Huy - World champion Cadel Evans has won the Fleche Wallonne one-day classic after beating Spaniards Joaquin Rodriguez and Alberto Contador in an uphill sprint to the finish.
The main contenders were all packed together when they started the daunting 1.6km Wall of Huy final climb. Contador first jumped out into the lead, but Evans made the difference over the last 100m with a strong finishing kick.
The Australian won the 198km race in an unofficial 4 hours, 42 minutes, 15 seconds.
The Fleche Wallonne one-day classic is the main preparation race for Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege, one of the major one-day classics of the season. It covers much of the same terrain through the woods and hills of the Ardennes in southern Belgium.
Results of the 198km Fleche Wallonne one-day classic:
1. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 4hr 39min 14sec
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) at s.t.
3. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) s.t.
4. Igor Anton (ESP/EUS) 06s
5. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 09
6. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/OLO) 11
7. Chris Horner (USA/RSH) 11
8. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/GCE) 11
9. Andy Schleck (LUX/SAX) 11
10. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 11
11. Michael Albasini (SUI/THR) 11
12. Bert De Waele (BEL/LAN) 11
13. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/LIQ) 11
14. Christophe Le Mevel (FRA/FDJ) 11
15. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 11