La Flèche Wallonne: Dylan Teuns powers to win ahead of Alejandro Valverde

Bahrain-Victorious rider holds off a late charge from Valverde to win on Mur de Huy.

Photo: Benoit Doppagne/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images

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Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Victorious) took a dramatic win at La Flèche Wallonne with a sensational victory over five-time winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished third, with world champion Julian Alaphilippe taking fourth on the Muur de Huy.

Teuns hit the front inside the final 400m and lined up against Valverde and Vlasov as the trio hogged the front of the vastly reduced peloton. Movistar had set a furious pace on the lower slopes of the climb with Enric Mas (Movistar) stretching out the lead group in a bid to set up his teammate, Valverde.

However, it was Teuns who was the first rider to stretch his legs with a sustained attack. The move was enough to close out the chances of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), who simply had no response, and Alaphilippe, who never looked to be in real contention once the final climb started.

Valverde was able to hang on to Teuns’ first move, and appeared to draw level with the Bahrain-Victorious rider with just under 100m to go. It looked as though the five-time winner would have the experience and knowhow to seal another time but when Teuns put in another, even more decisive, dig and the veteran Spanish rider was forced to yield.

Teuns, 30, finished third in the race back in 2017 but his victory Wednesday represented the biggest one-day win of his career.

How the race unfolded

After the end of the cobbled classics, the Ardennes returned to center stage at La Flèche Wallonne.

Marta Cavalli (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope) won the women’s edition in fine style with a well-timed attack on the final climb and the men’s race would follow a similar pattern.

A 10-rider move escaped in the early kilometers with Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Chris Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces), Morten Hulgaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), Daryl Impey (Israel-PremierTech), and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) going clear.

The group worked well together and held a healthy lead until the race dipped into the final 100km.

The gap dropped to two minutes with 88km to go but by the time the race crested the first climb of the Côte d’Ereffe the lead was down to just over two minutes.

EF Education-EasyPost, Ineos Grenadiers continued to keep the pace high as the peloton took on the Côte de Cherave, and on the first of three ascents of the Mur de Huy both Wirtgen and Reynders were dropped by the break.

It was a similar situation for the beleaguered Tom Pidcock with the Ineos rider climbing off his bike after the first loop over the iconic Belgian climb.

Bahrain assumed control of the peloton as the race dipped into the final 60km with the entire team hitting the front behind Luis Leon Sanchez. That acceleration brought the gap to the break down to 48 seconds but a brief lull in pace allowed Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) to attack in an attempt to link up with the remnants of the early break.

Back in the bunch, Pogačar was forced to stop due to a front wheel puncture, but the race dynamic flipped again when Alberto Bettiol set up Simon Carr (EF Education), who put in a vicious attack on the Cherave with 37km to go.

The British rider put everything into the move and his efforts were rewarded when he linked up with Impey, Janssens, Ferron, and Armirail.

Carr kicked again with 20km to go, and only Ferron could match the pace this time, as behind them Bahrain-Victorious once more controlled the peloton at 19 seconds. Ineos Grenadiers chipped in with Geraint Thomas leading the charge and with 15km to go the gap stood at 15 seconds. Carr and Ferron were eventually caught at the foot of the Côte de Cherave.

Cofidis attacked with three riders on the climb with Remy Rochas eventually dragging Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) with him. The pair had little chance to collaborate, with Søren Kragh Andersen putting in a huge attack that only Vansevenant could hold.

It looked as though the Dane would cause a major upset, even with Vansevenant unwilling to cooperate. The duo was eventually reeled in with 900m to go, just as Movistar took control in a bid to deliver Valverde to his sixth title.

