Every year in the Belgian Ardennes riders from around the world enjoy a week of extraordinary cycling.
On the hilly routes of the region the most enterprisingriders are rewarded, but bluffers are excluded. In theFlèche Wallonne only the most solid hard-hitters are capable of withstanding the violence of the final climb up the "Mur de Huy", after more than two hundred kilometres of race.
In addition to a flawless physical condition, contenders for victory must also be skilled tacticians: time in the final stretch is critical. The method employed by Alejandro Valverde during the 2006 edition is a model of style, worthy of Merckx, Hinault, Fignon and Jalabert, who preceded him as past winners. Capturing, in Huy, his first victory in one of the most prestigious Classics on the circuit, the Spanish rider has discovered the winning formula. He won’t be giving any of his secrets away however, and certainly won’t be sharing the ultimate prize with others in the future.