Valverde moves into class of his own following fourth Fleche Wallonne triumph

Following his fourth victory at Fleche Wallonne, Alejandro Valverde admitted that it was 'a real honour' to make his own marks in the record books

Valverde moves into class of his own following fourth Fleche Wallonne triumph
Alejandro Valverde celebrates winning the 2016 la Fleche Wallonne (image via:

Movistar's Alejandro Valverde created his own piece of history on Wednesday, when he became the first rider to win four times in the Fleche Wallonne

After winning the race for the first time back in 2006, Valverde has now reeled off three straight victories in the classics race, triumphing in 2014, 2015 and 2016, becoming the fifth man to gain a hat-trick of wins at the race and first to win on four occassions. 

His late burst over the last 100 metres up the Mur de Huy helped him to leave his competitors in his wake to create his own little bit of history.

Valverde celebrates his fourth Fleche Wallonne  (image via:                                

Valverde admits fourth Wallonne win is 'a real honour'

Going into the race as one of the favourites, Valverde was amongst the lead group going up the final climb, before outmuscling his opponents to gain victory ahead of Etixx-Quick Step pair Julian Alaphilippe and Daniel Martin

After his victory was confirmed, Valverde admitted that 'the truth is, that it's incredible.' Overtaking the likes of Eddy Merckx and Davide Rebellin who had three wins at Fleche Wallonne has moved Valverde to a class of his own for the Belgian-based race.

'To be in the history books of Fleche Wallonne is a real honour', said Valverde, who also admitted that he 'felt good beforehand' which gave him confidence of a third-straight triumph in Wallonia

Experience climbind Mur de Huy crucial to Valverde's hat-trick

After positioning himself well for the final ascent of the Mur de Huy, Valverde described how his previous experience nailing the climb really came to the fore in his fourth win.

Valverde said he 'knew I had to follow' Joaquim Rodriguez who made an early attack at the foot of the climb to stop the experienced Katusha climber from putting distance between himself and the pack. 

Then when he saw Martin and Alaphilippe make their move, Valverde said that he followed the Irishman up the hill before making his move with 100 metres remaining, 'I knew that if I accelerated away then I had the legs to stay away all to the finish,' which proved to be the case. 

With the Liege Bastogne Liege ahead on Sunday, 36-year-old Valverde's week could get even better if he can pick up a second Classics win in four days.