the finish, however, already open at the first of three ascents of the dreaded Wall of Huy. An elite group with Kreuziger, Costa, Kwiatkowski, Gogl and Vanendert was, however, to the order called.
Nibali keeps word
Afterwards it fell, however, not silent: the Movistar of the top favourites is Alejandro Valverde was under pressure with one attack after the other, and the escapees were quickly caught. Then also riders like Vincenzo Nibali and Philippe Gilbert on the Côte d’Ereffe crossed, could be a leading group of 25 riders got away. Also riders like Rui Costa, Kirijenka, Majka and Rojas.
Eventually, Nibali ahead with five companions: Jack Haig (Michtelton-Scott), Tanel Kangert (Astana), Maximilian Schachmann (Quick Step) and the two early escapees Cesare Benedetti (Bora) and Anthony Roux (FDJ). Everything, however, remained playable with a half-minute ahead.
Displeasure about bikers
Anyway: code red for Movistar that all of far full the tank was. On the second Wall of Huy was even lieutenant Landa the pace. However, could the group Nibali further bleeding and on the final lap of the 30 km start 40 unexpected seconds clue.
It caused nervousness in the peloton: the men of Movistar, but also in the rest. This expressed itself in protest when the bikers of the tv too close to the platoon arrived, which the servants of the Movistar from the wind.
Benoot halves backlog
When the lead of the group Nibali in that final lap, even down to a minute, were the men still help teams that started had missed such as Dimension Data, Lotto-Soudal and Team Sky.
Only when Tiesj Benoot substantially passed to the head of the peloton, dropped down the lead rapidly. Benedetti and Roux were on the six-kilometre front, however, still unloading on the Côte de Cherave. On that slope we got what speldenprikken in the group of favorites, but Valverde himself followed in a playful way.
Just before the third and last time, a Wall of Huy had to Nibali and Kangert surprisingly Schachmann and Haig drive. The two leaders were on the actual climb in addition to quickly grasped. And so it was all together to the top sprint…
All or nothing on the last Wall of Huy
Jelle Vanendert certain uphill the pace, he drove even everyone from the wheel, except Julian Alaphilippe. The Frenchman took it, for Valverde.