Flèche Ardennaise

Francesco Busatto close to the double

The winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 of three weeks ago, Francesco Busatto, resumed competition with a second place in the challenging Flèche Ardennaise this Sunday.

The race followed many of the roads of the U23 version of Liège-Bastogne-Liège with in total almost twenty categorized climbs on the parcours of 175 kilometer around Stavelot, among which the mythical Côte de Wanne, Haute-Levée, Rosier or Stockeu.

The collective of Circus-ReUz-Technord took its responsibility behind the breakaway. The efforts of the men directed by Kévin Van Melsen paid off, enabling Italian rider Busatto to accompany the strongest riders and to race for the victory.

He achieved his third podium this season, after his win in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and his second place in the Get Up Cup in March. Behind, three teammates finished in the top twenty: Alexy Faure (14th), Obie Vidts (16th) and Arne Baers (18th).

« I didn't know exactly how I would feel today because Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 was my last race, three weeks ago. In addition, we were expecting the riders with the best legs to be able to make a difference in this very challenging race, in contrary to the tactical final in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. » « Soon I was reassured and I could also rely on a strong team. My teammates brought back all escapees, one by one, and made sure I was always well positioned. I still had Alexy Faure and Obie Vidts with me on the decisive Côte de Stockeu. I suffered, but I kept going and managed to join the five best riders after the top. »

« From then on I had a lot of confidence, thanks to my abilities downhill and my fast legs. But I was unlucky in the final 500 meter. The rider in front of me left a gap in one of the corners and I closed it in the final corner, but the victory was already out of reach. » « I'm disappointed because I couldn't fully defend my chances. Despite this, I'm proud because with my first place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and today's second place I could show that I am among the better riders on this terrain. It also confirms that I worked well to prepare this new competition block, with the Orlen Grand Prix nations cup and the Giro U23 up next. »

General Classification


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