Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fleche Wallone - La Doyenne

Hey all, apologies for no race report on Fleche. The quick and dirty is that we went in motivated and with high spirits. Our neo-pro Julian Arredondo had just flown in from Colombia, yet we pinned our hopes on his explosive power for the steep finish up the Mur de Huy. Despite the fact that he speaks basically zero English, his energetic personality was kind of infectious for the team and beginning at the team meeting the evening before the race you could already feel the motivation of the team. We would ride for Julian in the final and Frank would watch for or launch his own attack late in the race. The team rode cohesively throughout the race with everyone doing their job well. In the end Julian gave it a huge effort and looked close to finishing on the podium, but the infamous Huy jumped on his back in the last 200 meters. It is deceptively steep and therefore long, so if you're not able to budget your effort just right, you can really explode. It is a climb/race where experience really pays off. Nonetheless the team felt like it had a successful day.

So that leads us to tomorrow: La Doyenne, more properly known as Liege-Bastogne-Liege. It is the oldest of the "monument" races and one I really like. It is arguably the hardest, too. Tomorrow's race is a sizable 263km, which will take us 6.5-7 hours and will have over 3000 meters of climbing. We previewed the last 100km of the race yesterday and it is a little different from the other years I've raced it. I can guarantee it will not be any bit easier though! The game plan will be to protect Frank and Julian, maybe look for a late breakaway, but more than anything we will try to be active and animate the race a bit. We have a strong, motivated team, so I think we can be a real player in the race. Look for Trek Factory Racing to be in the mix tomorrow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck! Will go better than Fl├Ęche.