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Cadel Evans's victory at Flèche Wallonne was one of his two victories as world road champion. (Tim de Waele photo.)
Cadel Evans's victory at Flèche Wallonne was one of his two victories as world road champion. (Tim de Waele photo.)

Winning Moments of 2010: ‪Flèche Wallonne‬

8. November 2010

Santa Rosa, California

You have to look closely for Cadel Evans when watching a replay of the final kilometers of Flèche Wallonne. The BMC Racing Team rider, resplendent in the rainbow stripes of the world champion, doesn't hit the front until the last 100 meters of his victory in the northern classic.

Reconnaissance Was Important

Flèche Wallonne ends with the 1.3-kilometer long fabled climb of the Mur de Huy, which features an average grade of 9.3 percent and some ultra steep sections of 26 percent. Three-quarters of the way up the twisting tarmac, it looked to be a two-man race between Alberto Contador and Igor Antón. But Evans knew he had time to make his move. He and the rest of the BMC Racing Team had ridden the final climb earlier in the week. "I saw the climb from a different perspective (in training),” Evans said. “I realized I had always raced it with the wrong tactic. Today I had good position right from the start, but waited until the last 100 meters. That was the way to do it.”

Kroon Takes A Tumble
With the finish line in sight, Evans clawed his way past Contador as the Tour de France champion began to falter. It would be the first time an Australian had won an Ardennes Classic and the first victory by the reigning world champion at Flèche Wallonne since Belgian Claude Criquielion in 1985. But not everyone on the BMC Racing Team was able to immediately celebrate the team's first victory of 2010. Dutchman Karsten Kroon broke his nose and cheekbone when he crashed into a guardrail with 70 kilometers to go. He would miss nearly two months of competition while recovering.