Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne race is always good to watch thanks to the fearsome Muur de Huy, a leg busting climb that ‘only’ averages 9.3% but has sections well above 20%, meaning any rhythm is near-impossible. The riders climb this three times. There’s even a quasi-religious symbolism as the riders pass seven chapels on the road.
New and improved
The riders have previously tackled the Côte d’Ereffe (2.1 km at 6% average) but early in the race, before a finish that took them over the Côte de Bousalle, Côte d’Ahin, Mûr de Huy in the final 30km. Now the race will see the riders tackle the Muur, then the Côte d’Ereffe and then the final up the Muur within the last 20km. That’s a big change.
This should favour late attacks, as previous editions saw a fast run along the Meuse valley where a strong team could condemned many late moves before the fireworks on the Muur. Instead the small climb will allow tactics and then there’s a small twisty descent back towards the valley and Huy.