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Re: Amstel Gold Race
« on: April 17, 2017, 01:10 »
What a great race we were treated to !!!   

It was described by one of the commentators as the course this year being Like the Tour of Flanders but without the cobbles - and so it was.

When coverage started at 95km to go - all was calm.  A 7 or 8 man break was still out at 4 1/2 minutes or so and all was going fine.

around 65km to go BMC decided that their best shot was to make it hard .. and so they did.  They put every man on the front and rode very hard for the next 25 or 30km. 

With about 40 to go they bought back the break - and BMC eased allowing Benoot to engineer a move.  Wtih Gilbert, Henao, Ion Izaguirre, Albasini, Rohas and Nathan Haas they got a small gap that ranged from 10 - 20 seconds.  It was never much but they stayed away for the next 5-10km

Then they hit the Keutenberg with about 30 to go and the race simply smashed to pieces.   The gap to the move was only about 15 seconds - and Kwiatkowski bridged it so easily it was like they were standing still.   Valverde and GvA couldnt go with him - and couldnt quite bridge.  They had Wellens and Felline with them ... and spent a good 10 km with the gap hovering at about 12 or 15 seconds.  It was so close but they couldnt (or wouldnt) bridge.

Valverde wasnt working though - as he had Rojas up front.  Felline wasnt working much either - and so GVA did most with Wellens helping a bit.

Eventually Valverde started taking turns (and a few others joined the group - though none would work with Valv/GVA) - but with the group ahead committed, they had lost their chance.

Benoot unfortunately had a mechanical and dropped - but the rest worked together very well to gain a 40 second odd gap by the final ascent of the Cauberg.

The Bemelberg with 6km to go the group finally split.  Kwiatko had a good dig early but couldnt get a gap - and with Henao also in the front group was in a good enough position to not worry.   Gilbert though needed a smaller group so went hard and only Kwia could stay with him.

They got a small gap, and worked very well together to stay away.  With Haas and Rojas int he group it was too dangerous to try and outsprint them... and Haas was super impressive almost getting accross to the pair once over the top.

They then worked well until 1km to go when it was clear they would contest for the win.

Kwiatkowski pushed Gilbert to the front - but then made his only mistake for the day going far too early in the sprint.  There was a bit of a headwind so although he got a gap on Gilbert - Phil came over the top to win his 4th Amstel Gold.

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  • « Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 02:27 by AG »


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