La Flèche Wallonne 2017 odds
The 2017 La Flèche Wallonne (English: The Walloon Arrow) is a one-day cycling classic that takes place on 19 April 2017. It is the 81st edition of La Flèche Wallonne and the twelfth race of the 2017 UCI World Tour. It is the second of the three Ardennes classics, coming after the Amstel Gold Race and before the Liège–Bastogne–Liège.
The race takes place on a hilly 196-kilometre (122 mi) route that starts in Marche-en-Famenne and ends in Huy. The key aspect of La Flèche Wallonne is the climb of the Mur de Huy, which is crossed three times during the race; the finishing line is at the top of the final climb of the Mur. The race typically suits both puncheurs and climbers. The defending champion is Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
After beginning the race in Marche-en-Famenne, the riders travells south, before turning north after 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) and passing through Rochefort. There is then a fairly flat 50 kilometres (31 mi) that brings the peloton to Ohey, where the riders enter a series of circuits around Huy. The first climb is the Côte de Bellaire after 67 kilometres (42 mi), followed by the Côte de Bohissau, the Côte de Solieres and the first climb of the Mur de Huy, which comes with 101 kilometres (63 mi) covered and 95 kilometres (59 mi) remaining. The next circuit takes the riders southeast out of Huy, across the Côte d'Ereffe, and back to Ohey. They then followed the same sequence of the Côte de Bellaire, the Côte de Bohissau, the Côte de Solieres and the Mur de Huy. The second climb of the Mur comes with 29 kilometres (18 mi) remaining.
The favorite of the race is Alejandro Valverde, a rider that has extended his contact with Movistar Team for a further two years, and will ride for the team until the end of the 2019 season. He already had a contract for the 2017 season. Nicknamed 'El Imbatido' ('The Unbeaten One') or, simply and affectionately, 'Bala' ('Bullet'), Valverde means everything to Eusebio Unzué's squad, an everlasting, brilliant light in all races he takes part in. Arguably the best all-round, most consistent rider the national peloton has even known, and an unmissable reference in the WorldTour peloton for nearly a decade and a half, his palmarès (97 wins) is as eternal as his figure, rated in terms and numbers - 74 victories with the Abarca Sports structure, a record only beaten by Miguel Indurain - difficult to achieve for any other rider.
Dan Martin, the last year third place announced that in 2017 he will target the Spring Classics and the Tour with a determination to succeed in both April and July. That said, he added that the Classics would remain his focal point until his Tour de France preparations stepped up. "Whether my ability in the Classics will suffer a bit because of my improved climbing in the mountains, we'll have to see. Maybe I'm losing that youthful punch in my legs but I love racing and I'm not going to change or just focus on July.", he said.
Joaquim Rodriguez, who has announced the postponement of his retirement to the end of 2017 season, is a favorite for La Flèche Wallonne 2017. The Katusha rider was seventh in last year’s Tour de France and then went on to net fourth in the Clásica San Sebastián and fifth in the Olympic road race. That was his intended end point, with the Spanish rider passing up the chance to ride one more Vuelta a España. Moreover, his climbing ability and explosiveness have garnered him victory in La Flèche Wallonne and two editions of Il Lombardia, the national road championships, stage races such as the Volta a Catalunya and stage victories in all three Grand Tours.
We strongly think that Sergio Henao, Julian Alaphilippe and Daniel Moreno can easily be the winners of this race.