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Stephen Williams triumphs in rain-drenched Fleche Wallonne Spring Classic

Posted : 19 April 2024

Welsh cyclist Stephen Williams emerged victorious in the rain-soaked Fleche Wallonne Spring classic on Wednesday, triumphing in a dramatic finale atop the challenging Mur de Huy climb. Despite facing adverse weather conditions, Williams made a daring move on the steep final ascent, opening a significant gap before narrowly holding on for the win.


Traditionally won in thrilling fashion, the Fleche Wallonne poses a unique challenge with its undulating hills and the punishing Mur de Huy, a 1.3km climb with a daunting 9.6 percent gradient. Williams defied expectations by launching his attack slightly earlier than anticipated, a move that ultimately paid off as he crossed the finish line exhausted but victorious.


The peloton faced treacherous conditions throughout the 199km race, with heavy rain creating chaos and causing a split in the main group. Several pre-race favorites, including Tom Pidcock and Tiesj Benoot, found themselves caught out, allowing outsiders like Williams to seize the opportunity. Despite the challenging weather, Williams, who thrives in such conditions, capitalized on the opportunity to secure a memorable win.


In the women's race, Poland's Katarzyna Niewiadoma claimed victory in a fiercely contested battle, outpacing top contenders Demi Vollering and Elisa Longo Borghini. With the classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege set to take place on Sunday, cycling enthusiasts eagerly anticipate another thrilling showdown featuring some of the sport's biggest stars, including Tadej Pogacar and Mathieu van der Poel.


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