The International Bicycle race, the Fleche Wallone got off to a flying start today despite the terrible weather conditions.
View of the racers taking their places at the startline. All of them are wearing raincoats. The tires of the bicycles are controlled a last time.
View of the start through t city of Charleroi. The racers ride very carefully.
After 2 fingers: General view of the bridge on the Mouse in Dinant
Different shots, taken from the car, during the climbing of the hill "St. Jacques", entering the Ardennes.
At the top of the hill, the world-champion, the Belgian Rik Van Steenbergen (No 1), controlls the race.
View of the racers, still riding in group, in another hill, between Marche and Ramouch maps.
After 3 fingers: View in Ramouch amps, where 2 men : the Frenchman Geminiani (No 207) and another Frenchmen (No 184) are trying to get away. View (riding) of these 2 men on their way to Spa.
After 4 fingers: In-Spa the situation is changed: Van Steenbergen is now at the lead with No 184 Bertolo.
The 2 men in the very hard climbing of the hill of Malchamps.
The arrival in Liege of the winner, Rik Van Steenbergen.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The International Bicycle race, the Fleche Wallone got off to a flying start today despite the terrible weather conditions. Ridden over a 236 km course from Charleroi to Liege, the Fleche Wallone attracts as always the cross of the interaction cycling fraternity, led by world champion Van Steenbergen. Riding for Great Britain was Brian Robinson - Seanne Elliot also rode for Ireland after his heartbreaking failure in the Paris to Brussels race when his machine let him down within a few kilometers of the finish.
Torrents of rain poured down over the racers as they set off from Charleroi, but world champion Rik van Steenbergen rode a fantastic race, attacking and counterattacking all day, always in the forefront of the battle. Of the many who set out from Charleroi - 165 to be precise- very few managed to survive the entire course, and they, like the winner earn our praise for their stamina.