Amstel Gold Race 2017 [FULL RACE]

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Amstel Gold Race 2017 [FULL RACE]

 

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April 16, 2017
Amstel Gold Race 2017 – Maastricht – Berg – 265,8 km

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The 2017 Amstel Gold Race is a road cycling one-day race that took place on 16 April. It was the 52nd edition of the Amstel Gold Race and the sixteenth event of the 2017 UCI World Tour.

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) continued his remarkable run this spring, adding a fourth Amstel Gold Race title to his palmares on Sunday in a particularly exciting edition of the Ardennes Classics opener, which seemed to benefit from the much-discussed removal of the Cauberg as the final climb of the day.The race had faced criticism for becoming predictable – a mere waiting game until the Cauberg finale – but Gilbert, who won the Tour of Flanders two weeks ago, was part of a decisive selection that formed on the Kruisberg some 40 kilometres out.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) wasn’t in that initial group of eight but the fellow former world champion and Amstel winner jumped up to the head of affairs 10km later and he and Gilbert emerged as the strongest two in the race, forging clear together over the Bemelberg, the new final climb of the day.

The remnants of that leading group – Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott), Nathan Haas (Dimension Data), Ion Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida), Jose Joauin Rojas (Movistar), and Kwiatkowski’s teammate Sergio Henao – lacked the cohesion and firepower to get back on terms in the final five kilometres, leaving Kwiatkowski and Gilbert to play cat and mouse in the final kilometre.

Kwiatkowski forced his rival onto the front before delivering a stinging acceleration, but in the slight headwind in Valkeburg it proved too far out, and Gilbert slowly but surely got himself back on terms and came round to celebrate his fourth victory of the spring.

“He surprised me a little in the sprint, but it was a headwind so I didn’t panic, and I saw I was getting closer and closer, and it was perfect for me in the end,” said Gilbert, who looks a man reborn at Quick-Step.

The 34-year-old, free to target the cobbled classics away from Greg Van Avermaet at BMC, enjoyed a stellar couple of weeks in northern Belgium, and it’s clear his form has carried down south to the Ardennes, the races which have brought him so much success over the years. Indeed, this is just his second Ardennes victory since that glittering treble in 2011, and he seems to have rediscovered that magic touch of old.

“My goal is to win a classic every year. I won two this year, maybe to make up for the years I didn’t,” Gilbert added.

“It was a hard final. We went from the Kruisberg, it was a long long move again. All of us deserved the win today because we really worked together. In the end there’s only one winner, but we did nice work together in the last 40km. In the end with Kwiato we went hard, I saw the guys behind were on the limit – I was too but if you can find one or two per cent more it makes the difference. I told him, ‘we ride until the last k and the best man wins’ – that’s the best deal you can make.”

Early hostilities

After the white-knuckle drama of the cobbled classics, the Ardennes have faced derision in recent years for serving up bland and predictable racing, with Amstel accused of being a 250-odd kilometre procession to the Cauberg. The organisers hoped to shake things up in 2013 by moving the finish line 1.8km back from the summit, but by scrapping it as the final climb altogether this year, it seems like they’ve finally struck, well, gold.

The Cauberg appeared three times, the final time as the third-to-last climb, while the gentler Bemeleberg would act as the final climb with just over five kilometres remaining. Many predicted a more open affair, with riders encouraged to try things and take the race on from further out, and that’s exactly what we got.

Granted, the opening 220 kilometres were uneventful; a 12-rider breakaway went early and stayed away for most of the day. In there were Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo), Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R-La Mondiale), Mads Wurtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin), Tim Ariesen (Roompot), Nikita Stalnov (Astana), Michal Paluta (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac), Johann Van Zyl (Dimension Data), Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Pieter Van Speybrouck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani-CSF), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie).

However, just after the final member of that group, Grellier, accepted defeat, the race sprang to life on the Kruisberg when Lotto Soudal’s Tiesj Benoot put in a stringing acceleration. Sergio Henao, who had led the pack onto the climb, was quickly on the case, as was Gilbert, who has hardly missed a move all spring. Albasini, Haas, and Bert Van Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo) also made the boat, while Izaguirre and Rojas managed to make the bridge beyond the summit.

Cue panic stations for Paris-Roubaix champion Greg Van Avermaet, the only rider to outshine Gilbert this spring, whose BMC teammates had set a fierce pace over the previous 30km. The chase group splintered then swelled as the gap hovered precariously above the 15-second mark, the ensuing climbs of the Eyserbosweg and Fromberg aiding the leading group’s cause, though a mechanical saw Benoot lose contact.

