Another FlŠche for Rebellin

Davide Rebellin has captured his second FlŠche Wallonne title in four years, winning on the Mur de H

Davide Rebellin has captured his second FlŠche Wallonne title in four years, winning on the Mur de H
The cream rose to the top on the Mur de Huy as Davide Rebellin, Alejandro Valverde and Danilo Di Luca claimed the top three placings in the 71st Fleche Wallonne. Since 2004, all three have taken turns winning this race, but today Rebellin was easily the best as he notched up his second victory. "I was actually very worried when I saw riders like Danilo Di Luca and Alejandro Valverde break away with 15 kilometres to go," said Rebellin at the finish. "But I decided to remain calm and I knew that I could count on a very strong team. I just had to stay patient. "It is always tougher to win a race for the second time especially today with the hot weather conditions and the very fast pace straight from the start. To win the Fleche Wallonne again is a confirmation." Rebellin pointed to Valverde as his main rival for Lige-Bastogne-Lige on Sunday. The Spaniard, who is the defending champion in that race, is obviously in good enough form to win it again. From start to finish The weather was once again perfect at the start in Charleroi, with temperatures in the mid 20s and little wind. The conditions weren't so favourable for the Unibet.com team, which was prevented from starting by organisers ASO. This was despite Unibet being in possession of a European court order stating that ASO had breached competition and unfair trade practices law. According to the order, ASO has to pay a €5 million fine for each day that it prevents Unibet from racing. Unibet intends to pursue the payment until ASO lets it start in its events. ASO wasn't swayed by the threat of the large fine, and Unibet remained sidelined in Charleroi. The only other rider who didn't start was Vladimir Gusev (Discovery Channel), leaving 189 riders in the peloton to tackle the 202.5km race. Freddy Bichot (Agritubel) was aggressive from the start, attacking with Morris Possoni (Lampre) and Paul Manning (Landbouwkrediet) after 4km. The move was unsuccessful, but Bichot eventually got away after 40km with Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel), David Loosli (Lampre) and Christophe Le Mevel (Crdit Agricole). The peloton sat up immediately and the break quickly rode out to a two minute lead, covering 47km in the first hour. The four reached their maximum advantage of 7'10 after 54km. As they hit the top of the first ascent of the Mur de Huy (km 66), it had dropped to 5'50. Bichot took the climbers points here, as well as on the Cte d'Ereffe (km 84.5) and the second ascent of the Mur (km 97.5). The gap had come down to four minutes at this point, prompting Tinkoff's Ivan Rovny to try to bridge it alone after 110km. Rovny hung out there for 17km until the combined efforts of Gerolsteiner and Caisse d'Epargne brought him to heel, the break now just 2'50 ahead. With under 70km to go, things began to heat up in the bunch. The leaders came back to 32 seconds on the Pau d'Eau (km 63) and when Le Mevel, Loosli and Bichot were all dropped by Verdugo, it looked as though everything would come back together. But the lone Verdugo opened up his advantage to 1'30 with 50km left as De Schrooder (Chocolade Jacques), Mertens (Predictor), Lopez Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne), Mori (Saunier Duval), Andy Schleck (CSC), Rogers (T-Mobile), Voeckler (Bouygues), Lvkvist (FDJ), Petrov (Tinkoff) and Vasseur (Quick.Step) formed a chasing group behind him. Liquigas had control of the peloton at this point, riding hard for Danilo Di Luca. Verdugo lasted until the Cte de Bonneville with 43km to go, when he was caught by the chase group. Vasseur was the next rider to have a try, before Philippe Gilbert (FDJ) put in a strong move with 37km left. Gilbert had 34 seconds at the foot of the ninth climb of the day, the 3.4km long Cte de Bohissau. Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) accelerated from the bunch, taking Kessler (Astana) and Efimkin (Barloworld) with him and catching Gilbert at the top with 31km to go. But Liquigas had other ideas, and brought the 80 rider peloton back to the leaders shortly afterwards. With 27km left, Sergei Ivanov (Astana) took a solo flyer, riding out to a half-minute advantage on the big roads before the Cte d'Ahin (16km to go). Caisse d'Epargne and Liquigas upped the tempo behind, but couldn't prevent Juan Jose Cobo (Saunier Duval) from getting across to Ivanov on the climb. Then Di Luca, Rodriguez and Kirchen (T-Mobile) made their move, and the two leaders became five. Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), Dekker (Rabobank), Moreni (Cofidis) and Popovych (Discovery) jumped across at 11km to go, with Caisse looking to capitalise on having two riders in front. Rodriguez opted to go solo on the final run into Huy. That allowed Valverde to have a free ride on the wheels of Di Luca and Kirchen, as they left the rest of the break behind. The peloton had not given up, and it was the Ag2r team working for Gadret and Nocentini that closed it down right at the foot of the final 1.3km ascent of the Mur. Astana went to the front first with Vinokourov and Kessler, with Rebellin glued to their wheels. Then it was Kessler leading from a long way out and opening up a gap on everyone else save for Rebellin. The canny Italian waited until 150m to go before coming past Kessler and surging to a clear victory at the summit of the fearsome wall. Kessler faded and was overtaken by the impressive Valverde and Di Luca for second and third, with Ricardo Ricco (Saunier Duval) rounding out the top five. Results 1 Davide Rebellin (Ita, Gerolsteiner) 4:48:06 (42.173km/h) 2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 