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The third victory for Philippe Gilbert in the Amstel Gold Race!

Added: sunday 20 April 2014 at 16:59:00
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    The third victory for Philippe Gilbert in the Amstel Gold Race!The Amstel Gold Race turned out to be a breath taking race today with a 10 riders strong breakaway which was progressively reduced to only two riders with Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale) and Preben van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) managing to stay ahead till the forelast of the 34 climbs of the race.

    Once the whole bunch got back together, the full peloton started the last climb of the Cauberg where it all got blown up. Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) went off alone and once again succeeded his master piece and thus won the Amstel Gold Race for the 3rd time!

    The summary of the Amstel Gold Race 2014

    In the south of The Netherlands, in the province of Limbourg around Maastricht, the 49th edition of the Amstel Gold Race, the only Dutch classic, took place today.

    Quite rapidly after the start, James Vanlandschoot (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) was at the initiative of the creation of a 10 riders strong group getting away from the peloton. In this group we also found Preben van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Pim Lighthart (Lotto-Belisol), Rory Sutherland (Tinkoff-Saxo), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale), Matej Mohoric (Cannondale), Pirmin Lang (IAM), Nicola Boem (Bardiani CSF) and Manuel Belletti (Androni Giocattoli).

    These 10 leading riders worked quite well together and created a gap which was almost at 15 minutes at the first climb of the famous Cauberg. While the peloton lost several elements, most of them after crashes, including some of the big names of the peloton which started on the Markt in Maastricht this morning (Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Sharp), Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing), ...), the riders in the breakaway continued to work well together and at the second crossing of the finish line their gap still is 6'43".

    Especially thanks to the efforts of the Movistar Team, for their leader and big favourite of the race, Alejandro Valverde, the gap really starts to go down. One of the riders leading the peloton is the Spanish Champion, Jesus Herada Lopez, and when the gap of the group drops down to values around 3 minutes that's the sign for Nicola Boem to attack, on the Gulpenerberg, to try and relaunch the breakaway group. He finally got company from only 5 riders of the former breakaway: Lutsenko, Ligthart, Van Hecke, Riblon and Belletti again form a leading group, this time with 6 riders.

    Thomas VoecklerAt 40 kilometers from the finish their gap still is 2'46" and one kilometer further it's time for Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) to attack. He got company from Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEDGE), Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) and Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and this group of 6 riders starts the chase behind the leading riders.

    Speaking of the leading riders, Lutsenko, Ligthart and Belletti feel the more than 200 kilometers in the lead in their legs and thus no longer manage to follow the speed of the leading group which thus gets reduced to 3 riders.

    Christophe RiblonAt the start of the Keutenberg climb at 22%, Boem also loses contact with Christophe Riblon who clearly shows he has the best legs on these steepest parts at the start of this climb and he's thus only followed by Preben van Hecke.
    Behind this new leading duo the riders of the group with Thomas Voeckler start this difficult climb 1'58" later but in this group the riders don't really collaborate to chase behind the two in the lead. Voeckler does attacks to get the group rolling again when Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) joins the chasing group which loses Zdenek Stybar at the same time.

    Paul Martens (Belkin) and Björn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) also bridge the gap with this chasing group (while Nicola Boem also jumps on the wheel of the riders who take him back) but at 24 km from the finish, at the foot of the 3rd climb of the Cauberg, the gap of the leading duo still is 1'38" while the peloton follows 36 seconds later.

    Greg van AvermaetJust after the last climb of the Geulhemmerberg the chasing group almost got taken back by the peloton but thanks to a "last second" attack by Pieter Weening the group manages to stay ahead in the first time, while the leading duo's gap is down to only 45 seconds. Except for Greg van Avermaet and Jakob Fuglsang, the riders of the chasing group are taken back anyway at 13 kilometers from the finish and the opportunity these chasing riders had to take back the breakaway and dispute the race victory in a small group does comes to an end.

    In the forelast climb of this Amstel Gold Race, the Bemelerberg, Fuglsang and Van Avermaet finally get back on the two remaining riders of the early breakaway who catch on to continue the race with 4 riders in the lead. Preben van Hecke however quickly loses contact and the leading trio is taken back by Daniel Moreno (Katusha). Greg van Avermaet decided to attack again but Dani Moreno doesn't let him go and seems to try to go off alone. Too late however because the whole bunch comes back together and the race can thus start all over again at about 7 kilometers from the finish!

    The Orica-GreenEDGE team is quite well represented in the lead of the peloton at that time but at the foot of the last climb of the Cauberg, Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) took over this position. Attacks all around in this last climb, especially with Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing Team) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) but finally Philippe GilbertPhilippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) goes off alone and he manages to stay ahead until the finish line and thus takes his third victory in the Amstel Gold Race, after 2010 and 2011.

    The classification of the Amstel Gold Race 2014

    Here's the top 10 of this 2014 edition of the Amstel Gold Race:

    1/ Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) - 6h25'57"
    2/ Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol) - +0'04"
    3/ Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) - +0'08"
    4/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team)
    5/ Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQ)
    6/ Simon Geschke (Team Giant-Shimano)
    7/ Bauke Mollema (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)
    8/ Enrico Gasparotto (Astana Pro Team)
    9/ Daniel Moreno (Team Katusha)
    10/ Yukiya Arashiro (Team Europcar)

    The images of the final part of the Amstel Gold Race 2014

    Hereunder you can find a video with the decisive attack by Philippe Gilbert in the climb of the Cauberg:

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Comments

Currently 4 comments!
  1. Autant j'apprécie le changement de place de l'arrivée (même si ça ne change pas grand chose), autant la dernière boucle de 20km est complètement à revoir tant elle ne correspond pas à l'âme de cette course et au reste du parcours, qui se fait sur des routes étroites et tournantes. Pourquoi terminer par une boucle avec de grandes lignes droites et larges?

    | Olivier73 | sunday 20 April 2014 at 17:17:45

  2. En effet @Olivier73, c'est un peu dommage ! Typiquement aujourd'hui, ça aurait pu être bon pour Christophe Riblon d'avoir de nouvelles montées plus raides sur des routes plus étroites ... La nouvelle arrivée (depuis l'année dernière) ça met un peu plus de suspense (ils reviennent ? ils ne reviennent pas ?) mais il y a en effet encore des améliorations possibles sur ce point !

    | Thomas Vergouwen | sunday 20 April 2014 at 19:04:55

  3. Oui comme d'hab ! toujours quelque chose qui ne va pas ! mais il ni a aucun coureur français en début de classement, faudrait peut être avoir 33 côtes en moins pour qu'il gagne ! pffffffffffff toujours du chauvinisme !

    | Stevens Bernard | monday 21 April 2014 at 2:01:20

  4. @Bernard, pour la petite précision, je ne suis pas Français. De plus, je n'ai pas dit que la victoire de Gilbert n'était pas belle mais ça aurait été beau aussi que l'échappée aille au bout.

    Et puis c'est mal connaître Christophe Riblon que de dire qu'il aurait fallu 33 côtes de moins !

    | Thomas Vergouwen | monday 21 April 2014 at 9:51:54

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