What's Cool In Road Cycling

Fleche Wallonne: A Spanish First In Belgium

For the first time in history, ever, a Spanish rider has won a classic, out-side of Spain. Igor Astarloa of Saeco, to-day won the Belgian classic, Fleche Wallonne.

Spanish rider, Igor Astarloa (Saeco), made history to-day in the classic Flech Wallonne, no Spanish rider had ever won a classic or World Cup race, out-side of the San Sebastiбn Classic in Spain. The Spanish season is based mostly on short stage races and so there has never been many one-day riders.

After only 65 kilometres into a very hard race, 135 kilometres, a group of 15 moved off the front, Astarloa had his Basque friend from ibanesto.com, Aitor Osa along for company and semi-Basque, Venezuelan, Unai Etxebarria of Euskaltel. Behind the chase started with only 25 kilometres to go. Astarloa attacked very strongly on the last but one climb, he split the group behind, Osa managed to go with him until 200 metres to go then he jumped and soloed to the finish on the 13% climb of the Mur de Huy.

1st. I.Astarloa (SAE) 4:39:17.
2nd. A.Osa (BAN) at 16 secs.
3rd. A.Shefer (SAE) at 56 secs.
4th. U.Etxebarria (EUS) at 1:00.
5th. A.Kolobnev (DOM) at 1:06.
6th. O.Mason (SID) at 1:08.

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