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Sixth for Sánchez at La Flèche Wallonne

20. April 2016, Mur de Huy (BEL) — Road Team

Samuel Sánchez crossed the line in sixth place in a tough edition of La Flèche Wallonne. (c) Sirotti

Samuel Sánchez crossed the line in sixth place at a tough edition of La Flèche Wallonne, which saw Silvan Dillier make the breakaway in his first time at the race.

It came down to a battle of the climbers on the final ascent of Mur de Huy and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) made history by winning for the fourth time. Julian Alaphilippe and Daniel Martin rounded out the podium for Etixx-Quick Step.

Quotes of the Day:

Samuel Sánchez:

“For the team and for me the objective was to have someone in the top ten, and hopefully more in the top three. But in a race like this it’s difficult when there are such good riders. The tempo was high from the beginning but the guys in the team worked really well. We had Silvan in the breakaway and Dylan to support me in the final. On the last climb I stayed in a good position and then in the last 150m I went full gas and passed a lot of riders. Sixth place is a good result.”

“Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a completely different race and the forecast isn’t good. It’s six or six and a half hours on the bike so it will be all about surviving.”

Silvan Dillier:

“I’m happy with my performance and being in the breakaway. My race today was definitely better than Amstel Gold Race last Sunday so I’m happy about this, but I’m not so happy that I couldn’t stay with Steve Cummings (Dimension Data). He was just one level above, but then compared to the others in the breakaway I was able to stay the longest with him. In the end I don’t think it would have made much of a difference because then caught him too, not too much later”

“When we went up Mur de Huy the second time I felt really good and we had a one-minute advantage at the bottom of the climb. I said to myself that I would go at my own pace and see what happens at the top, whether or not there would be any moves from the bunch. But all of a sudden I was alone on the Mur and Steve bridged to me and we went the too of us. But I was surprised there wasn’t more attacks from the bunch. To be in the breakaway was really nice but it’s not the way you’re going to win a race like La Flèche Wallonne.”

Silvan Dillier was part of a ten-rider breakaway for much of the race (c) Tim De Waele/TDWSport.com

Philippe Gilbert:

“I was feeling quite good at the start of the race but eventually started to feel fatigued and the side effects of my fractured finger and the different position that I have on the bike because of this. It was quite hard.”

“It was a hard and fast race from the start and that didn’t stop all race. It was a big edition of La Flèche Wallonne. Now we’ll see what happens on Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège”.

Valerio Piva, Sports Director:

“I am happy with today’s race because the objective was to be in the top ten. I think if Samuel was a little bit better placed he may have been able to finish fifth. But when you see the names in front of him it is clear that Samuel is in good form. It was the maximum result that we could have. With our young guys they can have a good result one day and then not so good the next. They have ambition and they want to be there but they have Amstel Gold Race in the legs already.”

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