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La Flèche Wallonne Féminine 2017: Preview

Josh Cunningham
19 Apr 2017

Can Anna van der Breggen make it three in a row on the Mur de Huy?

Image credit: Boels-Dolmans

La Fleche Wallonne Feminine is being run today alongside the men's race as the seventh event of the 2017 women's UCI WorldTour.

It is the 20th edition of the race, and the second of three Ardennes Classics races held with both men's and women's events run on the same day, following on from the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, and with Liege-Bastogne-Liege due to follow this weekend.  

The winner of the previous two editions of La Fleche Wallonne Feminine, as well as the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, Anna van der Breggen, goes into the race as favourite, but the Dutchwoman faces stiff competition if she is to again triumph on the 26% slopes of the final Mur de Huy climb. 

If Van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans), the reigning Olympic road race champion, does indeed win, then she will become the second person to win three Fleche Wallonnes on the trot. The only other person to have achieved the feat is Marianne Vos, who will be one of the biggest threats as she goes in search of a 6th victory at the race with her new WM3 Pro Cycling team. 

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot is another former winner, and will again be expected to feature in the finale in the colours of her Canyon SRAM team. 

Orica-Scott's Annemiek Van Vleuten and Team Sunweb's Coyn Rivera, who is a recent winner the Tour of Flanders and also the current leader of the Women's WorldTour, will also likely be forces to be reckoned with.

British interest at the race comes in the form of Lizzie Diegnan, who is in the Boels-Dolmans team along with Van der Breggen, as well as the Wiggle High5 team, whose leader Elisa Longho-Borgini is a recent winner of Strada-Bianche and has finished 5th at Fleche Wallonne before. 

The Drops Cycling team meanwhile comprises a young team of six British riders, with Anna Christian (21, Isle of Man), Elizabeth Holden (19, Isle of Man), Laura Massey (35, Guildford), Abby Mae-Parkinson (19, Dewsbury, Yorkshire), Abigail Van-Twisk (20, London), and Alice Barnes (21, Northampton) taking to the start. 

The race is due to finish around 2 hours before the men, and we'll have a report up shortly after. 

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