La Flèche Wallonne plays host to the second of the third Ardennes Classics in Belgium on Wednesday (April 21).
Flèche Wallonne – or the Walloon Arrow – is a different beast to Amstel Gold, and not just because it’s in Belgium rather than Holland.
Flèche is a fair bit hillier than Amstel and is suited more to puncheurs and climbers; even more so this year with the organisers making some late changes to the route to make it that bit hillier.
The finishing loops have been swapped so that the riders will now tackle the infamous Mur de Huy for the second time just 30km from the finish.
There will also be an additional ascent just 11km from the finish at the top of the Mur in the shape of the Cote d’Ereffe.
Last year, Davide Rebellin outsprinted Andy Schleck to claim victory on the Mur, although his win was to be overshadowed by a positive doping test.
Philippe Gilbert’s emphatic win in Amstel Gold may be hard to repeat in Flèche. The Mur de Huy is more suited to the likes of Schleck and Damiano Cunego, but also Alberto Contador, who is set to ride this year.
British riders on the start list are Steve Cummings, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins (all Sky).
La Fleche Wallonne 2010: Route
Wednesday, April 21
La Fleche Wallonne 2010: Teams
Euskaltel – Euskadi
AG2R La Mondiale
Bbox Bouygues Telecom
Française des Jeux
Acqua & Sapone
La Fleche Wallonne 2010: British riders
Steve Cummings (Team Sky)
Chris Froome (Team Sky)
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
La Fleche Wallonne 2010: TV guide
Wednesday, April 21: 1-3.30pm, LIVE coverage, British Eurosport
Wednesday, April 21: 10-11pm, highlights, British Eurosport
La Fleche Wallonne: Recent winners
2009 Davide Rebellin (Italy) Serramenti-PVC Diquigiovanni
2008 Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg) High Road
2007 Davide Rebellin (Italy) Gerolsteiner
2006 Alejandro Valverde (Spain) Caisse d’Epargne
2005 Danilo Di Luca (Italy) Liquigas
2004 Davide Rebellin (Italy) Gerolsteiner
2003 Igor Astarloa (Spain) Saeco
2002 Mario Aerts (Belgium) Lotto-Adecco
2001 Rik Verbrugghe (Belgium) Lotto-Adecco
2000 Francesco Casagrande (Italy) Vini Caldirola
1999 Michele Bartoli (Italy) Mapei
La Fleche Wallonne: Last year’s top ten
1. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Serramenti-PVC Diquigiovanni
2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank at 2secs
3. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre at same time
4. Samuel Sanchez (Esp) Euskaltel Euskadi at 7secs
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence Lotto
6. Tomas Lövkvist (Swe) Columbia-Highroad at same time
7. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Caisse d’Epargne at 11secs
8. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Cervelo test team
9. Michael Albasini (Sui) Columbia-Highroad at same time
10. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r at 15secs
34. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 43secs
72. Dan Fleeman (GB) Cervelo at 2-55
84. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha at 3-06
92. Steve Cummings (GB) Barloworld at 3-09
La Fleche Wallonne: British performances
We chart the achievements of British riders in Fleche Wallonne. The last Briton to place in the top 20 was Robert Millar’s ninth in 1990.
3rd – Tom Simpson 1965
4th – Brian Robinson 1955
6th – Paul Watson 1987
7th – Tom Simpson 1960
9th – Robert Millar 1990
10th – Tom Simpson 1963
11th – Alan Ramsbottom 1963 & 1965
12th – Robert Millar 1987
13th – Michael Wright 1965
14th – John Kennedy 1960
18th – Barry Hoban 1969
20th – Barry Hoban 1968
Spring Classics 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index