It was undoubtedly the toughest edition of Flèche Wallonne in recent memory, and yet Capel Dewi’s Stevie Williams looked completely unflustered as he became the first British male rider to win the Belgian Classic on Wednesday.

The Israael-Premier Tech man rode brilliantly throughout, and notably attacked on the third of four ascents of the Mur de Huy to form part of a short-lived chase group that ultimately helped reel in a lone rider in the closing 10 kilometers.

Williams, who tackled the race’s arduous finishing climb in his Ekoï gloves, leg warmers, and rain jacket, kicked with 275 meters remaining the final time up the Mur and crossed the line with enough time to celebrate.

Having claimed IPT’s first UCI WorldTour stage race victory at the Tour Down Under in January, the Brit now has the team’s maiden win in a UCI WorldTour one-day race to his name.

“What a day, what a day, I’m so happy right now,” said Williams. “I just can’t believe I just won Flèche. I’ve been watching this race for years and I’ve always wanted to come here with decent legs to try and win it. Today, with the weather, I enjoy racing in these conditions, and I’m just over the moon.

“The boys backed me all day and they gave me the best chance to try and do a result today. Everybody was waiting [on the Mur de Huy] with about 300 [meters] to go, so I thought if I could get a jump here and put five or 10 seconds into the group, it could give me a good chance to hold on. I was looking around a bit because the legs were empty, but I’m really happy to hold on. I’m exhausted, lost for words, and a bit emotional really. To win bike races is hard, especially here at the Classics.”

IPT entered its sixth participation in Flèche with a commendable record in the race. Michael Woods finished fourth in 2021 and 2023, while Dan Martin came fifth in 2020. While past form counts for little, this race was singled out as the team’s target for this particular week of the season.

“Of this Ardennes block, we identified Flèche as our best chance to win,” says Sports Director Sam Bewley. “Obviously we’re capable of good results in the other races, but we had Stevie and Dylan, who has won here in the past, as our leaders today. We were motivated and we had a good plan. Obviously, the weather rolled in once we got to the circuit, which completely flipped the race, but Stevie managed to handle everything well. “It’s massive for him: Stevie has managed to win a WorldTour stage race and a one-day race all in the space of four months, so it’s all going well for him!”