The peloton is preparing for the Walloon Ardennes classics this week with first of all the 86th edition of Flèche Wallonne (1.UWT, 20/04) planned on Wednesday. The start of the race of 202.1 kilometer takes again place in the province of Liège, in Blegny.
The riders will cross the hilly province via the Côte de Tancremont and the Côte des Forges before they enter the local circuit after 83 kilometer. On their way to the first crossing of the finish line, they will cover the three hills of the local circuit of 31.2 kilometer, which has to be repeated twice afterwards. The Côte d’Ereffe (2km at 5.8%) and the Côte de Cherave (1.4km at 7.9%) are positioned 18.5 and 5.8 kilometer before the finish line on top of the Mur de Huy (1.3km at 9.4%) with its maximal gradients over 20%.
After his third place in the second stage of Itzulia Basque Country, Quinten Hermans pursues his race programme with the Flèche Wallonne, in which he finished fourteenth and best Belgian rider in his debut last season. Also Italian climber Domenico Pozzovivo obtained a podium recently in the Tour of Sicily last week thanks to the help of among others his compatriot Simone Petilli and German rider Georg Zimmermann. Belgian rider Jan Bakelants will line up for the twelfth time in his career and together with his compatriot Laurens Huys and Frenchman Théo Delacroix he completes the selection under the direction of Valerio Piva and Hilaire Van der Schueren.