Call it the Mur de Van Der Breggen!
September 30 th 2020 - 13:19
For the 6th time in a row, Anna van der Breggen conquered the Flèche Wallonne becoming the record holder of the event in front of Marianne Vos. The Dutch rider celebrated in style her World title conquered last saturday in Imola by clinching an impressive victory at the top of the Mur de Huy. Van Der Breggen wins this 23rd edition of the race ahead of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Demi Vollering. The Boels Dolmans Cycling Team leader also takes command of the UCI Women’s World Tour.
It was an early start on the Grand Place of Huy for the 23rd edition of the Fleche Wallonne, broadcasted live on TV in 190 countries. The 133 riders took off at 8:52 on the 124km course around Huy with one question in the minds of all: would recent World Champion Anna Van Der Breggen conquer a sixth Fleche?
After just a few kilometres three riders powered away: Van Witzenburg (DVE), Van Haaften (CTL) and Benito (MAT). Despite a few counter-attacks, the front three saw their lead reach 1’45’’ at km 25. At the top of the first of seven climbs, the Cote de Warre (km45), Van Haaften was the first to reach the summit while the pack led by Trek Segafredo remained a minute behind.
Shortly after, Marieke Van Witzenburg, dropped on several occasions, was eventually caught at km 56 leaving two riders at the front with a gap of 25’’ that again started growing. The Front two were finally caught at kilometre 69.
The pack was then perfectly controlled by teams Trek Segafredo and Boels Dolmans aiming to control any breakaway attempt. Just after the first climb up the Mur de Huy, seven riders pulled away: Pieters, Van Den Broek – Blaak (DLT), Koster (PHV), Cordon-Ragot (TFS), Barnes (CSR), Mackaij (SUN) and Chabbey (EPK). After enjoying a slim advantage, they were caught by a group including all the favourites.
Despite a few attempts, 21 riders remained together all the way to the final climb up the Mur de Huy. While the group was led by Van Der Breggen (DLT) herself, Demi Vollering was the first to attack. She was eventually caught with 300m to go by Van Der Breggen who then powered away. The Dutch 30-year-old was never to be caught. For the 6th consecutive time, she wins the Fleche Wallonne, beating to the line Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ) and Demi Vollering (PHV).
The Boels Dolmans Cycling Team leader becomes the event’s record holder in terms of successes (ahead of Vos with her 5 wins). She also takes command of the UCI Women’s World Tour ahead of Lizzie Deignan (TFS) only fourth today.