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Flèche Wallonne
By Podofdonny
Date: 4/16/2002
Flèche Wallonne

Flèche Wallonne (Waalse Pijl)

The mid week 200 kilometre long Belgian Flèche Wallonne (“Walloon Arrow”) was created by the Brussels newspaper Les Sports in 1936 , as the junior partner to the Liege -Bastogne -Liege , held a few days later . The Flèche is centred in the Ardennes region of Belgium with long , winding climbs on the route from Charleroi - Huy and while the race does not have World Cup status it can be viewed as an important prologue to the senior event .As the list of past winners clearly illustrates the race has been held over a variety of courses and distances over the years . It used to be held the day before Liege - but as riders started to concentrate on la Doyenne it was given a midweek spot - to encourage more competitve enterance fields. . With recent changes in UCI rules, at around 200km it is a much shorter race than it was even in Hinault's era, when the route was over 250km, just like its older brother.

Ardennes Double - winning the Flèche Wallone and the Liège - Bastogne - Liège in the same year - has been acommplished on five occasions: Ferdi Kübler in 1951 and 1952; Stan Ockers in 1955; Eddy Merckx in 1972 and Moreno Argentin in 1991.

Last years winner Belgian Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) virtually ensured his team's place in the Tour de France when he caught the remains of an eight man breakaway group with 15 kilometres to go - and the soloed to glory over the infamous Mur de Huy .He has been showing glimpses of last seasons form and should have excellent support from Aerts and Mikhailov


Rik Verbrugghe, Mario Aerts, Serge Baguet, Christophe Brandt, Christophe Detilloux, Guennadi Mikhailov, Kurt Van de Wouwer, Kurt Van Lancker

Mighty Mapei will be still smarting after their poor showing at Paris Roubaix - and send a strong team which will probably also ride Liege - obvious favourites are Freire and Bettini - it will also be very interesting to see how Ozzy sensation Caddel Evans copes with the Ardennes terrain and a quality field .

Mapei-Quick Step:

Oscar Freire, Paolo Bettini, Dario Cioni, Fabien De Waele, Cadel Evans, Andrea Noé, Luca Paolini, Paolo Fornaciari

Michele Bartoli won this race in freezing conditions in 1999 - and the Fassa boys bring a team looking to continue its early season winning ways - with Marco Velo and Wladimir Belli in the team the silver and blue lads should be there or thereabouts when the race hits the wall.

Fassa Bortolo:

Michele Bartoli, Ivan Basso, Wladimir Belli, ????, Volodymir Gustov, Oscar Pozzi, Gorazd Stangelj, Marco Velo

Fans from the USA will be interested to see if Levi Leipheimer can make an impressssion on the race -, Verheyen has been showing good form as has Marcus Zberg so the Rabobank orange men should have an influence on thae race .


Michael Boogerd, Geert Verheyen, Addy Engels, Levi Leipheimer, Marc Lotz, Grischa Niermann, Beat Zberg, Marcus Zberg

Johan Museeuw is down to ride Liege Bastogne Liege ,but is taking a well deserved rest tomorrow - still the Domo team seems solid enough - surely it is about time Dave Bruylandts got a big result?

Domo-Farm Frites:

Axel Merckx, Dave Bruylandts, Steve De Wolf, Leif Hoste, Andrei Kashechkin, Tomas Konecny, Bram Tankink, Jurgen Van Goolen

With Boonen and Hincapie resting US Postal hopes will rest with in form Floyd Landis and possibly give the opportunity for the excellent Vandevelde to shine . Armstrong however , will ride Liege , so the team will definitely change for Sundays race.

US Postal:

Floyd Landis, Michael Barry, David Clinger, Steffen Kjaergaard, Chann McRae, José Luis Rubiera, Christian Vandevelde, David Zabriskie

Danilo Di Luca was picked out by Eddy Merckx at the start of the season as a man most likely to do well in this sort of classic race - you would be pretty foolish to argue with the Cannibal and the Saeco squad looks very solid .

Saeco-Longoni Sport:

Danilo Di Luca, Igor Astarloa, Mirko Celestino, Damiano Cunego, Gerrit Glomser, Cristian Pepoli, Fabio Sacchi, Alessandro Spezialetti

Vinokourov will bring the as always well prepared and motivated Telekom squad -

Team Telekom:

Alexandre Vinokourov, Udo Bölts, Jens Heppner, Torsten Hiekmann, Bobby Julich, Matthias Kessler, Andreas Klöden, Sergei Yakovlev

A rider who has come close to winning the event in the past ,David Etxebarria, and his Euskaltel teammates will be glad to be out of the mud and cobbles and will be highly motivated for a good result ,


David Etxebarria, Unai Etxebarria , Igor Flores, Inaki Isasi, José Alberto Martinez, Samuel Sanchez, Cesar Solaun

Other riders who may well feature are Kivilev (Cofidis) ,Zulle (Coast) , Frigo (Tacconi) Michael Rasmussen (CSC) Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) - and not forgetting the excellent Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) should be a great race .Marco Pantani is also riding.



