Ready for the Fléche Wallone
All ready for the Ardennes’s second classic, the Fléche Wallone, almost 200km from Seraing to Huy in Belgium. The first 100km are not very demanding with only 3 climbs and some côtés; the race will turn on after the first passage on the terrible Mur of Huy, just over a kilometer with an average gradient close to 10%, with a maximum of 26%. In the final, with only 6km to go, the riders will face the Côte de Cherave, just over a kilometer with an average gradient of 7%, and then face for the second and last time the Mur.
“It will be an elimination race – explains Sport Director Rik Verbrugghe – and as usual the two last ascents will make the difference. We will see how the other teams will manage the race, but we have Enrico for the final together with the two Izagirre brothers “.
In a good mood after the excellent third place obtained on Sunday at the Amstel Gold Race, Enrico Gasparotto thinks he will do well also tomorrow: “In 2016 I finished fifth and I would like to do even better! I have several solutions: to attack on the Côte de Cherave or wait for the Mur. I’m calm and I think I’ll have to pay attention to Valverde and Alaphilippe the two real favorites for this Fléche”.
“I have a good form – says Ion Izagirre – even if it is not a suitable finish for me and more instead for explosive riders. I could try to escape before, as I made at Amstel, but we’ll see how the race will go on”.
TBM line-up for Flèche Wallone: Vincenzo Nibali, Ion Izagirre, Gorka Izagirre, Enrico Gasparotto, Hermann Pernsteiner, Franco Pellizotti and Grega Bole
(All pictures attached can be used for editorial and non-commercial use) – © Team Bahrain-Merida / @BettiniPhoto)