Photo Special: AMSTEL GOLD ’17
Amstel Gold Race Photo Special: Philippe Gilbert has repaid his Quick-Step Floors team with a great spring campaign, topped off with Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race victory. As always Cor Vos had his top team of photographers at the Amstel roadside for the best pics of the day.
Gilbert also won the Tour of Flanders and the 3 Days of De Panne, it could have been more if not for that crash in Limburg; the Belgian champion was favorite for Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne and Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but will not be there due to a tear in his right kidney.
It wasn’t that cold at the start, but Sunweb’s Michael Matthews was well wrapped-up, or incognito.
The Bahrain-Merida bus was mobbed by fans at the start in Maastricht.
Good to see Fumi Beppu at the start, another season with Trek-Segafredo.
There are some very nice castles in this area. This looks like the backside of that castle PEZ is riding past on our facebook page.
The break of the day: 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). Ariesen and Canty leading the way here. They had a maximum gap of seven and a half minutes, the BMC team had other ideas. 50K out they were nearly all caught, with Grellier the last man standing.
Meanwhile the peloton were taking in the 34 beklimming.
Philippe Gilbert’s Amstel race was nearly over in the opening 100 kilometers as a crash looked to have taken the Belgian champion out of the race.
His Quick-Step teammates were not far away and he was soon back on the bike, but some damage had been done which was not found until after the race.
Quick-Step DS Tom Steels was on hand for a bit of encouragement. After the finish; Gilbert was diagnosed with a minor right kidney tear. “When I crashed, I felt pain, but once I remounted and continued the race things became better and better and the pain disappeared. Unfortunately, after the finish, the lower back pain returned, so together with the team doctor I decided to go to the hospital for a check-up. Fortunately, it’s nothing serious, and if everything goes well, in a week I will start training again.”
OK, it’s Holland, you must have at least one windmill.
Sunweb were very active. Roy Curvers leading the team’s top riders: Michael Matthews and Warren Barguil.
Soigneurs now have GoPro cameras to wear during the feed zone.
Tim Wellens was one of the most aggressive riders on Sunday, although his moves didn’t come to anything.
The crowds were out to see the action. No Cauberg final, but that didn’t keep the fans away.
The winning break eventually formed with less than 40 kilometers remaining. Philippe Gilbert, Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal), Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott), Columbian champion Sergio Henao (Sky), Nathan Haas (Dimension Data), Ion Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNl-Jumbo), JJ Rojas (Movistar) and eventually Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky).
Henao was working for a Kwiatkowski win.
Gilbert knows how to descend.
Ion Izagirre was showing off his Bahrain-Merida jersey in the break.
Orica-Scott’s Michael Albasini made the move and put himself on the podium.
Spain was hoping for the win. Valverde missed the important move, but Izagirre and Rojas were there.
When the attack came…. It was too much for the others in the split.
Did Gilbert have to say anything to the ex-World champion, Kwiatkowski?
The pair worked well together to hold the gap, two against five are not the best odds.
Back in the chase group, or what was left of the peloton, Matthews was suffering.
The race was as good as over for Greg Van Avermaet, Alejandro Valverde and Rui Costa.
Kwiatkowski made the Belgian champ wince.
No repeat of 2012 and 2016 for Enrico Gasparotto.
No repeat of Roubaix for Olympic champion, Greg Van Avermaet, although he did give it a good try.
There wasn’t much of the peloton left.
Valverde tried to cross but it was too late.
The Pole opened the sprint and looked to have the win to go with the Strade Bianche, but he should have checked the direction of the wind.
Into a strong head wind, Kwiatkowski tired and Gilbert drew level and then pushed ahead for the win.
Four fingers – Four Amstel wins.
Happy with his win
Sonny Colbrelli just got the better of Michael Matthews for 9th place, 1:11 down on Gilbert.
Just the podium beer, kisses and a hospital visit for winner Philippe Gilbert.
Philippe Gilbert achieved the stellar feat of becoming the third rider in history to win the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Amstel Gold Race in the same season. “Today’s race was hard and we rode aggressively, but this is my favorite way of racing. I’m not scared of this and I’m very happy of how things panned out. It was a perfect day! My goal every season is to win a Classic. Now it is already two and this is maybe for the years I didn’t win one.”
A beer for Philippe Gilbert, but he will now not ride Flèche Wallone, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Giro d’Italia. “It’s a big blow for me to miss the Giro, a beautiful race in which I’ve enjoyed success several times in the past, but this kind of injuries are always delicate and it’s recommended to don’t rush things, so extending my recovery period is the best decision we could take. Despite this setback, I remain upbeat and I now look with even more motivation to the second part of the season.”
# There will be no Philippe Gilbert at Flèche Wallonne or Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but PEZ will be all the news from Belgium on Wednesday and Sunday. Read the Fléche Preview HERE. #
Amstel Gold Race Result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors in 6:33:55
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky
3. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott at 0:10
4. Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
5. Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar
6. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:14
8. Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo at 1:10
9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:11
10. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
11. Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) LottoNl-Jumbo
12. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
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
20. Paul Martens (Ger) 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.