Belgian classic cycle race, the lesser of the pair of Ardennes classics with Liège-Bastogne-Liège, originally held on the same weekend but now on a Wednesday and the following Sunday in mid-April.

The Flèche is a relative newcomer, dating from just before World War II, and has been run on a variety of courses finishing in Spa and Liege before adopting the current finish in Huy in the early 1990s. Since the mid 1990s the race organisation has been taken over by the Société du Tour de France (who also run LBL, leaving the minor GP de la Wallonie as the only significant Walloon race actually run by Belgians). Since 1998 the race has started in Charleroi, with a run west across the flattish Hesbaye district before dropping to the Meuse valley at Huy, where it does two different hilly circuits south of the river in the Condroz - the foothills of the Ardennes proper - each starting and ending with the fearsomely steep climb of the Mur de Huy, with the finish on the third ascent. In the last few years a Women's World Cup race has been held in conjunction with the men's event (itself categorised "hors catégorie", the highest level below World Cup status) over the final 93 km circuit.

The race is the first classic of the year that suits climbers, coming as it does on the heels of the cobbled races of the Flemish spring characterised by the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix and (as of 2003) the short sharp climbs of the Amstel Gold Race; that and its role as a warm-up race for Liège-Bastogne-Liège mean that it usually gets quite a high-class field. The race usually stays fairly static until the first time through Huy at half distance, and the decisive moves tend to take place on the last couple of climbs at Bohissau and Ben-Ahin, ending with a slow-motion sprint of a small group on the 23% slopes of the Mur in the final kilometre.


Men's race

1936 Philippe Demeersman (Bel)
1937 Adolph Braeckeveldt (Bel)
1938 Emile Masson (Bel)
1939 Edmund Delathouwer (Bel)
1940 not run
1941 Sylvain Grysolle (Bel)
1942 Karel Thijs (Bel)
1943 Marcel Kint (Bel)
1944 Marcel Kint (Bel)
1945 Marcel Kint (Bel)
1946 Desire Keteleer (Bel)
1947 Ernest Sterckx (Bel)
1948 Fermo Camellini (Ita)
1949 Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)
1950 Fausto Coppi (Ita)
1951 Ferdi Kübler (Swi)
1952 Ferdi Kübler (Swi)
1953 Stan Ockers (Bel)
1954 Germain Derijcke (Bel)
1955 Stan Ockers (Bel)
1956 Richard Van Genechten (Bel)
1957 Raymond Impanis (Bel)
1958 Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)
1959 Joseph Hoevenaars (Bel)
1960 Pino Cerami (Bel)
1961 Willy Vannitsen (Bel)
1962 Henri De Wolf (Bel)
1963 Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
1964 Gilbert Desmet (Bel)
1965 Roberto Poggiali (Ita)
1966 Michele Dancelli (Ita)
1967 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1968 Rik Van Looy (Bel)
1969 Jos Huysmans (Bel)
1970 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1971 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1972 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1973 André Dierickx (Bel)
1974 Frans Verbeeck (Bel)
1975 André Dierickx (Bel)
1976 Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)
1977 Francesco Moser (Ita)
1978 Michel Laurent (Fra)
1979 Bernard Hinault (Fra)
1980 Guiseppe Saronni (Ita)
1981 Daniel Willems (Bel)
1982 Mario Beccia (Ita)
1983 Bernard Hinault (Fra)
1984 Kim Andersen (Den)
1985 Claude Criquielion (Bel)
1986 Laurent Fignon (Fra)
1987 Jean-Claude Leclercq (Fra)
1988 Rolf Gölz (Ger)
1989 Claude Criquielion (Bel)
1990 Moreno Argentin (Ita)
1991 Moreno Argentin (Ita)
1992 Giorgio Furlan (Ita)
1993 Maurizio Fondriest (Ita)
1994 Moreno Argentin (Ita)
1995 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
1996 Lance Armstrong (USA)
1997 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
1998 Bo Hamburger (Den)
1999 Michele Bartoli (Ita)
2000 Francesco Casagrande (Ita)
2001 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel)
2002 Mario Aerts (Bel)
2003 Igor Astarloa (Spa)
2004 Davide Rebellin (Ita)
2005 Danilo Di Luca (Ita)
2006 Alejandro Valverde (Spa)
2007 Davide Rebellin (Ita)

Women's race

1998 Fabiana Luperini (Ita)
1999 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger)
2000 Geneviéve Jeanson (Can)
2001 Fabiana Luperini (Ita)
2002 Fabiana Luperini (Ita)
2003 Nicole Cooke (GB)
2004 Sonia Huguet (Fra)
2005 Nicole Cooke (GB)
2006 Nicole Cooke (GB)
2007 Marianne Vos (Ned)

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