One of the steepest finished in cycling, Flèche Wallonne’s Mur de Huy, once again played host to a thrilling classic in the Ardennes that saw Julian Alaphillipe (Quickstep-Floors) break Alejandro Valverde’s grip on the event by taking the victory.
The Movistar rider, who has won the race five times, finished second with Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Soudal) third over the 198.5km course from Seraing to Huy.
For our team, hopes lay with Tom-Jelte Slagter, who has previously finished twice in the top-10, and Serge Pauwels. Both were in the mix right up until the end as the group, led for a period by Amanuel Gebreigzabhier, reeled in the break to put them into position.
They finished 12th and 17th respectively as the final kilometre pushed all the riders to their absolute limit.
The team will now prepare for Liège–Bastogne–Liège this coming weekend with hopes high that their good form will end in a good result.
Tom-Jelte Slagter – Rider
“I’m only concerned about the result really because with this sort of finish it was a big opportunity for me. So to finish 12th, well I’m not super-happy with that. If it was a nice top-10 or a perhaps a 5th place I would have been happy.
“The legs were good during the day, better than at Amstel but as I said 12th place is not bad but it’s also not what I came for.
“Teams are small only with seven guys and we lost Scott in the beginning. It’s always nice to be with a lot of guys at the end but the Mur is so tough that it’s not an easy job to have four or five guys in the final (stages).”