Henao fourth at Fleche Wallonne

19 Apr 2017

Henao fourth at Fleche Wallonne

Sergio Henao battled to a fourth place finish as Fleche Wallonne was decided in a showdown on the famous Mur de Huy.

Climbing alongside team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski, the Colombian champ hit the steep final slopes in a strong position as Diego Rosa set the pace for Team Sky.
But as the finish neared it was every man for himself and Henao hit out as the climbers went toe to toe. There was no stopping Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the day, with the Spaniard taking a fourth Fleche success in a row, and fifth win in the middle Ardennes Classic.
Kwiatkowski finished just behind Henao in a close battle, taking seventh to make it two Team Sky riders in the top 10.

Team Sky rode at the fore as attacks began to fire with 45km to go. Tao Geoghegan Hart and Sebastian Henao covered the moves, with a number of Sky riders all well placed on the penultimate ascent of the Mur.
A dangerous late attack saw Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing) and Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) go clear off the front. Jungels proved the strongest and the Luxembourg rider saw his advantage spin out to over 50 seconds on the run-in.
Sebastian Henao and Gianni Moscon buried themselves to help close the gap, and as expected the race came back together after 204.5km in time for the final climb.

After the stage Kwiatkowski reflected on the race and its famous final climb. He said: "Mur de Huy really makes us sweat and there was no mercy this time. We failed to beat Alejandro, but together with Sergio we can be proud of our team, especially in the last difficult kilometres.

"We were there until the final cut and this is what matters before La Doyenne (Liege-Bastogne-Liege). Thanks for the great support along the course."

Race result:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 5:15:37
2. Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) +1"
3. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) s.t.
4. Sergio Henao (Team Sky)
5. Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott)
7. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)