Alejandro Valverde on the Mur de Huy

Sounds like a guess in Cluedo. And yes, Alejandro Valverde did indeed carry out mass slaughter on the slopes of Belgium’s infamous ‘wall’. La Fleche Wallonne (literally, the Walloon Arrow) is an even more significant win than his victory in Roma Maxima earlier in the season.

Valverde likes these sorts of finishes. Steep, but necessitating a bit more oomph. A long mountain pass involves pacing yourself to some degree, whereas the climax to La Fleche Wallonne involves a much more intense effort. The Mur demands a little more muscle and pays you back in ragged breathing.

Dan Martin came second so he’s got a decent chance of winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege again, like he did last year. I’ll be supporting him on Sunday because he was born in Birmingham and Birmingham’s nearer than Las Lumbreras and for some reason that matters. Geographical proximity at the time of a person’s birth pretty much equates to friendship, even though many of the worst people I’ve ever met were probably born in the same hospital as me.