Mission: Ardennes
14 April 2017

Next races

Alejandro Valverde back once again into hills trio -seven wins combined at Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Sunday 23) and Flèche Wallonne (Wednesday 19)-; will seek maiden success in renewed Amstel Gold Race (Sunday 16) alongside strong Movistar Team

After a flawless start to his season, with GC victories in all of the three stageraces –Andalucía, Catalunya, País Vasco– he's taken part in from February to April, Alejandro Valverde will lead the Movistar Team at yet another shot at the hills of Limburg and Wallonia. The marvel from Murcia will seek first for a race he still hasn't added to his palmarès, Sunday's 52th Amstel Gold Race keeping its crucial Cauberg climb 18km away from the finish in 2017 to offer a less tough, more open final circuit on flatter roads after 35 of its famous 'bergs'.

Following the big Dutch classic, where 'Bala' has finished three times on the podium, the telephone squad will tackle the 81st Flèche Wallonne (Wednesday 19), finishing with a double loop over the 'côtes' of Ereffe, Cherave and the mythical Mur de Huy; and the 103rd Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Sunday 23), which scraps the Rue Naniot off this year's course and returns to a more traditional finale over La Redoute, Roche-aux-Faucons, Saint-Nicolas and Ans. Marc Soler, Rory Sutherland, Imanol Erviti, Dani Moreno, Jesús Herrada, Carlos Betancur and José Joaquín Rojas complete the José Luis Arrieta-led, eight-man squad.