La Flèche Wallonne

For the women's event, see La Flèche Wallonne Féminine.
La Flèche Wallonne
Race details
Date Late April
Region Wallonia, Belgium
English name Walloon Arrow
Local name(s) La Flèche Wallonne (French)
Discipline Road
Competition UCI World Tour
Type One-day
Organiser Amaury Sport Organisation
First edition 1936 (1936)
Editions 79 (as of 2015)
First winner  Philippe Demeersman (BEL)
Most wins  Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
(4 wins)
Most recent  Alejandro Valverde (ESP)

La Flèche Wallonne (pronounced: [la flɛʃ walɔn], French for "The Walloon Arrow")[1] is a major men's professional cycle road race held in April each year in Wallonia, Belgium.

The first of two Belgian Ardennes classics, La Flèche Wallonne is today normally held mid-week between the Amstel Gold Race and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. At one time, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège were run on successive days as "Le Weekend Ardennais" (both races are organised by Amaury Sport Organisation). Only seven riders have achieved the "Ardennes double" by winning both races in the same year: Ferdi Kubler twice (in 1951 and 1952), Stan Ockers (1955), Eddy Merckx (1972), Moreno Argentin (1991) Davide Rebellin (2004), Alejandro Valverde twice (in 2006 and 2015) and Philippe Gilbert (2011).


The 2011 La Flèche Wallonne route

La Flèche Wallonne was created to boost the sales of a newspaper Les Sports during the 1930s and was first run in 1936. While perhaps not as revered as one of the Classic 'Monuments', the race is widely regarded as a Classic, and featured on the UCI Road World Cup and UCI ProTour. It became part of the UCI World Ranking calendar in 2009.

Like many cycle race events, the course has altered considerably over the years, both in route and length. The event was first run on roads from Tournai to Liège (growing from 236 km to 300 km — its longest ever distance — in 1938), after which Mons became the starting point. From 1948, the race started at Charleroi; from 1960 the event ran in the opposite direction, starting at Liège and finishing at Charleroi (or, from 1965, Marcinelle). Some years have seen the event start and finish in the same place: Verviers (1974–1978) or Huy (1983–1985). From 1986, the race started in Spa and finished in Huy. Since 1990, the race distance has not exceeded 210 km.

Today, the 199.5 km event starts in Charleroi and heads east to Huy, where the riders do three laps of a tough circuit including the steep Mur de Huy (The wall of Huy) climb, with several sections steeper than 15% and up to 26% on one section. The finish is at the top of the Mur after the third ascent.

Alejandro Valverde has one the race a record four times. Four riders have won the race three times, two of them Belgians, and two Italians. Indeed, Belgian riders dominated the early years of the event, winning the first 11 editions of the race, and slightly more than half of the editions in total (38 victories up to and including 2011). Italians have won the event 18 times.


Rider Team
1936 Belgium De Meersman, PhilemonPhilemon De Meersman (BEL) La Française
1937 Belgium Braeckeveldt, AdolpheAdolphe Braeckeveldt (BEL) Helyett
1938 Belgium Masson Jr., EmileÉmile Masson Jr. (BEL)
1939 Belgium Delathouwer, EdmondEdmond Delathouwer (BEL) Leducq-Mercier
1940 No race
1941 Belgium Grysolle, SylvainSylvain Grysolle (BEL)
1942 Belgium Thijs, KarelKarel Thijs (BEL)
1943 Belgium Kint, MarcelMarcel Kint (BEL)
1944 Belgium Kint, MarcelMarcel Kint (BEL)
1945 Belgium Kint, MarcelMarcel Kint (BEL)
1946 Belgium Keteleer, DesireDesire Keteleer (BEL) Groene Leeuw
1947 Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1948 Italy Camellini, FermoFermo Camellini (ITA) Métropole
1949 Belgium Steenbergen, Rik VanRik Van Steenbergen (BEL) Mercier-Hutchinson
1950 Italy Coppi, FaustoFausto Coppi (ITA) Bianchi-Ursus
1951 Switzerland Kubler, FerdiFerdi Kubler (SUI) Tebag
1952 Switzerland Kubler, FerdiFerdi Kubler (SUI) Tebag
1953 Belgium Ockers, StanStan Ockers (BEL) Peugeot-Dunlop
1954 Belgium Derijcke, GermainGermain Derijcke (BEL) Alcyon-Dunlop
1955 Belgium Ockers, StanStan Ockers (BEL) Elvé-Peugeot
1956 Belgium Genechten, Richard vanRichard van Genechten (BEL) Elvé-Peugeot
1957 Belgium Impanis, RaymondRaymond Impanis (BEL) Peugeot-BP
1958 Belgium Steenbergen, Rik VanRik Van Steenbergen (BEL) Elvé-Peugeot-Marvan
1959 Belgium Hoevenaars, JosJos Hoevenaars (BEL) Faema
1960 Belgium Cerami, PinoPino Cerami (BEL) Peugeot-BP-Dunlop
1961 Belgium Vannitsen, WillyWilly Vannitsen (BEL) Gitane-Geminiani-Leroux-Dunlop
1962 Belgium De Wolf, HenriHenri De Wolf (BEL) Baratti-Milano
1963 France Poulidor, RaymondRaymond Poulidor (FRA) Mercier-BP-Hutchinson
1964 Belgium Desmet, GilbertGilbert Desmet (BEL) Wiel's-Groene Leeuw
1965 Italy Poggiali, RobertoRoberto Poggiali (ITA) Ignis
1966 Italy Dancelli, MicheleMichele Dancelli (ITA) Molteni
1967 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Peugeot-BP-Michelin
1968 Belgium Looy, Rik vanRik van Looy (BEL) Willem II-Gazelle
1969 Belgium Huysmans, JosJos Huysmans (BEL) Dr.Mann-Grundig
1970 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Faemino
1971 Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL) Mars-Flandria
1972 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1973 Belgium Dierickx, AndreAndre Dierickx (BEL) Flandria-Shimano-Carpenter
1974 Belgium Frans Verbeeck (BEL) Watney-Maes
1975 Belgium Dierickx, AndreAndre Dierickx (BEL) Rokado
1976 Netherlands Zoetemelk, JoopJoop Zoetemelk (NED) GAN-Mercier-Hutchinson
1977 Italy Moser, FrancescoFrancesco Moser (ITA) Sanson
1978 France Laurent, MichelMichel Laurent (FRA) Peugeot-Esso-Michelin
1979 France Hinault, BernardBernard Hinault (FRA) Renault-Gitane-Campagnolo
1980 Italy Saronni, GiuseppeGiuseppe Saronni (ITA) Gis Gelati-Colnago
1981 Belgium Willems, DanielDaniel Willems (BEL) Capri Sonne-Koga Miyata
1982 Italy Beccia, MarioMario Beccia (ITA) Hoonved-Bottechia
1983 France Hinault, BernardBernard Hinault (FRA) Renault-Elf-Gitane
1984 Denmark Andersen, KimKim Andersen (DEN) Coop-Hoonved
1985 Belgium Criquielion, ClaudeClaude Criquielion (BEL) Hitachi-Splendor-Sunair
1986 France Fignon, LaurentLaurent Fignon (FRA) Système U
1987 France Leclercq, Jean-ClaudeJean-Claude Leclercq (FRA) Toshiba-Look
1988 Germany Golz, RolfRolf Golz (GER) Superconfex-Yoko
1989 Belgium Criquielion, ClaudeClaude Criquielion (BEL) Hitachi-Merckx-Mavic
1990 Italy Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Ariostea
1991 Italy Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Ariostea
1992 Italy Furlan, GiorgioGiorgio Furlan (ITA) Ariostea
1993 Italy Fondriest, MaurizioMaurizio Fondriest (ITA) Lampre
1994 Italy Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Gewiss–Ballan
1995 France Jalabert, LaurentLaurent Jalabert (FRA) ONCE
1996 United States Armstrong, LanceLance Armstrong (USA) Motorola
1997 France Jalabert, LaurentLaurent Jalabert (FRA) ONCE
1998 Denmark Hamburger, BoBo Hamburger (DEN) Casino–Ag2r
1999 Italy Bartoli, MicheleMichele Bartoli (ITA) Mapei–Quick-Step
2000 Italy Casagrande, FrancescoFrancesco Casagrande (ITA) Vini Caldirola–Sidermec
2001 Belgium Verbrugghe, RikRik Verbrugghe (BEL) Lotto–Adecco
2002 Belgium Aerts, MarioMario Aerts (BEL) Lotto–Adecco
2003 Spain Astarloa, IgorIgor Astarloa (ESP) Saeco Macchine per Caffè
2004 Italy Rebellin, DavideDavide Rebellin (ITA) Gerolsteiner
2005 Italy Di Luca, DaniloDanilo Di Luca (ITA) Liquigas–Bianchi
2006 Spain Valverde, AlejandroAlejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne–Illes Balears
2007 Italy Rebellin, DavideDavide Rebellin (ITA) Gerolsteiner
2008 Luxembourg Kirchen, KimKim Kirchen (LUX) Team High Road
2009 Italy Rebellin, DavideDavide Rebellin (ITA) Diquigiovanni–Androni
2010 Australia Evans, CadelCadel Evans (AUS) BMC Racing Team
2011 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Omega Pharma–Lotto
2012 Spain Rodríguez, JoaquimJoaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha
2013 Spain Moreno, DanielDaniel Moreno (ESP) Team Katusha
2014 Spain Valverde, AlejandroAlejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team
2015 Spain Valverde, AlejandroAlejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team
2016 Spain Valverde, AlejandroAlejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team

Multiple winners

Wins Rider Editions
4  Alejandro Valverde (ESP) 2006, 2014, 2015, 2016
3  Marcel Kint (BEL) 1943, 1944, 1945
 Eddy Merckx (BEL) 1967, 1970, 1972
 Moreno Argentin (ITA) 1990, 1991, 1994
 Davide Rebellin (ITA) 2004, 2007, 2009
2  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) 1951, 1952
 Stan Ockers (BEL) 1953, 1955
 Rik Van Steenbergen (BEL) 1949, 1958
 André Dierickx (BEL) 1973, 1975
 Bernard Hinault (FRA) 1979, 1983
 Claude Criquielion (BEL) 1985, 1989
 Laurent Jalabert (FRA) 1995, 1997

Winners by Nationality

# of wins Country
38  Belgium
18  Italy
8  France
7  Spain
2   Switzerland
1  Germany
 United States


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