Lineup & Preview: Flèche Wallonne

After a great performance last Sunday, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is now eager to continue on the same path in the next of the Ardennes Classics, Flèche Wallonne this Wednesday.

Starting out in Binche, the riders take on 146.5 km in the lumpy Belgian terrain before they reach the finishing line on top of the infamous Mur de Huy for the first time. The ascent is just 1.3 km long but as its name reveals, it’s extremely steep. The first 900 meters have an average gradient of nearly 12 % with parts over 20 % in the steep corners towards the top.

The finishing circuit is 29 km long and includes the two short climbs, Côte d’Ereffe (2.1 km / 5 % avg.) and Côte de Cherave (1.3 km / 8.1 %) in addition to Mur de Huy. Côte de Cherave has its top just 5.5 km from the finishing line and serves as a good place to attack for those who aren’t explosive enough to follow the favorites on the final ascent.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka brings several strong climbers to Flèche Wallonne, aiming to show off the team colors at the front once again. Nathan Haas will lead the team after taking fourth place in Amstel Gold Race last Sunday and he can count on strong support from Johann Van Zyl, Jaco Venter, Igor Antón, Serge Pauwels, Merhawi Kudus, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Ben O’Connor.

Nathan Haas:
“To me, Flèche Wallonne is easily the most dangerous one of the Ardennes races. There is really only one moment in this race that counts and that’s the final 1.3 km. Positioning is paramount, which also makes for a very tactical race. It’s a bit like an ice sculpture with Mur de Huy being that last pick of the ice where you either make something really beautiful at the end or the whole thing collapses. It’s really an amazing race. We hope to play the card of the powerful underdog. We know this is a very hard race but we have a few extra climbers coming in now and I don’t think we are a team that should be dismissed”.