0:00:06 3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita, Liquigas) 0:00:06 4 Matthias Kessler (Ger, Astana) 0:00:08 5 Riccardo Ricco (Ita, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:00:08 6 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:00:13 7 Frank Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 0:00:16 8 John Gadret (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:00:19 9 Robert Gesink (Ned, Rabobank) 0:00:19 10 Tadej Valjavec (Slo, Lampre-Fondital) 0:00:19 11 Fabian Wegmann (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 0:00:19 12 Oscar Freire (Spa, Rabobank) 0:00:19 13 Jelle Vanendert (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) 0:00:23 14 Benoit Salmon (Fra, Agritubel) 0:00:23 15 Manuele Mori (Ita, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:00:25 16 Xavier Florencio (Spa, Bouygues Telecom) 0:00:27 17 Jrme Pineau (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:00:27 18 Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Spa, Agritubel) 0:00:29 19 Philippe Gilbert (Bel, Franaise des Jeux) 0:00:31 20 Gilberto Simoni (Ita, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:00:31 21 Rmi Pauriol (Fra, Credit Agricole) 0:00:35 22 Alexander Efimkin (Rus, Barloworld) 0:00:35 23 Cdric Vasseur (Fra, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:00:38 24 Patxi Vila Errandonea (Spa, Lampre-Fondital) 0:00:40 25 Bram Tankink (Ned, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:00:40 26 Bert De Waele (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) 0:00:42 27 Samuel Sanchez (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0:00:42 28 Karsten Kroon (Ned, Team CSC) 0:00:42 29 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor-Lotto) 0:00:42 30 Wim Van Huffel (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 0:00:45 31 Mirko Celestino (Ita, Team Milram) 0:00:48 32 David De La Fuente (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:00:48 33 Thomas Lvkvist (Swe, Franaise des Jeux) 0:00:48 34 Thomas Voeckler (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:00:50 35 Eros Capecchi (Ita, Liquigas) 0:00:50 36 Pieter Weening (Ned, Rabobank) 0:00:50 37 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:55 38 Julien Loubet (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:00:55 39 Roman Kreuzinger (Cze, Liquigas) 0:00:58 40 Carlos Barredo (Spa, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:01:00 41 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus, Credit Agricole) 0:01:00 42 Igor Astarloa (Spa, Team Milram) 0:01:02 43 Leonardo Duque (Col, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:01:02 44 Pieter Mertens (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 0:01:02 45 Francesco Bellotti (Ita, Credit Agricole) 0:01:02 46 Matthew Lloyd (Aus, Predictor-Lotto) 0:01:02 47 Mikel Astarloza (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0:01:07 48 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 0:01:07 49 Patrick Calcagni (Swi, Liquigas) 0:01:10 50 Christophe Moreau (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:01:12 51 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:01:12 52 Giovanni Visconti (Ita, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:01:12 53 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus, Team CSC) 0:01:12 54 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz, Astana) 0:01:12 55 Alberto Contador (Spa, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:01:12 56 Kim Kirchen (Lux, T-Mobile Team) 0:01:20 57 Andy Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 0:01:20 58 Evgeni Petrov (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) 0:01:23 59 Iker Camano (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:01:24 60 Sandy Casar (Fra, Franaise des Jeux) 0:01:26 61 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger, T-Mobile Team) 0:01:28 62 Morris Possoni (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) 0:01:32 63 Cristian Moreni (Ita, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:01:33 64 Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita, Barloworld) 0:01:33 65 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:01:36 66 Egoi Martinez (Spa, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:01:45 67 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) 0:01:51 68 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita, Liquigas) 0:02:06 69 Andras Klden (Ger, Astana) 0:02:12 70 Serguei Ivanov (Rus, Astana) 0:02:14 71 Ludovic Turpin (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:02:39 72 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:02:39 73 Pedro Arreitunandia (Spa, Barloworld) 0:02:47 74 Simon Gerrans (Aus, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:02:47 75 Thomas Dekker (Ned, Rabobank) 0:02:55 76 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 0:03:02 77 Serge Pauwels (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) 0:04:07 78 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) 0:04:07 79 William Walker (Aus, Rabobank) 0:04:09 80 Matthieu Sprick (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:04:14 81 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 0:04:14 82 Hubert Dupont (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 0:04:14 83 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:04:22 84 Axel Merckx (Bel, T-Mobile Team) 0:04:25 85 Kjell Carlstrm (Fin, Liquigas) 0:04:25 86 Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Col, Barloworld) 0:06:04 87 Andriy Grivko (Ukr, Team Milram) 0:06:09 88 Yon Bru (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0:06:15 89 Maxime Monfort (Bel, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:06:39 90 Constantino Zaballa (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 