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Fleche Wallonne 2017: Route and teams confirmed

Josh Cunningham
21 Feb 2017

Fleche Wallonne 2017 set for traditional Mur de Huy finish, with seven wildcard teams invited

The route for the 2017 edition of La Fleche Wallonne has been announced, with two finishing circuits including the infamous Mur de Huy set to provide the climax to the race. 

The race is the 'middle' component in the trio of Ardennes Classics, coming on the Wednesday between the Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Using much the same finishing circuit as it did in 2016, the race retains a very format to previous editions. 

This year however the race will start in the town of Binche, and at a fraction over 200km is a few kilometres longer than it was in 2016, but the finishing circuits, which include two ascents of the both the Cote d'Ereffe and Cote de Cherave, before finishing on the 17% slopes of the Mur de Huy, are the same. 

The teams

Winner of the last three editions is Movistar's Alejandro Valverde, his attributes as a climber with a powerful kick proving unbeatable on the slopes of the Mur. Julian Alaphilippe of Quickstep Floors has twice finish second to Valverde though, and his teammate Daniel Martin is another who has frequented the podium in recent years. 

All three will be expected to return to the race this year, with their WorldTour teams gaining automatic invites to the WorldTour calendar on which the Fleche Wallonne sits. Joining these 18 teams will be the spaces filled by wildcard Pro Continental teams, which this year have been allocated to Cofidis, Direct Energie and Fortuneo-Vital Concept from France, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect and Wanty - Groupe Gobert from Belgium and Aqua Blue Sport of Ireland. 

WorldTour teams

A2gr La Mondiale (Fra) Astana Pro Team (Kaz) Bahrain-Merida (Bhr) BMC Racing Team (USA) Bora-Hansgrohe (Ger) Cannondale-Drapac (USA) FDJ (Fra) Lotto Soudal (Bel) Movistar Team (Esp) Orica-Scott (Aus) Quick-Step Floors (Bel) Team Dimension Data (RSA) Team Katusha-Alpecin (Sui) Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (Ned) Team Sky (GBr) Team Sunweb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo (USA) UAE Fly Emirates (UAE)

Pro Continental wildcard teams

Cofidis (Fra)
Direct Energie (Fra)
Fortuneo-Vital Concept (Fra)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect (Bel)
Wanty - Groupe Gobert (Bel)
Aqua Blue Sport (Ire)

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