The specialist did it again. After his wins in 2004 and 2007, Davide Rebellin has won his third FlĂ¨che Wallonne. The year he won his first he became the first rider in history to score an Ardennes triple. At 38 years of age he becomes the fourth rider to have won the FlĂ¨che Wallone for a third time joining Marcel Kint (1943, 44 & 45) Eddy Merckx (1967, 70 &72) and Moreno Argentin (1990, 91 & 94)
The Franco-Japanese connection
The first attack of the day was put in by Perben Van Hecke (Bel-TSV) at kilometre 0. After several attempts, Christophe Moreau (Fra-AGR) managed to break away from the peloton at kilometre 7 and was joined by Fujiyuki Beppu (Jap-SKS). 20 kms later, the gap to the peloton was at 7â€™25â€ť. After 50 kms the lead swelled to 15â€™30.
Moreau continued to go it alone
The gap decreased to 14â€™30â€ť as the peloton, led by the Silence-Lotto, Lampre, Caisse dâ€™Epargne and Saxo Bank teams, crossed the finish line for the first time of the day at the summit of the of Mur de Huy. On the second ascension of the Mur de Huy, Beppu was momentarily dropped by Moreau but the two leaders were soon riding in tandem. The gap to the peloton was reduced to 11â€™20â€ť. 99 kilometres were still to be covered for the leading duo. With 78kms left to be covered the going became too difficult for Beppu; leaving Moreau to go it alone.
163 km break away for Moreau
It all changed with 50kms to go. Christophe Moreauâ€™s lead was down to 4â€™20â€ť, following an attack from Chris Sorensen on the CĂ´te de Thon, which was then followed by an attack from a group of 17 riders. But the peloton picked up the pace and with 30 kms to go Moreauâ€™s lead was down to 50 seconds. He was caught five kilometres later ending his 163 km run at the front.
Serpa tries to escape
Iglinksy (AST) and Kolobnev (SAX) tried an attack of their own on the CĂ´te de Bousalle but it wasJosĂ© Serpa (SDA) who managed to put some daylight between himself and the peloton. His run at the front of the race came to an end 14 kms shy of the finish line on the CĂ´te dâ€™Ahin . With 10kms to go, a trio of rider, including Scarponi (SDA), Rodriguez (GCE) and Pfannberger (KAT). With Seven kilometres to go they were joined by Taralongo (Lam), Kreuziger (LIQ) and Kroon (SAX)
Perfect Timing for Rebellin
The group was caught 4 kilometres from the finish line where the peloton began to get organized and prepare for the Mur de Huy. In the opening metres of the dayâ€™s final difficulty, all the leaders were in position. Like last yearCadel Evans kicked it in to high gear on the steepest section, which began the hostilities. Damiano Cunego and Andy Schleck where on the Australianâ€™s back wheel, but the burst of energy from David Rebellin was too much for the others to handle. The Italian pulled ahead in the final 250 metres to take the win ahead of Schleck and Cunego.
Davide Rebellin (2004, 07 and 09) joins the club of three-time FlĂ¨che Wallonne winners, Marcel Kint (1942, 43 and 44), Eddy Merckx (1967, 70 and 72) and Moreno Argentin (1990, 91 &nd 94)
2. Andy Schleck
3 Damiano Cunego
4. Samuel Sanchez
5. Cadel Evans
Davide Rebellin (Ita-SDA) has won the 73rd edition of the FlĂ¨che Wallonne, making it four wins on the Ardennes classic for the Italian.
Nicki Sorensen (Den-SAX) attacks, but the big guns are ready to put in the final charge up the Mur de Huy, Cadel Evans (Aus-SIL), Andy Schleck (Lux-SAX) and Damiano Cunego(Ita-LAM) attack.
It is now a matter of seconds before the final attack of the day is launched on the climb up the Mur de Huy.