For the sixth year in a row, the Wall of Huy about profit and loss in the Walloon Arrow. Therein showed the Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe yet again his great class. In the wheel of another Jacob Fuglsang – the two protagonists of the last Amstel Gold Race – ran the Frenchman to his second consecutive victory, Fuglsang and Ulissi. Bjorg Lambrecht was handsome fourth. What if the small East-flanders Lotto-Soudal had not attacked on the penultimate passage?
What price would we have had with Mathieu van der Poel at the start? An attack on the first climb of the Wall of Huy? Direction from the first inclined gauges? We will never know, because the Dutchman was in the afternoon not at the start.
What course we were without Mathieu van der Poel? Made the young Dutchman for inspiration and we got an open course in which a time was not waiting on the last of three passages on the Wall of Huy?
The start was promising: a five threw themselves in the early breakaway of the day with one fellow countryman, Kenneth Van Rooy (Vlaanderen – Baloise). The peloton had initially committed so that the five quickly a lead of more than five minutes together knew cycling. But there was wind and that inspired Deceuninck – Quick Step immediately to the pulling of a waaiertje. Among others Jelle Vanendert had initially surprised but everything went fairly quickly again, together.
With three local laps and three climbs – côte d Ereffe, côte de Cherave and the infamous Wall of Huy – there was still the space was to course. The front had Kenneth Van Rooy was the first role to resolve and we were still three leaders. The peloton in the first ascent of the Wall of Huy, mixed by Pieter Serry with Julian Alaphilippe carefully in the wheel. A group of tegenaanvallers – with the Italian Caruso as the greatest name ), was between the three leaders and the latest escapees placed. That was the Dutchman Koen Bouwman and the Americans Rosskopf and Carpenter.
Astana and Lotto want to race hard
Deceuninck-Quick Step kept the match check but that was not the plan of the strong Astana. The team of leaders Fuglsang-Lutsenko did everything to the last hour of the contest. Spanish champion Gorka Izagirre was the first of the trenches sent in, he got the company of, among others, Slagter, Marczynski, Haas and a few other strongholds. But Movistar, in the service of world champion, Alejandro Valverde, did not commit.
The descent to the last climb of the Wall caused damage to Adam Yates, Domenico Pozzovivo and Roman Kreuziger as the main victims of a crash at high speed. Front shot of the three leaders for the last time the Wall, with three quarters of a minute ahead. Their story was almost sung, Joey Rosskopf offered the longest resistance.
In the peloton caused Bjorg Lambrecht for the acceleration. The pocket climber from team Lotto-Soudal was clearly the command the game is hard to make. Just past the Wall of Huy was also for Rosskopf the flight out. Little by little formed a new breakaway of some twenty riders who have already Gorka Izagirre but also, Wout Poels, Luis Leon Sanchez, Dylan Teuns and Tim Wellens.
In the peloton tore it on all sides, under the leadership of Movistar which also Alaphilippe benefited. Lotto-Soudal continued to race hard with again an attack of the Pool Marczysnki but the teams of the favourites watched. A second attempt at the Pole had more success but he had no one in his wheel so that this attempt is a measure for nothing, and feared to be. Alaphilippe took his remaining team mates Mas and Devenyns resolutely to the work.
The penultimate climb of the côte de Cherave than but: who would dare to Alaphilippe under pressure to convert or when everyone felt strongly enough to put on the Wall to make a difference? Marczynski was joined by Mohoric, the platoon followed in fifteen seconds. Mas held in the service of Alaphilippe the pace tight, the escapees were quickly picked up. The number two from the Vuelta, kept the pace so tight that attacks became impossible. Also Bora hansgrohe wanted the pace doesn’t let down in the service of Max Schachmann.
The Wall had, therefore, again to bring the decision, though it was a greatly thinned peloton that presented itself at the foot of the final ascent of the Wall. For the sixth year in a row, had the Wall of Huy, to decide on profit and loss. Therein proved Alaphilippe yet again that this genre of arrivals there is currently no measure on the Frenchman from Deceuninck – Quick Step.
“It is the price of my heart”
“I am extremely pleased after last year I already won”, said the winner after his victory. “It is the price of my heart. I won my first classic and was already on the stage. I have to thank everyone: the team today, but also the staff for this season after my injury. I also had a fietswissel do, but Devenyns and Mas have me good reduced. So a big thanks to them. At the end I was really on. I could Fuglsang fortunately still passing, but the energy was on. Jacob is a great rider for whom I have a lot of respect. Also in the Strade Bianche, we were already first and second, and today was certainly not as easy as it seemed.”
Fuglsang showed after the finish great in the loss: “Always with you”, congratulated, he’s already laughing the winner. The two-colored in addition to the Strade Bianche last Sunday the final of the Amstel Gold Race, but were ultimately still voorbijgesneld by one Mathieu van der Poel.
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team)
3. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)
4. Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto – Soudal)
5. Maximilian Schachmann (BORA – hansgrohe)
6. Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo)
7. Patrick Konrad (BORA – hansgrohe)
8. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)
9. Jelle Vanendert (Lotto – Soudal)
10. Enrico Gasparotto (Team Dimension Data)
Relive here the full ascent of the Wall of Huy: