What's Cool In Road Cycling

Thet all Want to Climb The “Mur”

With the absence of five-time winner of the event (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013), Marianne Vos, the Women’s Flèche Wallonne, which will start in Huy next Wednesday as the prelude to the men’s race, has never been as wide-open.

Without her iconic team mate, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will have to assume the leadership in the Rabo Liv squad to defend her 2014 title. But with the rainbow jersey on her shoulders, the 23-year old French women will be watched a lot more closely by her rivals, beginning with England’s Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans), runner-up to “PFP” last year at the top of the Mur de Huy. And she is in tremendous form this year, following her victories on the Ladies Tour of Qatar and on the Trofeo Alfredo Binda ahead of Ferrand-Prévot. The 2014 world number 1 may also benefit from the experience of her American team mate Evelyn Stevens, winner of the 2012 Fléche, to try to finish one place higher this year. Lizzie Armitstead and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will also have to beware of Italian rider Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda), winner of the Tour de Flanders for Women on solo just a few days ago and a regular podium finisher on the Fléche the past two years (2nd in 2013 and 3rd in 2014).

25 teams: the leaders

Australia
Orica – AIS: Johansson (Swe), Scandalora (Ita)

Belgium
Lensworld.eu Zannata: De Vuyst (Bel)
Lotto Soudal Ladies: Cecchini (Ita), Daams (Bel)
Topsport Vlaanderen Pro-Duo: Druyts (Bel)

Canada
Canadian National Team: Pilote-Fortin (Can)

France
French National Team: Souyris, Lesueur (Fra)
Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope 86: Pader, Biannic (Fra)

Germany
Velocio – Sram: Amialiusik (Blr), Brennauer (Ger), Cromwell (Aus),

Great Britain
Matrix Fitness: Trott (Gbr)
Wiggle Honda: Longo Borghini, Bronzini (Ita), Cordon (Fra)

Italy
Ale Cipollini: Berlato, Tagliaffero (Ita)
BePink LaClassica: Valsecchi (Ita)
Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi: Ratto (Ita)
Servetto Footon: Neff (Sui)

Kazakhstan
Astana Acca Due O: Solovey (Ukr)

Netherlands
Boels Dolmans Cycling Team: Armitstead (Gbr), Stevens (USA), Van Dijk (Ned)
Parkotel Valkenburg Continental Team: Rooijakkers (Ned)
Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team: Ferrand Prévot (Fra), Brand (Ned), Van der Breggen (Ned)
Team Liv Plantur: Pieters (Ned)

Norway
Hitec Products: Becker (All), Guderzo (Ita)

Russia
Russian National Team: Kozonchuk (Rus)

Slovenia
BTC City Ljubljana: Bujak (Pol)

Spain
Bizkaia Durango: Ilinykh (Rus)

Switzerland
Bigla Pro Cycling Team: Moolman Pasio (Rsa), Van Vleuten (Ned)

United States
U.S. National Team: Small (USA)

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