Chavanel to miss Flèche Wallonne – by choice
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Chavanel to miss Flèche Wallonne – by choice

by Ben Atkins at 8:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Flèche Wallonne

sylvain chavanelWith the Icelandic volcano disrupting many riders’ travel arrangements, preventing them from getting to races, one man will be missing the second of the three Ardennes classics voluntarily. Despite finishing Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race as the best rider in his Quick Step team, and as the best Frenchman, Sylvain Chavanel will sit out Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne race.

Despite enjoying a period of good form, Chavanel doesn’t feel that the course of the midweek race suits his physical stature. "As planned, I’ll only ride Liege-Bastogne-Liege,” the Frenchman told the media after the Amstel Gold. “The Mur de Huy [the climb with slopes of up to 25%, where the Flèche Wallonne finishes] is not for me, I am too heavy for it."

Chavanel was riding a strong race but suffered a mechanical at a decisive time; another unfortunate incident in a unlucky race for the Belgian team that saw Dries Devenyns taken to hospital after a crash.

"I had a flat tire in the worst moment of the race,” Chavanel confirmed. “Fortunatly [teammate Jérôme] Pineau was near me and he passed me his wheel. I did a big effort to return in the bunch. It's a shame, because I felt good from the start of the race. Now I'll go home and come back in Belgium for Liege-Bastogne-Liege. I would like to ride a good race, but I haven't ridden this race in the last 3 years"

The Frenchman finished 19 seconds behind winner Philippe Gilbert (OmegaPharma-Lotto) in 16th place, his best ever placing in the race.


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