Amstel Gold Race: Number One made it Three

He wanted it and he took it. Philippe Gilbert won the Amstel for his 3 time, attacking on the last climb as he had done in the Worlds. I was there, I remember. He's back to the top. Smiling like a baby. A huge crowd on the 'cavernous Cauberg' as stylish Barry Ryan said. And he won on class and style, Gilbert.
40 km to go more or less the break-away started cracking, with Boem attacking and finally dropped, with Belletti suffering, with a strong Riblon resisting dragging Van Hecke on his wheel. Behind Voeckler started the dance and brought away a small goup: Stybar, Van Avermeat, Fuglsang, Weening and Wellens. But the situation was very fluid, with riders bridging from the main peloton, where crashes unfortunately had already done a selection.
10 km to go the break was over but no real attacks yet. It looked like a bunch sprint when an incredible Philippe Gilbert dashed away. Nobody could really reply. Kwiatowski and Gerrans tried to follow, Gilbert turned twice to look, it was so close... No. He had the time to rise three fingers and smile to the camera. What a wonderful win!
Jelle Vanendert won the sprint for the 2nd place in front of Simon Gerrans
Note the podium girl skirt :P
Having a look to the full results: the best placed Team Sky rider is Edvald Boasson Hagen, 39 at 36'' . I has been a horrible day for the British squad so that's a very good result. Thomas, Pate and Edmonson crashed out the race and Ian Boswell looked suffering for craps. Knees and Swift abandoned too
A very bad luck also for Trek Factory Racing, lots of crashes (Bob Jungels) and abandons (Andy Schleck, Irizar)... Sum up Frank Schleck's 24 doesn't look too bad.
Wanty Bijorn Leukemans 11th is a very good result (and I'm not surprised).

What Philippe Gilbert said:
"This was a particularly emotional win for me. My wife and my kids were here for the first time in two years. So to win will be something they will never forget. I have been dreaming of this. My teammates really did a great job before the final ascension of the Cauberg. They all did a very good job to place me in the best position. During the briefing, it was planned for Samuel to do an attack at the foot of the Cauberg. It was not a surprise for me, but I think it was one for my adversaries. I only had to wait for the best moment to attack. And I did that when it was most difficult and hurting for everyone."

What Jelle Vanendert said: 
"The race didn't start well for me, I crashed after about 40 kilometers. I hit my knee and had much pain. That moment I wasn't sure I would finish the race, it was difficult to get back on track. Eventually I could make a switch. In the last 50 to 60 kilometers I took my place in the front rows of the peloton. For the team the race went as planned with Pim Ligthart in the front group and Tim Wellens who responded when the strong teams started the final. My brother Dennis took care of me.
My ideal scenario was that we reached the top of the Cauberg with a small group and that I could take off when the others hesitated. Only Gilbert crossed my plans. I did make the jump when the tempo went down after the Cauberg and I became second just like in 2012. This confirms my good shape, I'm back where I want to stand. This result isn't unexpected for me after all the hard work. My season started with a setback due to the elbow injury I incurred in the Tour de San Luis. That's why I wasn't at my full strength in Paris-Nice. This second place is a nice reward. The Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are coming up. The Mur de Huy is very steep and you need to be explosive there. I think others are more cut out for that. La Doyenne suits me more, although I became fourth in the Flèche Wallonne two years ago."

What Simon Gerrans said:
"Another #AGR & another podium. @PhilippeGilbert too good yesterday. I did everything I could & @ORICA_GreenEDGE were awesome so no regrets."

What Michal Kwiatowski said:
“There is something so good about this Cauberg. I think it’s something I need to discover. I think I would have been a little bit better further back in the group, maybe following a guy like Gilbert. He has so much experience. I think it would be a bit easier. I didn’t catch an attack from Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing Team) right away early on the climb. I was a little bit back. That surprised me, but I had just started behind my teammate Michal Golas on the Cauberg. I thought ‘why do I have to wait,’ as I thought after a couple of seconds later we’d be on the top. But on the bike, it’s a long way to the top. I went too early actually and I paid for it. But, I’m happy.I had so much support from my teammates. I have done this race twice now, and I have performed recon of the parcours. I'm learning year-by-year. I stayed in the race all day in the front, but maybe from this I learned I need to stay a little more in the back and realize when to use my energy. But the support of my teammates was great today regardless of my choice of position. Golas was really impressive today. He was able to chase down a breakaway, then he was still with me on to the bottom of the Cauberg. So I’m happy with what they did for me. I finished 5th and while I didn’t improve on last year’s 4th place, I made it a little bit better start. Because I could follow guys on the Cauberg and I couldn’t last year. I had maybe a little bit better of a sprint, but this year I took a different way. I did better but in the end I just couldn’t follow Gilbert. There is so much to learn and I for Fleche Wallone, I think this makes me confident. After Pais Vasco I took a different way to prepare for the Ardennes Classics. I’m happy my legs are OK and there are a few days of recovery. If you have good legs, you can be there. I showed today they are there. I’m looking forward to the next two races.”

What  Simon Geschke (6th) said: 
"Finally landed in the Top10 in the Amstel Gold Race. Couldn't be happier with that 6th place."
Mollema at the start

What Bauke Mollema (7th) said:
"The guys dropped me off perfectly at the foot of the Cauberg. I started the climb in Gilbert’s wheel, but despite the fact that I had been able to save energy all day long thanks to my teammates, I just couldn’t follow. On top of the Cauberg, I unfortunately couldn’t join the first chase group, otherwise I could have gotten in the mix for the second place. Too bad that didn’t happen.”