0:07:07 91 Dimitri Fofonov (Kaz, Credit Agricole) 0:07:17 92 Dario Cioni (Ita, Predictor-Lotto) 0:07:46 93 Nicki Sorensen (Den, Team CSC) 0:08:10 94 Stef Clement (Ned, Bouygues Telecom) 0:08:10 95 Laurent Lefevre (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:08:10 96 Mario Aerts (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 0:08:17 97 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) 0:08:31 98 Scott Davis (Aus, T-Mobile Team) 0:08:36 99 Michael Rogers (Aus, T-Mobile Team) 0:08:36 100 David Lopez Garcia (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 0:08:36 101 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita, Barloworld) 0:08:36 102 Matteo Bono (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) 0:08:55 103 Antonio Colom (Spa, Astana) 0:09:03 104 Steve Zampieri (Swi, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 0:09:09 105 Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:11:18 106 Peter Wrolich (Aut, Gerolsteiner) 0:11:18 107 Chris Sorensen (Den, Team CSC) 0:11:18 108 Hugo Sabido (Por, Barloworld) 0:11:18 109 Jos Benitez (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) 0:11:18 110 Matteo Tosatto (Ita, Quick Step - Innergetic) 0:11:18 111 Sergio Paulinho (Por, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 0:11:18 112 Ricardo Serrano Gonzales (Spa, Tinkoff Credit Systems) 0:11:18 113 Tim Klinger (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 0:11:18 114 Nicolas Maes (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) 0:11:18 115 Didier Rous (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:11:18 116 Benoit Poilvet (Fra, Credit Agricole) 0:11:18 117 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 0:11:18 118 Gorka Verdugo (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0:11:18 119 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz, Astana) 0:11:18 120 Bobby Julich (USA, Team CSC) 0:11:18 121 Koos Moerenhout (Ned, Rabobank) 0:11:18 122 Benot Vaugrenard (Fra, Franaise des Jeux) 0:11:18 DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Christophe Edaleine (Fra, Credit Agricole) DNF Amal Moinard (Fra, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) DNF Bingen Fernandez (Spa, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) DNF Rik Verbrugghe (Bel, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) DNF Daniele Righi (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) DNF David Loosli (Swi, Lampre-Fondital) DNF Theo Eltink (Ned, Rabobank) DNF Bram De Groot (Ned, Rabobank) DNF Jussi Veikkanen (Fin, Franaise des Jeux) DNF Cyrille Monnerais (Fra, Franaise des Jeux) DNF Thierry Marichal (Bel, Franaise des Jeux) DNF Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) DNF Vladimir Gusev (Rus, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) DNF Stijn Devolder (Bel, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) DNF Nic Ingels (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) DNF Mads Kaggestad (Nor, Credit Agricole) DNF Christophe Le Mevel (Fra, Credit Agricole) DNF Rob Peeters (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Paul Manning (GBr, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Jean-Claude Lebeau (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Steven Kleynen (Bel, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Frdric Gabriel (Fra, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF David Boucher (Fra, Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner) DNF Nicola Trussov (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) DNF Alexander Serov (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) DNF Yvan Rovny (Rus, Tinkoff Credit Systems) DNF Vasil Kiryienka (Blr, Tinkoff Credit Systems) DNF Salvatore Commesso (Ita, Tinkoff Credit Systems) DNF Tom Stubbe (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Jens Renders (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Benny De Schrooder (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Johan Coenen (Bel, Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen) DNF Niki Terpstra (Ned, Team Milram) DNF Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita, Team Milram) DNF Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa, Saunier Duval - Prodir) DNF Thomas Frei (Swi, Astana) DNF Igor Abakoumov (Bel, Astana) DNF Francesco Failli (Ita, Liquigas) DNF Michael Albasini (Swi, Liquigas) DNF Thomas Ziegler (Ger, T-Mobile Team) DNF Marco Pinotti (Ita, T-Mobile Team) DNF Michal Barry (Can, T-Mobile Team) DNF Jens Voigt (Ger, Team CSC) DNF Ruben Perez (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) DNF Inigo Landaluze (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) DNF Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa, Euskaltel - Euskadi) DNF Unai Etxebarria (Ven, Euskaltel - Euskadi) DNF Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) DNF Vicente Reynes (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) DNF Johannes Frohlinger (Ger, Gerolsteiner) DNF Torsten Hiekmann (Ger, Gerolsteiner) DNF Bjrn Schrder (Ger, Team Milram) DNF Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita, Team Milram) DNF Matej Jurco (Svk, Team Milram) DNF Ryan Cox (RSA, Barloworld) DNF Flix Cardenas (Col, Barloworld) DNF Nicolas Vogondy (Fra, Agritubel) DNF Romain Feillu (Fra, Agritubel) DNF Manuel Calvente (Spa, Agritubel) DNF Freddy Bichot (Fra, Agritubel) DNF Aivaras Baranauskas (Ltu, Agritubel) DNF Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa, Agritubel) DNF Geert Verheyen (Bel, Quick Step - Innergetic) DNF Paolo Bettini (Ita, Quick Step - Innergetic) DNF Tom Stamsnijder (Ned, Gerolsteiner) DNF Stefan Schumacher (Ger, Gerolsteiner) DNF Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) Got a comment? 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