Vasil Kiryienka was the best performer from Movistar Team in the 75th Flèche Wallonne, where the telephone squad suffered a last-minute miss-out from their main card for the race, Spaniard Xavi Tondo.
The recent winner of the Vuelta a Castilla y León suffered a renal colic in the midnight that made his presence in the starting line of the Belgian classic impossible, and also jeopardizes his participation in next Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. His appearance in the Doyenne will thus depend on the evolution he goes through in the upcoming hours, with his body having to recover after dehidratation due to incapacity to take any food or drinks, although expectations are not high on him.
In this scenario, Kiryienka took full responsibility within Movistar Team’s ranks and put his efforts into a late break with less than 30k from the finish, firstly on a 10-rider countering group and then a short move along with Sweidh Thomas Lövkvist, both taking Movistar Team into the front of the Waloon Race. “It was obvious we couldn’t wait for the ending zone,” explained Movistar Team’s sports director Yvon Ledanois. “We had to try it in some break in the finale with riders that felt well such as Vasil, because you never know how the bunch will react behind.” Chased down with 7km remaining, the race went down into an uphill sprint at the final ascent to the Mur de Huy, where Gilbert (OLO) showed again his superiority to claim the win as Intxausti (20th) –Rojas entered just behind- claimed the best position from Movistar Team, a squad which suffered from the absence by their strongest man at the moment.
Madrazo crashes, breaks collarbone
The bad news for the telephone squad did not stick to that, as youngster Ángel Madrazo suffered a crash while training on Wednesday and broke his left collarbone, an injury that is being checked by the doctors in his hospital in Cantabria to evaluate the need for surgery. Madrazo sees his season interrupted again after his great performances in the beginning of the season; the Spaniard was expected to return this weekend in the GP Llodio and the Vuelta a La Rioja, following a first crash forcing him to withdrawal in Vuelta al País Vasco’s stage 1.