La Flèche Wallonne

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La Flèche Wallonne
La Flèche Wallonne logo.svg
Race details
Date Late April
Region Wallonia, Belgium
English name Walloon Arrow
Local name(s) La Flèche Wallonne (French)
Discipline Road
Competition UCI World Tour
Type One-day
Organiser Amaury Sport Organisation
History
First edition 1936 (1936)
Editions 77 (as of 2013)
First winner  Philippe Demeersman (BEL)
Most wins  Marcel Kint (BEL)
 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
 Moreno Argentin (ITA)
 Davide Rebellin (ITA)
(3 wins)
Most recent  Daniel Moreno (ESP)

La Flèche Wallonne (pronounced: [la flɛʃ walɔn], French for "The Walloon Arrow") is a major men's professional cycle road race held in April each year in Wallonia, Belgium.

The first of two Belgian Ardennes classics, La Flèche Wallonne is today normally held mid-week between the Amstel Gold Race and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. At one time, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège were run on successive days as "Le Weekend Ardennais" (both races are organised by Amaury Sport Organisation). Only seven riders have achieved the "Ardennes double" by winning both races in the same year: Ferdi Kubler twice (in 1951 and 1952), Stan Ockers (1955), Eddy Merckx (1972), Moreno Argentin (1991) Davide Rebellin (2004), Alejandro Valverde (2006) and Philippe Gilbert (2011).

History[edit]

The 2011 La Flèche Wallonne route

La Flèche Wallonne was created to boost the sales of a newspaper Les Sports during the 1930s and was first run in 1936. While perhaps not as revered as one of the Classic 'Monuments', the race is widely regarded as a Classic, and featured on the UCI Road World Cup and UCI ProTour. It became part of the UCI World Ranking calendar in 2009.

Like many cycle race events, the course has altered considerably over the years, both in route and length. The event was first run on roads from Tournai to Liège (growing from 236 km to 300 km — its longest ever distance — in 1938), after which Mons became the starting point. From 1948, the race started at Charleroi; from 1960 the event ran in the opposite direction, starting at Liège and finishing at Charleroi (or, from 1965, Marcinelle). Some years have seen the event start and finish in the same place: Verviers (1974–1978) or Huy (1983–1985). From 1986, the race started in Spa and finished in Huy. Since 1990, the race distance has not exceeded 210 km.

Today, the 199.5 km event starts in Charleroi and heads east to Huy, where the riders do three laps of a tough circuit including the steep Mur de Huy (The wall of Huy) climb, with several sections steeper than 15% and up to 26% on one section. The finish is at the top of the Mur after the third ascent.

Only four riders have won the race three times, two of them Belgians and two Italians. Indeed, Belgian riders dominated the early years of the event, winning the first 11 editions of the race, and slightly more than half of the editions in total (38 victories up to and including 2011). Italians have won the event 18 times.

Winners[edit]

