Stephen Williams raises his arms as he crosses the line just ahead of Kevin Vaquelin to win the 2024 men's Fleche Wallonne. His expression is somewhere between triumph and relief at being done.

Flèche Wallonne men’s report: Stevie Williams is no longer a surprise

With his second WorldTour win, the Israel-Premier Tech rider signals that he must be considered a favorite for punchy climbing races.

Williams claims he enjoyed the weather, but his expression suggests otherwise.

Joe Lindsey
by Joe Lindsey 17.04.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Attritional isn’t usually a word used to describe Flèche Wallonne, but the term fit on a cold, wet, miserable day that saw fewer than 40 riders come to the base of the Mur de Huy in a group for the final ascent. Stephen Williams (Israel-Premier Tech) – who had signaled his form earlier in the race with a move – bided his time on the climb and launched a late attack with just 300 meters to go that saw little early response. The British rider, who also won the opening race of the WorldTour calendar, the Tour Down Under, held off a late surge from Arkéa-B&B Hotels’ Kevin Vaquelin for the win. Lotto Dstny’s Maxim Van Gils, another early season phenom, was third.

This – cold but clear and sunny …
… Gave way to this: rain and even brief snow as Yukiya Arashiro (Bahrain Victorious) and Tim Naberman (DSM Firmenich-PostNL) ponder their career choices.

Brief analysis

I do enjoy racing in this kind of weather and to come away with the victory, I am just over the moon.

Stephen Williams, obviously having more fun today than most
Good times!

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