If the good folks of Classicslandia are out stapling yellow signs to the utility poles, it must be time for another big ASO race. Yep, it's La Fleche Wallonne!
Some early daytime scenes on the famous Mur de Huy. I like to think that wisp of smoke is some sort of burning fat...
These folks came out early to cheer for, um, everyone?
Faces of the startline... including Papa Schleck!
I've never seen the Sky stripe with the inspirational passage up close. Is this new?
Anyway, to the roads. Here are the women coming up the Mur on an early passage, with the heads of state carefully controlling the front.
Team USA's Kristin McGrath digs deep:
Now the finale, as Evie Stevens of Specialized-lululemon goes chica-a-chica with the legendary Golden Fox, Marianne Vos of Rabobank:
And it's the American who pulls away for the win!
A spent Vos...
Stevens looked ecstatic in every picture I've seen so far:
And the podium. Linda Villumsen gets third.
Now the dudes. Here's an early lap, leg warmers still on...
On the Mur de Huy, strong men also cry:
The finale, Purito Rodriguez looks back to see the size of his gap. Answer: big...
Knowing he has it, Rodriguez goes into celebratory mode:
And the finish:
It takes a tough hill to make Gilbert wobble...
Muddy faces at the end, thanks to some late showers:
And your dudes podium. Michael Albasini takes second.
I suppose it wouldn't be a Patrick Verhoest gallery without some pleasant surprises. [Please don't try this at home.] This one's for Gavia:
And PNW in da house! Hi Chris.
And that, folks, is another awesome Patrick Verhoest Gallery!
All photos by Patrick Verhoest for the Podium Cafe