Alejandro Valverde, La Fleche Wallonne, the Mur de Huy, etc, etc

Last year, I wrote: “La Fleche Wallonne pretty much always amounts to a hill climb after a 200km warm-up. Alejandro Valverde is still the fastest hill climber, just as he was last year and the year before.”

This year, I’ll write: La Fleche Wallonne pretty much always amounts to a hill climb after a 200km warm-up. Alejandro Valverde is still the fastest hill climber, just as he was last year, and the year before, and the year before.

If you’re a bit bleary-eyed and don’t enjoy a spot the difference, there’s an extra ‘and the year before’ in the second one because Valverde won the race for the fourth year on the bounce.

There’s a lot of talk that La Fleche Wallonne is really boring and predictable and they should mix it up to make things interesting, but I disagree. Okay, so it’s basically a five-minute race with an extraordinarily long preamble, but if you’re racing on a Wednesday, five minutes of very intense, very specific action is actually rather good.

Doesn’t mean I’ve got much more to say about the result though beyond what I said in 2014. In fact I was already repeating myself in 2015.