La Flèche Wallonne race organisers ASO have paid tribute to Alejandro Valverde’s historic five race victories by installing a state-of-the-art mobility stairlift system up the famous Mur de Huy.
By JAN DIRT
While Valverde (Movistar) was unable to attend the ceremony, focussing instead on this weekend’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège, his stairlift was officially opened by 107-year-old Miguel Castro Rocha, who rode with Valverde in the junior ranks prior to the Spanish Civil War.
“Alejandro was a few years older than me, so we all looked up to him.
“I’ll never forget the first time I saw him and the bike – it’s like he was one with that penny farthing.”
The stairlift was originally intended as part of a larger vision to honour Valverde’s record-breaking five victories at Le Flèche Wallonne, but the COVID-19 pandemic has put the rest of those plans on hold.
“When life is back to #COVIDnormal, we hope to install a public food purée station at the top of the Mur de Huy too,” said the ASO in a press statement.
“We are also in talks with a number of zimmer frame manufacturers to establish a showroom at the finish line, which will double as the media centre on future race days.”
[DISCLOSURE: The Gruppetto Gazette attended the Valverde Commemorative Stairlift opening ceremony as a guest of the Depend Adult Undergarment – “We hold it in, so you don’t have to™”]