British Stephen Williams (Israel – Premier Tech) and Polish Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) were the winners of the Flèche Wallonne 2024, in the men’s and women’s sections, respectively, disputed this Wednesday, with the fifth place of Colombian Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain – Victorious) as the best result for America.

In a spectacular finish, the English rider emerged victorious from the Belgian classic after a demanding 198.6 kilometers between Charleroi and the mythical Mur de Huy, after surprising his rivals in the last meters to conquer a brilliant and historic victory.

The places of honor were completed by Frenchman Kévin Vauquelin (Arkéa – B&B Hotels) and Belgian Maxim Van Gils (Lotto Dstny), who finished second and third, respectively. The great performance of the Bogota-born Buitrago was marked until the last climb and was only three seconds behind the winner.

Meanwhile, the Olympic road champion in Tokyo 2020, the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (EF Education – EasyPost) reported in thirteenth place 20 seconds behind Williams, who became the first British rider to win this prestigious one-day race.

In the closing stages, the Scandinavian team Uno-X Mobility took the lead in the final kilometers and ended the adventure of Søren Kragh Andersen (Alpecin – Deceuninck) with less than 15 kilometers to go, leading the bunch to the expected finish on the Mur de Huy.

On the final climb, no one seemed to have an acceleration in their legs, until Stephen Williams shot away with 300 meters to go. The Israel – Premier Tech rider proved to be the fastest and ended up taking a historic win.

A Polish woman flew low

In a very hard and demanding finish, Polish rider Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) won the Women’s Flèche Wallonne 2024 in a close finish after 146 kilometers between Huy and the Wall of Huy.

The winner was the strongest on the steep final climb and in the last meters she passed Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx – Protime) for her first win of the season on the World Tour circuit. Italian Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl – Trek) completed the podium.

As for the Latin riders in competition, the national champion of Colombia, Paula Patiño (Movistar) came in 43rd place 1:26 behind the winner, while the Brazilian Ana Vitória Magalhães (Bepink – Bongioanni) came in 79th place more than 5 minutes behind Niewiadoma.

The breakaway of the day was led by Swiss Elena Hartmann (Roland), Belgian Julie Van de Velde (AG Insurance – Soudal Team) and Spaniard Sara Martín (Movistar Team), but with 10 kilometers to go they were neutralized by the peloton.

With less than 5,000 meters to go, Dutch rider Riejanne Markus (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) tried to surprise the favorites, but was unsuccessful and was finally caught.

In the final phase there was a regrouping and with a very reduced group began the final ascent to the Wall of Huy, where Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx – Protime) took the lead.

In the finish, Poland’s Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) waited until the last 300 meters to pass Vollering. For the 29-year-old it was the first victory of the season.