Velominati Super Prestige: La Fléche Wallone 2013

J-Rod launches his attack in 2012. Photo via Podium Café

We came tantalizingly close to adding a foray up the Mur de Huy during our excursion to Liege-Bastogne-Liege during this year’s Keepers Tour. But good sense and the Anti-V prevailed, as they are wont to do, and only two of us were left wanting a dig at the most notorious finishing climb in the Classics season.

I write this, then, woefully ignorant of the ferocity of the climb, particularly when combined with with a few hundred k’s of racing and scaling it several times in the process. Such is the nature of this event, and it doesn’t even have the dignity of holding a weekend spot on the calendar for its troubles.

But the Huy is a brute. Steep, long, and steep. Did I mention steep? We’re talking 26% steep. And long? We’re talking 1.3km. Even the best climbers in the world fade when the effort is dished out too soon. Keep the powder dry was ever thus.

Throw the formulas out the window; its best to resort to your eye of newt for this one. Whoever wins will have good finishing speed on an uphill finish and it also won’t be Andy Schleck. That’s about all the farther anyone can narrow this puppy down, the rest is guesswork. Enter your picks by the time the countdown clock goes to zero.

Good luck, regular rules apply.

I might have posted this last year as well, but this is my favorite finish of La Fléche to date, Pre-Cancerian Pharmy notwithstanding. He takes a flier in the only spot on this climb with some easing of the gradient. Its beautiful work, that.

[vsp_results id=”23108″/]

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238 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: La Fléche Wallone 2013”

  1. @Buck Rogers

    Any news on the Women’s race? I cannot find results anywhere.

    Never mind, just saw it on cyclingnews.  No surprise there, eh?

  2. Well, I had Martin in 5th. Damn, nice surprise today.

    Did a little better with the ladies. Like always. hehe. get it? see where I went there? I am saying I am good with the ladies…

  3. That was fun to watch, but did fuck all for my VSP. Garmin may want to look at their tyre selection. Martin and Ryder both flatted?

  4. @Dan_R you may be spending a little too much alone time at the shop bench…speaking of which, how long would it take to swap bars?  I am off this week and took my empties in…

  5. @Dan_R

    Well, I had Martin in 5th. Damn, nice surprise today.

    Did a little better with the ladies. Like always. hehe. get it? see where I went there? I am saying I am good with the ladies…

    Move along….there is nothing to see here….!

  6. @Deakus @Tobin Maybe I have been getting into the tubular glue too much?

    For you my fellow V, overnight at the longest, unless something odd and unforeseen happens. Hell, we can even do a walk though, talk through with it if you’d like and have the time. We could do that either tomorrow morning or Friday if it suits your “off this week” timetable. Msg me on FB.

  7. I was semi excited when I heard them mention all of my picks within the last minute. Oh, well. My 1-2-3 finished 6-7-8. I, too, was able to score with the ladies, @Tobin.

  8. O I found a winner @napolinige had Moreno for the win….Congratulations!

  9. Just Martin in my top five and even he finished fourth instead of my preferred third. Doesn’t he know I need the points?

    Bettler luck with the ladies: first and fifth metaphorically nailed.

  10. Moreno? Son of a bug. Who is he? FFS!
    Did anyone pick him to win?
    @napolinige takes the brass ring.

    [vsp_results id=”23108″]

  11. It’s early to be generating GC standings but the tifosi demand it. It is cocktail hour somewhere in the world.

    [vsp_gc year=2013]

  12. @Gianni

    Moreno? Son of a bug. Who is he? FFS!

    Wasn’t it Moreno who slipped gears in the Amstel Gold finale and almost took out Valverde and Gerrans? It’s funny: I remember making a mental note that he might be worth considering for Flèche Wallonne when he made his move, but then he almost lost control of his bike, and I blew him off. Chapeau for a good ride.

  13. Wrong Sky rider! It’s like changing your lottery numbers. At least my sub paid off.

  14. @Gianni


    Phew! Glad to hear it! I think I’m owed a point for having Martin in my top 5. Also, any word on my L-B-L article being used for this weekend?

