Sunday 08 November 2009 at 02h56

For the 8th time the island Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles was the dream location for the very last race of the season this Saturday: the Amstel Curaçao Race.

A few hours ago the Spanish rider of the Astana team, Alberto Contador, won this race for the second time, after his first win under the sun of Curaçao in 2007.

The route

The race, which started and finished at the Lions Dive & Beach Resort, crossed a big part of the island from east to west with a circuit of 73,6 kilometers.

Below you'll find a map of the route (click on the map to zoom):
The Amstel Curaçao Race 2009 route

The race

This afternoon at 2PM (local time) 238 riders, amateurs and professional riders, came to the start of the 8th Amstel Curaçao Race.

At about 5 kilometers from the finish, in the climb of the Julianabrug, the Dutch rider Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank) decided to attack. Thor Hushovd and Alberto Contador joined him and this three men leading group continued till the finish. Just before the finish the Spanish rider attacked to win the Amstel Curaçao Race for the second time in his career.

The Norvegian rider Thor Hushovd finished second, ahead of Koos Moerenhout.

Alberto ContadorIn the Amstel Curaçao Race the riders of the Tour de France usually wear their leader's jersey of the Tour and we thus saw the yellow jersey of the Tour de France cross the finish line first, followed by the green jersey who beat the Dutch champion in the sprint.

The sprint for the fourth place was won by the specialist in that area, Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC):

1/ Alberto Contador (Astana)
2/ Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam)
3/ Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank)
4/ Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC)
5/ Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano)
6/ Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC)

Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) is getting maried!

Frank SchleckBefore the race, the riders can relax and enjoy a one week vacation at a perfect location on invitation of the organisor. This usually is the occasion to swim with dolphins and enjoy the nice weather, maybe even trying to get rid of the cyclist tan ...

According to the Amstel Curaçao Race's web site, a big firework last Monday was the occasion for Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) to ask his girlfriend, Martine Schmid, to marry him.
According to the site this was a spontaneous idea he got when he saw the coloured sky sitting on the edge of the swimming pool and Martine of course answered the important question with a yes.

Alberto Contador, winner of the Tour de France and now also of the Amstel Curaçao Race, raised his glass of champagne later that evening on the future Luxembour bridal couple.

The previous winners

Andy SchleckAlberto Contador won the Amstel Curaçao Race in 2007 as well. Last year, the youngest Schleck brother, Andy, won the race (of course Andy Schleck came to Curaçao again this year, wearing his white jersey of best young rider in the Tour de France).
Here's the full list of winners of the Amstel Curaçao Race:
2002/ Michael Boogerd
2003/ Peter van Petegem
2004/ Oscar Freire
2005/ Tom Boonen
2006/ Alejandro Valverde
2007/ Alberto Contador
2008/ Andy Schleck
2009/ Alberto Contador

Some videos

As I said above, the Amstel Curaçao Race is also the occasion for the riders to relax on Curaçao. Below you can find interviews with some Dutch riders. The interviews are in Dutch but the images give you an idea of their stay on Curaçao!

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Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)

Kenny van Hummel (Skil-Shimano)

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Lars Boom (Rabobank)

Lars Boom and Koos Moerenhout on RaboSport - including images of the race

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Cycling general (except Tour de France)

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