Andrei Kivilev, Inigo Cuesta, Peter Farazijn, Dimitri Fofonov, Claude Lamour, Angelo Lopeboselli, Guido Trentin, Cédric Vasseur

Team Coast:

Alex Zülle, Niki Aebersold, Bekim Christensen, Mauro Gianetti, Sacha Henrix, Rolf Huser, André Korff, Francisco Lara

Denis Menchov, Dariusz Baranowski, Thomas Brozyna, Juan Antonio Flecha, Koldo Gil, Eladio Jimenez, Francisco Mancebo,Unai Osa

Kelme-Costa Blanca:

Ingnacio Gutierrez, David Munoz, Leandro navarette, Santiago Fernandez, Alexis Rodriguez, Julian Usano, Angel Vicioso, Constantino Zaballa


Daniël Schnider, Roger Beuchat, Matthias Buxhofer, David Derepas, Martin Elmiger, Bert Grabsch, Alexandre Moos, Lukas Zumsteg


Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, José Azevedo, Gianpaolo Caruso, Jörg Jaksche, Mikel Pradera, Joaquin Rodriguez, Marcos Serrano, Mikel Zarrabeitia


Didier Rous, Walter Beneteau, Franck Bouyer, Sylvain Chavanel, Charles Guilbert, Jérôme Pineau, Fabrice Salanson, François Simon

Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola:

Dario Frigo, Patrick Calcagni, Massimo Donati, Peter Luttenberger, Eddy Mazzoleni, Sylvester Szmyd, Steve Zampieri, Pietro Zucconi


Marcelino Garcia, Olivier Asmaker, Michael Blaudzun, Tyler Hamilton, Andrea Peron, Jacob Piil Storm, Michael Rasmussen, Nicki Sörensen


Davide Rebellin, Daniele Contrini, Gianni Faresin, Sebasdtian Lang , Ellis Rastelli, Torsten Schmidt, Marcel Strauss, Peter Wrolich


Pavel Tonkov, Sergio Barbero, Massimo Cocol, Alessandro Cortinovis ,Juan Manuel Garate, Milan Kadlec,Gabriele Missaglia , Raimondas Rumsas ,

Crédit Agricole

:Christophe Moreau, Frédéric Bessy ,Cédric Hervé,Christophe Le Mevel ,. Ludovic Martin,Anthony Morin ,Benoit Poilvet, Yan Tournier

Jean Delatour:

Laurent Brochard, Gilles Bouvard,Cyril Dessel, Christophe Edaleine, Patrice Halgand , Joona Laukka, Laurent Lefèvre, Bruno Thibout

Mercatone Uno:

Marco Pantani, Ermanno Brignoli, Daniel Clavero, Ricardo Forconi, Luca Mazzanti, Massimiliano Mori, Gian Mario Ortenzi, Francesco Secchiari

Vlaanderen-T Interim:

Geoffrey Demeyere, Stijn Devolder, Jehudi Schoonacker, Nico Sijmens, Danny Van Capellen, Jurgen Vandewalle, Wim Vanhuffel, Rudolf Wentzel

Marlux-Ville de Charleroi:

Andy Cappelle, Marc Chanoine, Johan Coenen, David De Bremaecker, Johan Dekkers, Kristoffer Ingeby, Christian Poos, Marc Vanacker


Tournai - Liège

1936 Philippe De Meersman

1937 Adolphe Braeckeveldt

1938 Emile Masson Jr.

Mons - Liège

1939 Edmund Delathouwer

1940 Not held

1941 Sylvain Grysolle

Mons - Marcinelle

1942 Karel Thijs

1943 Marcel Kint

1944 Marcel Kint

Mons - Chaleroi

1945 Marcel Kint

Mons - Liège

1946 Désiré Keteleer

1947 Ernest Sterckx

Chaleroi - Liège

1948 Fermo Camellini

1949 Rik Van Steenbergen

1950 Fausto Coppi

1951 Ferdi Kübler

1952 Ferdi Kübler

1953 Stan Ockers

1954 Germain Derycke

1955 Stan Ockers

1956 Richard Van Genechten

1957 Raymond Impanis

1958 Rik Van Steenbergen

1959 Joseph Hoevenaars

Liège - Chaleroi

1960 Pino Cérami

1961 Willi Vannitsen

1962 Henri De Wolf

1963 Raymond Poulidor

1964 Gilbert Desmet

Liège - Marcinelle

1965 Roberto Poggiali

1966 Michele Dancelli

1967 Eddy Merckx

1968 Rik Van Looy

1969 Joseph Huysmans

1970 Eddy Merckx

1971 Roger De Vlaeminck

Verviers - Marcinelle

1972 Eddy Merckx

1973 André Dierickx

Verviers - Verviers

1974 Frans Verbeeck

1975 André Dierickx

1976 Joop Zoetemelk

1977 Francesco Moser

1978 Michel Laurent

Esneux - Marcinelle

1979 Bernard Hinault

Mons - Spa

1980 Giuseppe Sarroni

Spa - Mons

1981 Daniel Willems

Charleroi - Spa

1982 Mario Beccia

Huy - Huy

1983 Bernard Hinault

1984 Kim Andersen

1985 Claude Criquielion

Spa - Huy

1986 Laurent Fignon

1987 Jean Claude Leclerq

1988 Rolf Gölz

1989 Claude Criquielion

1990 Moreno Argentin

1991 Moreno Argentin

1992 Giorgio Furlan

1993 Maurizio Fondriest

1994 Moreno Argentin

1995 Laurent Jalabert

1996 Lance Armstrong

1997 Laurent Jalabert

1998 Bo Hamburger

Charleroi - Huy

1999 Michele Bartoli

2000 Francesco Casagrande, Vini Caldirola

2001 Rik Verbrugghe, Lotto

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