  15. I am relieved to see Andy Schleck continues to be consistant. Thankfully Sagan couldn’t manage a fast finish and i won’t be on a lycra diet.

  16. @wiscot

    Make sure you contest it.

    The Uber-VSP machine picks Martin, Tony before Martin, Dan, because he is German and built like a bastard. And Dan Martin, not so much. And he is English, ooops, Irish.

    L-B-L article, this Friday? Interesting. I’ll have to look at the Uber-Guest Article Radom Generator Selector Device. Funny, it requires copious amounts of Belgian Ales too.

  17. @wiscot@Gianni

    I had the same issue.  Thanks to pouring some Belgian ale into the dispute box, it has already been resolved.  Thanks.  Although I do have a dispute from the ladies’ Ronde that didn’t — Gianni, what is the appropriate libation for that race?

  18. @Gianni Dear G,

    Will do. Tony M doesn’t ride these events so I forget about him. Consider some virtual Belgian ales coming your way for the L-B-L article. Unless the forecast changes, something tells me it won’t be a weather epic like M-SR.

  19. @sthilzy actually he did not too bad today all in all, 85th or something ? but importantly, he finished some 4 minutes ahead of the skybot Porte.

  20. @Gianni

    Make sure you contest it.

    The Uber-VSP machine picks Martin, Tony before Martin, Dan, because he is German and built like a bastard. And Dan Martin, not so much. And he is English, ooops, Irish.

    I had that same dispute as well, Dan Martin for fourth.

  21. Frites and Mayo this Sunday – yeoooww!! Good hard ride involving getting lost a few times before battle commences through the Gilbert’s driveway, and we are in for a great day

    As nearly everyone I know is currently riding down and back up Sa Calobra, whilst I languish depressed at work, it is a godsend that we have some good racing on the telly

    Poor Philippe – he just wants it too much – needs to transmogrify into a TT expert or something, and not be so openly, the only man who wants the Ardennes more than anything else in the toyshop

    I guess it is the downside for kicking everyones butt so hard in 2011

    Moreno has been last man standing up the big ramps for J-Rod for the last year or so, so not surprised he made the jump

    Ryder, sorry mate, but the Astana/Skybots are about to trample all over your Girohopes

    That boy Kwiatowski is destined for greatness me thinx

  22. Hey guys – some more disputed picks; results have been updated again.

    Provisional Race Results

    2. HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis
    3. BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos Alberto
    4. MARTIN Daniel
    5. KWIATKOWSKI Michal
    Provisional VSP Results