Onto the Keutenberg, with 29km to go, and the front of the chasing pack had the lead group in their sights. Kwiatkowski was alongside Van Avermaet and put in a hugely impressive acceleration to burst clear. A minute or so later he was up at the head of the race, replacing Lindeman, who couldn’t hold the pace.

Van Avermaet was forced to settle into a chasing group with Alejandro Valverde, who had a teammate up the road, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), and Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo). They were soon joined by another chasing trio of Warren Barguil (Sunweb), Rui Costa (UAE), and Bob Jungels (QuickStep) to form an even fight of seven on seven. Either way, the bookmakers’ pre-race favourites, Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) were caught behind in the small main pack, which would only become more distanced from the head of affairs.

The chasing seven lacked the cohesion of the leading group, which Gilbert said worked so well together, and the gap stayed around the 45-second mark for the most part. It did drop to half a minute on the Geulhemmerberg, just after the final Cauberg, but despite a cursory attack from Valverde, it always looked like the winner would be coming from the front group.

And on the Bemelberg it became clear who the likely candidates were as Kwiatkowski accelerated and Gilbert followed. The others did their best to hold the wheels but the elastic snapped when Gilbert produced an acceleration of his own. And they were away.

Izaguirre first tried to close it down but got nowhere, then Haas drove clear promisingly but locked up before he could finish the job, while Albasini couldn’t offer up anything much and Rojas seemed to want a free ride to the finish.

The duo had half a minute heading into the final kilometre, where Kwiatkowski looked to have played it perfectly, only to leave too much road ahead of himself and allow for another chapter to be written in this remarkable renaissance of Philippe Gilbert.

Results :
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 6:31:40
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
3 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott 0:00:10
4 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
5 Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
6 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky
7 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:14
8 Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:10
9 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:11
10 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
11 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
12 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
13 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
14 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
15 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
16 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
17 Jay Mccarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
18 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott
19 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
20 Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
21 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
22 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-Scott
23 Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
24 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
25 Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac
26 Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin
27 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
28 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
29 Manuele Mori (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
30 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Sunweb
31 Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
32 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
33 Simone Petilli (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
34 Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ
35 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team
36 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
37 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
38 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Team UAE Emirates
39 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
40 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
41 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team
42 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
43 Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
44 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
45 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb
46 Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:32
47 Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:46
48 Jacques Willem Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data 0:02:55
49 Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac 0:03:42
50 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
51 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert 0:04:05
52 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
53 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie 0:06:19
54 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb
55 Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:06:43
56 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
57 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
58 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
59 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie
60 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
61 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
62 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
63 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:06:47
64 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:07:05
65 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:07:16
66 Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors 0:07:30
67 Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
68 Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky
69 Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
70 Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
71 Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
72 Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:09:21
73 Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani – CSF
74 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
75 Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo
76 Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
77 Ángel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin
78 Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
79 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky
80 Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij 0:09:30
81 Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie
82 Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ 0:10:26
83 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
84 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ
85 Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
86 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Team UAE Emirates
87 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
88 Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team
89 Jan Tratnik (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
90 Jakub Kaczmarek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
91 Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
92 Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
93 André Cardoso (Por) Trek-Segafredo
94 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
95 Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data
96 Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin 0:12:11
97 Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
98 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb
99 Floris Gerfs (Ned) BMC Racing Team
100 Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
101 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky
102 Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
103 Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
104 Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
105 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
106 Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
107 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani – CSF
108 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
109 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
110 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
111 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
112 Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
113 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
114 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
115 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Movistar Team
116 Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
117 Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ
118 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
119 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team
120 Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
121 Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data
122 Aime De Gendt (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
123 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
124 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-Scott
125 Toms Skujins (Lat) Cannondale-Drapac
126 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-Scott
127 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
DNF Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida
DNF Meiyin Wang (Chn) Bahrain-Merida
DNF Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
DNF Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
DNF Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky
DNF Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
DNF Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
DNF Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors
DNF Marc Soler Gimenez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-Scott
DNF Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott
DNF Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott
DNF Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNF Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNF Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNF Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
DNF Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNF Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Gregory Daniel (USA) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNF Andrey Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
DNF Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team
DNF Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNF Matti Breschel (Den) Astana Pro Team
DNF Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
DNF Marco Mathis (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
DNF Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
DNF Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ
DNF Cedric Pineau (Fra) FDJ
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
DNF Marco Marcato (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
DNF Ben Swigt (GBr) Team UAE Emirates
DNF Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
DNF Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data
DNF Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
DNF Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
DNF Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
DNF Jens Wallays (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
DNF Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
DNF Tim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
DNF Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
DNF Taco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
DNF Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
DNF Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani – CSF
DNF Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani – CSF
DNF Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani – CSF
DNF Marco Maronese (Ita) Bardiani – CSF
DNF Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani – CSF
DNF Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani – CSF
DNF Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNF František Sisr (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNF Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
DNF Tony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie