Valverde claims splendid fifth career win in Flèche Wallonne to conquer tenth individual success in 2017, 19th for Movistar Team as Blues complete impeccable race.
Alejandro Valverde has no rivals at the Flèche Wallonne. After breaking a tie against Merckx, Kint, Argentin and Rebellin, all with three victories before the Spanish superstar claimed his fourth in 2016, the marvel from Murcia was able to increase that tally on Wednesday and take his fifth (four on a row) in the second event of the Ardennes trio. Valverde was as strong as usual on the decisive climb to the Mur de Huy (1.3km at 9.6% average, slopes up to 26%). Following impressive work from the Movistar Team –with Erviti, Sutherland, Soler, Herrada, a remarkable Betancur and the final, key contribution from Rojas and Dani Moreno–, Valverde controlled the opposition with ease before doing his classic acceleration from just less than 200 meters from the finish line.
Behind him, with no real chances to contest the win, Dan Martin (QST) and Dylan Teuns (BMC) completed the podium behind the Spaniard, who improves his already amazing start to the 2017 season: most winning UCI rider this year (10 wins, 19 already for the Movistar Team since January), 107 victories as a pro, eight triumphs in the Ardennes (5 in La Flèche Wallonne, 3 in Liège-Bastogne-Liége, which he'll tackle on Sunday with the intention of claiming his second double, after 2006 and 2015) for a legendary cyclist who continues to amaze the world, just six days away from turning 37 years old.