What Roman Kreuziger said:
"I’m content with the race but not happy. It was a difficult final of the race with a big group arriving at the final on Cauberg. It’s not my specialty to sprint aggressively for short periods of time – I am a more durable climber and last years race therefore suited me much better. I have my focus on Liége-Bastogne-Liége, which is a race that I can do well in. And my result as 18th showed me that I’m in good condition ahead of next Sunday."

What  Pim Ligthart said: 
"I really wanted to be part of the long break today, that was also my role within the team. The first escape was immediately the right one, that doesn't often happen. The cooperation between us ten was actually very good, everyone did his share. Unfortunately the race broke open in front very early - at about 50 kilometers from the finish - and they started to drop riders. I wasn't good enough and had to let go. If we had stayed together and kept a good pace on the flat, we definitely had a chance. Especially when you see how long Riblon and Van Hecke stayed ahead. The Amstel Gold Race is one of the most beautiful races of the year. For a Dutchman it's always fun to ride in front here."

What Frank Schleck said:
 “At the end I thought about trying something, but the speed was so high, and controlled, that it was pretty much impossible. No one really could attack, and it came to what I was afraid of – to the last climb. There was a tricky downhill leading into it and you had to be very well placed here. In front of me some riders gapped off and so arrived in the second group. This should not happen, but it did. Feelings-wise, I was good. The next races are better for me, especially Liege where it is not so much a tactical race.”

What Andy Schleck (crashed out) said:
“I was in the crash with Niki Sorensen. He got something caught in his wheel, it was uphill with a 25km speed, and I tried hard to avoid the crash but I ended up hitting something wooden on side of the road with my knee and went down. I tried to continue, but it began to hurt more and more, especially on the flat parts, and I had to stop.  It’s frustrating because I worked hard to be ready, and also it’s the first time that my son Teo is at the race.  I have to wait to see what is the diagnosis, but I hope I can participate in the Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.”

Team Tinkoff about Niki Sorensen bad crash
"Unfortunately, Nicki was in a big crash and because his elbow swell up, he was taken to the hospital for further examination but nothing was broken. He is, however not able to start Fleche Wallone on Wednesday."

What Gerain Thomas said:
"Not the way I wanted to end the first part of the season. But got taken out again!!
Someone decided he wanted a wee and just turned 90degrees right, nowhere to go, apart from the deck #storyofthelastfeweeks"


1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 6:25:57
2 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:05
3 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica Greenedge 0:00:06
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
5 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
6 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:10
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
8 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
9 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha
10 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar 0:00:12
11 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
12 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica Greenedge
13 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice
14 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin Sharp
15 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
16 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha
17 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
18 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
19 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:21
20 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
21 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp
22 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
23 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr
24 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:23
25 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:36
26 Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
27 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
28 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha
29 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
30 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
31 Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale
32 Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
33 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
34 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
35 Alex Howes (USA) Garmin Sharp
36 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling
37 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
38 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
39 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky
40 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
41 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:01
42 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
43 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
44 Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team
45 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar
46 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
47 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
48 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida
49 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale
50 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida
51 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
52 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
53 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:01:32
54 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
55 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr
56 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica Greenedge
57 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida
58 Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
59 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
60 Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:02:03
61 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team
62 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:02:16
63 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team Katusha 0:02:54
64 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha
65 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale
66 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
67 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica Greenedge 0:03:07
68 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:03:23
69 Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:03:32
70 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp 0:05:36
71 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin Sharp
72 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:06:26
73 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
74 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling
75 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling
76 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica Greenedge
77 Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:08:45
78 Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team 0:10:00
79 Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky
80 Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing
81 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
82 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol
83 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol
84 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
85 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
86 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar
87 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Androni Giocattoli
88 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
89 Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
90 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
91 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
92 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar
93 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Cannondale
94 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
95 Antonio Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
96 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.fr
97 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
98 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol
99 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling
100 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
101 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
102 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
103 Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
104 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Tinkoff-Saxo
105 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano
106 Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale
107 Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
108 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
109 Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling
110 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:13:15
111 Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
112 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale
113 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
114 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
115 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
116 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano
117 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
118 WoutPoels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
119 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
120 Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
121 Arthur Vanoverberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
122 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:16:13
123 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNF Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNF Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNF Nicki Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNF Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
DNF David Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
DNF Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNF Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale
DNF Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale
DNF Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale
DNF Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ.fr
DNF Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ.fr
DNF Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ.fr
DNF Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin Sharp
DNF Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp
DNF Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNF Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNF Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida
DNF Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol
DNF Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
DNF Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team
DNF Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
DNF Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
DNF Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge
DNF Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica Greenedge
DNF Christian Meier (Can) Orica Greenedge
DNF Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar
DNF Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
DNF Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano
DNF Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
DNF Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha
DNF Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Team Katusha
DNF Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky
DNF Joshua Edmondson (GBr) Team Sky
DNF Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
DNF Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky
DNF Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
DNF Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
DNF Andy Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
DNF Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
DNF Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
DNF Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNF Nicola Testi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNF Omar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNF Andrea Zordan (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNF Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNF Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNF Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNF Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNF Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNF Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling
DNF Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
DNF Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNF Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNF Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNF Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Michel Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
DNF Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
DNF Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
DNF Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani-CSF

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