Women’s Flèche Wallonne Preview 2014

The Wednesday after Easter sees the women’s peloton head to Huy, in the Walloon region of Belgium for one of the most famous races on the calendar, La Flèche Wallonne. The race is the fourth stage of the Women’s Road World Cup, led by Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) and marks the start of the road season for World Champion, Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv).

At a glance

World Cup standings

After winning Ronde van Drenthe and second at both Trofeo Binda and Ronde van Vlaanderen, Armitstead has a healthy lead at the top of the World Cup standings, 120 points ahead of Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) in second place. The other positions are much closer with just 45 points separating Johansson in second and Armitstead’s team mate and winner of Ronde van Vlaanderen, Ellen van Dijk in fourth.

World Cup Top 10

Rank Name Points
1 Elizabeth Armitstead 320
2 Emma Johansson 240
3 Anna van der Breggen 220
4 Ellen van Dijk 195
5 Elisa Longo Borghini 130
6 Annemiek van Vleuten 120
7 Alena Amialiusik 85
8 Shelley Olds 85
9 Pauline Ferrand-Prevot 80
10 Chantal Blaak 70

Rabo-Liv riders lead all three of the ‘minor’ competitions. The Sprint, Climber and Youth jerseys will be worn by Iris Slappendel, Anna van der Breggen, and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, respectively.

What happened last year?

Despite the efforts of many teams they could not prevent Vos’ from claiming her fifth title on the Mur de Huy. With less than 200 metres to go Vos launched her final attack with only Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (then of, Lotto Belisol) were able to keep within touching distance but they would eventually battle it out for second place. Where Longo Borghini pipped Moolman-Pasio to the line.

Previous podiums

Year 1st 2nd 3rd
1998  Fabiana Luperini  Pia Sundstet  Catherine Marsal
1999  Hanka Kupfernagel  Edita Pucinskaite  Cindy Pieters
2000  Geneviève Jeanson  Pia Sundstet  Fany Lecourtois
2001  Fabiana Luperini  Anna Millward  Trixi Worrack
2002  Fabiana Luperini  Lyne Bessette  Priska Doppmann
2003  Nicole Cooke  Susan Palmer-Komar  Priska Doppmann
2004  Sonia Huguet  Hanka Kupfernagel  Edita Pucinskaite
2005  Nicole Cooke  Oenone Wood  Judith Arndt
2006  Nicole Cooke  Judith Arndt  Trixi Worrack
2007  Marianne Vos  Nicole Cooke  Judith Arndt
2008  Marianne Vos  Marta Bastianelli  Judith Arndt
2009  Marianne Vos  Emma Johansson  Claudia Häusler
2010  Emma Pooley  Nicole Cooke  Emma Johansson
2011  Marianne Vos  Emma Johansson  Judith Arndt
2012  Evelyn Stevens  Marianne Vos  Linda Villumsen
2013  Marianne Vos  Elisa Longo Borghini  Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio

Points and Prizes

As Flèche Wallonne is a World Cup race there’s two sets of points to be claimed. One towards the World Cup competition and the other towards UCI rankings. The top twenty share a prize purse of 5,130€, from 1,128€ for first place through to 84€ for twentieth. In addition to the prize money for the top twenty, the first rider over each of the 12 climbs on the course earns 250€ bringing the total prize money to 8,130€.

Position WC Points UCI Points Prize Money [€]
1st 100 120 1128
2nd 75 100 846
3rd 55 85 564
4th 45 70 338
5th 38 60 282
6th 32 50 254
7th 26 40 225
8th 22 35 198
9th 18 30 169
10th 15 25 141
11th 12 20 113
12th 10 18 113
13th 8 16 113
14th 6 14 113
15th 4 12 113
16th 3 10 84
17th 2 8 84
18th 1 6 84
19th 4 84
20th 2 84

The route

womens-fleche-wallonne-profile-2014

The course starts and finishes at the top of the Mur de Huy, and consists of two clockwise circuits totalling 127 kilometres. The course has changed slightly from last year but retains its key features and of course the Mur de Huy finish for which the race is most famous.

The circuit includes a series of punchy climbs, first up is Côte d’Ereffe, just twelve kilometres into the course, before four further climbs over just 20 kilometres: Côte de Bellaire, Côte de Bohisseau, Côte de Bousalle and Côte d’Ahin. It’s then a fast, dash, 10 kilometres to the big one, the Mur de Huy. At 1.3 kilometres long and an average gradient of 8.9% it sounds tough but these statistics mask the true test of Mur de Huy. The road is narrow at the base of the climb and the hardest part of the climb is around 800m long and averages 13%, including stretches well in excess of 20%. The three climbs contributing towards the World Cup climbers competition are concentrated in the second half of the race with points awarded on the two ascents of Mur de Huy and the second climb of Côte d’Ahin.

Who’s racing?

All eyes will be on Vos making her start to the road season after an extended off-season as she tries to balance the demands of road, cyclocross and most recently, mountain bike racing. But it’s not all about the Dutch superstar. Last year’s second and third place, Longo Borghini and Moolman-Pasio are now racing together at Hitec Products. Climbs like the Mur suit riders like Astana BePink’s Alena Amialiusiuk down to the ground. And, 2010 winner, Emma Pooley, returning to cycling with Lotto Belisol ear-marked Flèche Wallonne as one of the races she wanted to target.

Start List



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