Fleche Wallonne 2005
For once I guessed right: I was betting on Di Luca, and Danilo grabbed the 69th edition of Fleche Wallonne on the Mur de Huy, the one final km that seems to be specifically designed to exalt his finisseur qualities.
Rebellin, already 4th in Amstel Gold Race, placed 3rd: he seems to be 1-2 kg heavier than last year, while Di Luca is as thin and tight as ever before.
On such an important gradient (11.8%, with points of 20%) even just 1 kg can be decisive, losing 2-3 seconds per km while expressing the same power output.
It took 3'01" for Di Luca to climb the last km, definitely slower than last year’s performance (2'45"): the sprint was launched a bit late, with many riders on the front, checking on each other until the final 300m.
Notwithstanding the average speed of 42.4 km/h, there were about 60 riders at the feet of Huy, pointing out the lack of a real selection in the peloton once again.
Truly impressive was the performance of Jens Voigt, breaking away for more than 140km, the last 40 on his own, always with a gap not superior to 2’ to the chasing group and caught with 4 km to go…