La Flèche Wallonne Results

1TEUNS DylanBahrain - Victorious4:42:12
2VALVERDE AlejandroMovistar Team0:02
3VLASOV AleksandrBORA - hansgrohe0:02
4ALAPHILIPPE JulianQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team0:05
5MARTÍNEZ Daniel FelipeINEOS Grenadiers0:07
6WOODS MichaelIsrael - Premier Tech0:07
7GUERREIRO RubenEF Education-EasyPost0:07
8MOLARD RudyGroupama - FDJ0:07
9BARGUIL WarrenTeam Arkéa Samsic0:07
10VUILLERMOZ AlexisTotalEnergies0:07
11BENOOT TiesjJumbo-Visma0:07
12POGAČAR TadejUAE Team Emirates0:07
13COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R Citroën Team0:07
14SCHULTZ NickTeam BikeExchange - Jayco0:07
15POZZOVIVO DomenicoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux0:07
16HERRADA JesúsCofidis0:15
17PACHER QuentinGroupama - FDJ0:17
18SKJELMOSE MattiasTrek - Segafredo0:21
19POWLESS NeilsonEF Education-EasyPost0:24
20JOHANNESSEN Tobias HallandUno-X Pro Cycling Team0:24
21MOLLEMA BaukeTrek - Segafredo0:24
22LAFAY VictorCofidis0:24
23WELLENS TimLotto Soudal0:24
24EIKING Odd ChristianEF Education-EasyPost0:24
25POELS WoutBahrain - Victorious0:24
26HINDLEY JaiBORA - hansgrohe0:24
27BONNEU KamielSport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:24
28MONIQUET SylvainLotto Soudal0:24
29ULISSI DiegoUAE Team Emirates0:24
30REICHENBACH SébastienGroupama - FDJ0:24
31ZEITS AndreyAstana Qazaqstan Team0:24
32HIRSCHI MarcUAE Team Emirates0:24
33MAS EnricMovistar Team0:33
34NIBALI VincenzoAstana Qazaqstan Team0:35
35MEURISSE XandroAlpecin-Fenix0:37
36BRAMBILLA GianlucaTrek - Segafredo0:37
37RODRÍGUEZ CarlosINEOS Grenadiers0:37
38CABOT JérémyTotalEnergies0:41
39DE TIER FlorisAlpecin-Fenix0:44
41HAIG JackBahrain - Victorious0:47
42URÁN RigobertoEF Education-EasyPost0:51
43EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team0:51
44GENIETS KevinGroupama - FDJ0:51
45RODRÍGUEZ CristiánTotalEnergies0:51
46TOLHOEK AntwanTrek - Segafredo0:54
47GESBERT ÉlieTeam Arkéa Samsic0:54
48POLANC JanUAE Team Emirates0:54
49GESCHKE SimonCofidis0:58
50PETILLI SimoneIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:00
51SÁNCHEZ Luis LeónBahrain - Victorious1:00
52LEEMREIZE GijsJumbo-Visma1:08
53FUGLSANG JakobIsrael - Premier Tech1:16
54HOULE HugoIsrael - Premier Tech1:16
55MÄDER GinoBahrain - Victorious1:16
56KORETZKY VictorB&B Hotels - KTM1:22
57VERONA CarlosMovistar Team1:33
58GESINK RobertJumbo-Visma1:33
59GREGAARD JonasUno-X Pro Cycling Team1:33
60ZIMMERMANN GeorgIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:33
61HERMANS QuintenIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:33
62IZAGIRRE GorkaMovistar Team1:33
63SOLER MarcUAE Team Emirates1:38
64VANSEVENANT MauriQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team1:40
65DE BOD StefanAstana Qazaqstan Team1:54
66DELAPLACE AnthonyTeam Arkéa Samsic1:54
67HIVERT JonathanB&B Hotels - KTM1:54
68SBARAGLI KristianAlpecin-Fenix1:54
69VELASCO SimoneAstana Qazaqstan Team1:54
70STANNARD RobertAlpecin-Fenix2:06
71BAKELANTS JanIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux2:08