    1. napolinige (7 points)
    2. unversio (5 points)
    3. Buck Rogers (5 points)
    4. stickyjumper (5 points)
    5. Al__S (5 points)
    6. Gianni (5 points)
    7. JohnB (4 points)
    8. Mikael Liddy (3 points)
    9. San Tonio (3 points)
    10. Bianchi Denti (3 points)
    11. Deakus (3 points)
    12. roger (3 points)
    13. el gato (3 points)
    14. Chica (3 points)
    15. anotherdownunder (2 points)
    16. mouse (2 points)
    17. mbarston (2 points)
    18. ChrisO (2 points)
    19. Nate (2 points)
    20. Skip (2 points)
    21. dancollins (2 points)
    22. xyxax (2 points)
    23. ramenvelo (2 points)
    24. strathlubnaig (1 points)
    25. Blah (1 points)
    26. Steampunk (1 points)
    27. sthilzy (1 points)
    28. CanuckChuck (1 points)
    29. freddy (1 points)
    30. Heihachi (1 points)
    31. LA Dave (1 points)
    32. snoov (1 points)
    33. Smithers (1 points)
    34. Dr C (1 points)
    35. Mirko (1 points)
    36. TomC (1 points)
    37. Adrian (1 points)
    38. Patrick (1 points)
    39. VeloVita (1 points)
    40. tony macaroni (1 points)
    41. eenies (1 points)
    42. m_demartino (1 points)
    43. VirenqueForever (1 points)
    44. Fausto (1 points)
    45. Donnie Bugno (1 points)
    46. simonsaunders (1 points)
    47. Malfadactus (1 points)
    48. Duende (1 points)
    49. Dan_R (1 points)
    50. Facetious_Jesus (1 points)
    51. NoTubes (1 points)
    52. seemunkee (1 points)
    53. pakrat (1 points)
    54. Ron (1 points)
    55. BigPhil (1 points)
    56. TOM.NELS2120 (0 points)
    57. eightzero (0 points)
    58. Noel (0 points)
    59. R00tdown (0 points)
    60. Erik (0 points)
    61. asyax (0 points)
    62. PeakInTwoYears (0 points)
    63. Don Amedo (0 points)
    64. The Grande Fondue (0 points)
    65. Tobin (0 points)
    66. scaler911 (0 points)
    67. Gino (0 points)
    68. Lukas (0 points)
    69. RedRanger (0 points)
    70. starclimber (0 points)
    71. piwakawaka (0 points)
    72. torrefie (0 points)
    73. gallilano (0 points)
    74. Franklin (0 points)
    75. DocBrian (0 points)
    76. girl (0 points)
    77. Jbailey (0 points)
    78. Simon (0 points)
    79. Rigid (0 points)
    80. ped (0 points)
    81. G’phant (0 points)
    82. chrismurphy92 (0 points)
    83. the Engine (0 points)
    84. Giles (0 points)
    85. quanyeomans (0 points)
    86. il ciclista medio (0 points)
    87. Two Ball Billy (0 points)
    88. HeinrichHausslersHairstyle (0 points)
    89. Joe (0 points)
    90. razmaspaz (0 points)
    91. Mr. Kotter (0 points)
    92. Harminator (0 points)
    93. Sauterelle (0 points)
    94. SimonH (0 points)
    95. Vernwitha_V (0 points)
    96. wiscot (0 points)
    97. blue (0 points)
    98. Nosyt (0 points)
    99. taon24 (0 points)
    100. El Mateo (0 points)
    101. jeyrod (0 points)
    102. sgraha (0 points)
    103. imakecircles (0 points)
    104. Bat Chainpuller (0 points)
    105. oneninefiveninesix (0 points)
    106. Chris (0 points)
    107. jhortua (0 points)
    108. sprider (0 points)
    109. cal (0 points)
    110. Gervais (0 points)
    111. Islandbike (0 points)
    112. moondance (0 points)
    113. Tartan1749 (0 points)
    114. brian (0 points)
    115. Geordi (0 points)
    116. brett (0 points)
    117. leadout (0 points)
    118. Gino (0 points)
  23. @Dr C

    Ryder, sorry mate, but the Astana/Skybots are about to trample all over your Girohopes

    You’re undoubtedly right, but I was interested to see him finish well and comfortably (amid the host of bobbing heads) the other day. He seem to be well in control of his efforts and not racing to win. Combined with his effort at the Amstel Gold Race, he seems to be rolling into form. Witness the end of la Flèche Wallonne; Hesjedal rolls over the line at the very end of the video:

    A couple of other thoughts:

    1. I love “le peloton des battus.” Awesome stuff!

    2. Nice, tender moment between Henao and Betancur at the finish. It’s been a good spring for Colombian riders.

  24. @Dr C

    As nearly everyone I know is currently riding down and back up Sa Calobra

    Me too – are your mates on the Legro’s training camp? I’ll say hi if they are. A lot of Texans out here at the moment as well. Great riding out here; not sure I’m going to like going home to miserable weather and potholed roads, riding out here is seriously addictive.

  25. Hold on, I just re-read that title article, and realised the keepers tour ‘went close to but did not ride the Mur’ ?? wtf, over.

    That’s closer than a close thing which has just won a come close contest. Why would you not do this hill ?

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