Rider Team
1936 Belgium Demeersman, PhilemonPhilemon Demeersman (BEL)
1937 Belgium Braeckeveldt, AdolpheAdolphe Braeckeveldt (BEL)
1938 Belgium Masson Jr., EmileÉmile Masson Jr. (BEL)
1939 Belgium Delathouwer, EdmondEdmond Delathouwer (BEL)
1940 No race
1941 Belgium Grysolle, SylvainSylvain Grysolle (BEL)
1942 Belgium Thijs, KarelKarel Thijs (BEL)
1943 Belgium Kint, MarcelMarcel Kint (BEL)
1944 Belgium Kint, MarcelMarcel Kint (BEL)
1945 Belgium Kint, MarcelMarcel Kint (BEL)
1946 Belgium Keteleer, DesireDesire Keteleer (BEL)
1947 Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL)
1948 Italy Camellini, FermoFermo Camellini (ITA)
1949 Belgium Steenbergen, Rik VanRik Van Steenbergen (BEL)
1950 Italy Coppi, FaustoFausto Coppi (ITA)
1951 Switzerland Kubler, FerdiFerdi Kubler (SUI)
1952 Switzerland Kubler, FerdiFerdi Kubler (SUI)
1953 Belgium Ockers, StanStan Ockers (BEL)
1954 Belgium Derijcke, GermainGermain Derijcke (BEL)
1955 Belgium Ockers, StanStan Ockers (BEL)
1956 Belgium Genechten, Richard vanRichard van Genechten (BEL)
1957 Belgium Impanis, RaymondRaymond Impanis (BEL)
1958 Belgium Steenbergen, Rik VanRik Van Steenbergen (BEL)
1959 Belgium Hoevenaars, JosJos Hoevenaars (BEL)
1960 Belgium Cerami, PinoPino Cerami (BEL)
1961 Belgium Vannitsen, WillyWilly Vannitsen (BEL)
1962 Belgium Dewolf, HenriHenri Dewolf (BEL)
1963 France Poulidor, RaymondRaymond Poulidor (FRA)
1964 Belgium Desmet, GilbertGilbert Desmet (BEL)
1965 Italy Poggiali, RobertoRoberto Poggiali (ITA)
1966 Italy Dancelli, MicheleMichele Dancelli (ITA)
1967 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL)
1968 Belgium Looy, Rik vanRik van Looy (BEL)
1969 Belgium Huysmans, JosJos Huysmans (BEL)
1970 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL)
1971 Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
1972 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL)
1973 Belgium Dierickx, AndreAndre Dierickx (BEL)
1974 Belgium Verbeeck, FransFrans Verbeeck (BEL)
1975 Belgium Dierickx, AndreAndre Dierickx (BEL)
1976 Netherlands Zoetemelk, JoopJoop Zoetemelk (NED)
1977 Italy Moser, FrancescoFrancesco Moser (ITA)
1978 France Laurent, MichelMichel Laurent (FRA)
1979 France Hinault, BernardBernard Hinault (FRA)
1980 Italy Saronni, GiuseppeGiuseppe Saronni (ITA)
1981 Belgium Willems, DanielDaniel Willems (BEL)
1982 Italy Beccia, MarioMario Beccia (ITA)
1983 France Hinault, BernardBernard Hinault (FRA)
1984 Denmark Andersen, KimKim Andersen (DEN)
1985 Belgium Criquielion, ClaudeClaude Criquielion (BEL)
1986 France Fignon, LaurentLaurent Fignon (FRA)
1987 France Leclercq, Jean-ClaudeJean-Claude Leclercq (FRA)
1988 Germany Golz, RolfRolf Golz (GER)
1989 Belgium Criquielion, ClaudeClaude Criquielion (BEL)
1990 Italy Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Ariostea
1991 Italy Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Ariostea
1992 Italy Furlan, GiorgioGiorgio Furlan (ITA) Ariostea
1993 Italy Fondriest, MaurizioMaurizio Fondriest (ITA) Lampre
1994 Italy Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Gewiss-Ballan
1995 France Jalabert, LaurentLaurent Jalabert (FRA) ONCE
1996 United States Armstrong, LanceLance Armstrong (USA) Motorola
1997 France Jalabert, LaurentLaurent Jalabert (FRA) ONCE
1998 Denmark Hamburger, BoBo Hamburger (DEN) Casino-Ag2r
1999 Italy Bartoli, MicheleMichele Bartoli (ITA) Mapei-Quick Step
2000 Italy Casagrande, FrancescoFrancesco Casagrande (ITA) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
2001 Belgium Verbrugghe, RikRik Verbrugghe (BEL) Lotto-Adecco
2002 Belgium Aerts, MarioMario Aerts (BEL) Lotto-Adecco
2003 Spain Astarloa, IgorIgor Astarloa (ESP) Saeco Macchine per Caffè
2004 Italy Rebellin, DavideDavide Rebellin (ITA) Gerolsteiner
2005 Italy Di Luca, DaniloDanilo Di Luca (ITA) Liquigas-Bianchi
2006 Spain Valverde, AlejandroAlejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears
2007 Italy Rebellin, DavideDavide Rebellin (ITA) Gerolsteiner
2008 Luxembourg Kirchen, KimKim Kirchen (LUX) Team High Road
2009 Italy Rebellin, DavideDavide Rebellin (ITA) Diquigiovanni-Androni
2010 Australia Evans, CadelCadel Evans (AUS) BMC Racing Team
2011 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Omega Pharma-Lotto
2012 Spain Rodríguez, JoaquimJoaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha
2013 Spain Moreno, DanielDaniel Moreno (ESP) Team Katusha

Winners by Nationality[edit]

# of Victories Country
38  Belgium
18  Italy
8  France
4  Spain
2   Switzerland
2  Denmark
1  Germany
1  Netherlands
1  United States
1  Luxembourg
1  Australia

External links[edit]