72OURSELIN PaulTotalEnergies2:12
73PARET-PEINTRE AurélienAG2R Citroën Team2:20
74GODON DorianAG2R Citroën Team2:34
75BENEDETTI CesareBORA - hansgrohe2:36
76MOLLY KennyBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB2:36
77HOLMES MatthewLotto Soudal3:01
78JUNGELS BobAG2R Citroën Team3:11
79LIETAER EliotB&B Hotels - KTM3:11
80VAN WILDER IlanQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team3:28
81BERNARD JulienTrek - Segafredo3:33
82GALLOPIN TonyTrek - Segafredo3:33
83OWSIAN ŁukaszTeam Arkéa Samsic3:33
84HEINSCHKE LeonTeam DSM3:33
85ANACONA WinnerTeam Arkéa Samsic3:33
86MAS LluísMovistar Team3:40
87CHEREL MikaëlAG2R Citroën Team3:45
88ZINGLE AxelCofidis3:45
89COMBAUD RomainTeam DSM3:45
90ROCHAS RémyCofidis3:45
91JOUSSEAUME AlanTotalEnergies3:53
92KWIATKOWSKI MichałINEOS Grenadiers4:14
93PEREZ AnthonyCofidis4:48
95VERSCHAEVE ViktorLotto Soudal5:01
96CARUSO DamianoBahrain - Victorious5:01
97ALEOTTI GiovanniBORA - hansgrohe5:01
98THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers5:01
99WILLIAMS StephenBahrain - Victorious5:01
100VERMEERSCH GianniAlpecin-Fenix5:01
101ROUX AnthonyGroupama - FDJ5:01
102WANDAHL FrederikBORA - hansgrohe5:01
103GRMAY TsgabuTeam BikeExchange - Jayco5:01
104VERVAEKE LouisQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team5:01
105MÜHLBERGER GregorMovistar Team5:01
106GUGLIELMI SimonTeam Arkéa Samsic5:26
107ARMIRAIL BrunoGroupama - FDJ6:13
108CARR SimonEF Education-EasyPost6:13
109FERRON ValentinTotalEnergies6:15
110JANSSENS JimmyAlpecin-Fenix6:15
111EENKHOORN PascalJumbo-Visma6:15
112VAN EMDEN JosJumbo-Visma6:22
113IMPEY DarylIsrael - Premier Tech7:05
114ROLLAND PierreB&B Hotels - KTM8:01
115BERCKMOES JennoSport Vlaanderen - Baloise10:24
116WARBASSE LarryAG2R Citroën Team10:41
117DVERSNES FredrikUno-X Pro Cycling Team11:00
118PAQUOT TomBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB11:05
119HOLLENSTEIN RetoIsrael - Premier Tech11:05
120BALMER AlexandreTeam BikeExchange - Jayco11:05
121MAAS JanTeam BikeExchange - Jayco11:05
122LADAGNOUS MatthieuGroupama - FDJ11:05
123HULGAARD MortenUno-X Pro Cycling Team11:05
124THWAITES ScottAlpecin-Fenix11:05
125JUUL-JENSEN ChristopherTeam BikeExchange - Jayco11:05
126TIZZA MarcoBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB11:05
127BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education-EasyPost11:05
128NIBALI AntonioAstana Qazaqstan Team11:30
129IZAGIRRE IonCofidis11:42
130HEALY BenEF Education-EasyPost11:58
131DELACROIX ThéoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux12:16
132GRIGNARD SébastienLotto Soudal13:18
133LAENGEN Vegard StakeUAE Team Emirates13:18
134HESSMANN MichelJumbo-Visma13:18
135APERS RubenSport Vlaanderen - Baloise13:30
136SCHELLING IdeBORA - hansgrohe16:32
137STORK FlorianTeam DSM16:50
138LAPEIRA PaulAG2R Citroën Team17:04
139PEÑA Jesús DavidTeam BikeExchange - Jayco19:21
140DE WILDE GillesSport Vlaanderen - Baloise19:37

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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