Gilbert wins 2014 Amstel Gold Race

Third time for Gilbert, Vanendert, Gerrans on podium

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) won the Amstel Gold Race for a third time in his career on Sunday after making a signature winning move during the last ascent of the Cauberg. The former world champion and Ardennes Classics triple crown winner crossed the finish line with a victory salute ahead of chasers Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) in second and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) in third.

"This was a particularly emotional win for me," Gilbert said. "My wife and my kids were here for the first time in two years. So to have won will be something they will never forget. I have been dreaming of this."

The Belgian made his timely attack near the base of the Cauberg during the fourth and last of the smaller finishing circuits. A series of riders, including Vanendert and Gerrans, jumped out of the dwindled main field in response to the attack but were unable to close the gap before the finish line in Valkenburg.

Gilbert’s move came after the field caught breakaway riders Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen), Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC). His teammate Samuel Sanchez set him up perfectly with an attack at the base of the Cauberg that forced Orica-GreenEdge to chase. The move drew out Gerrans and Valverde, but Gilbert launched on the left side of the road with devastating force and soloed the final 3km to victory.

"My teammates really did a great job before the final ascension of the Cauberg," Gilbert said. "They all did a very good job to place me in the best position. During the briefing, it was planned for Samuel to do an attack at the foot of the Cauberg. It was not a surprise for me, but I think it was one for my adversaries. I only had to wait for the best moment to attack. And I did that when it was most difficult and hurting for everyone."

How it unfolded

The 250km classic started in Maastricht and ended with four smaller circuits on the Cauberg, with the finish line about 1.8km past the top of the climb. The race is notorious for its twisty and narrow roads, short and steep climbs, and a strong collection of fans. There were some 34 climbs on a parcours and not many flat sections, making this race a of attrition. It is the first of three Ardennes Classics, followed by La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Under pleasantly dry and sunny conditions, Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) took the start line as the defending champion alongside a series of other previous winners including former Ardennes Classics triple crown champions Gilbert and Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat).

Pim Ligthart (Lotto Belisol) kicked of the day’s breakaway right off the start line and was joined by seven other riders to establish a four-minute lead during the first kilometres of the race. The eight-man move also included Van Hecke, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Matej Mohoric (Cannondale), Manuel Belletti (Androni Venezuela), Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling), James Van Landschoot (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Nicola Boem (Bardiani CSF).

Riblon and Rory Sutherland (Tinkoff-Saxo) bridged across to the move and they gained nearly 14 minutes ahead of a seemingly content main peloton over the day’s fourth climb, the Bergeseweg.

With a tough 200km still ahead, the breakaway worked in unison to reach the first ascent over the Cauberg, where they picked up another minute in their quest to stay ahead of the field.

BMC led much of the initial chase from the peloton, keeping the breakaway in check for Gilbert, who proved to be in top form after winning De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne last Wednesday. “[Winning De Brabantse Pijl] was important because I am a winner and I’m always racing to win,” Gilbert said. “It was important for me to gain the trust of my team. It is also a very beautiful race and it was important on the calendar so I wanted to win it, but yes, it was also important for today.”

Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Katusha eventually sent some of their riders to aide in BMC’s efforts to bring the gap down to a more manageable distance as the race approached the half-way point. Movistar also joined in the chase and the gap came down to eight minutes over the Vrakelberg and toward the Eyserbosweg.

For the second consecutive year, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was sidelined after an unfortunate accident with 150 km to go. The crash also involved Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing), who later abandoned the race as well.

The gap continued to fall when Omega Pharma-QuickStep joined the chase over the Cauberg for the second time with roughly 80km to go. Some of the breakaway riders struggled to stay on pace after such a long effort.

With 35km to go, Boem, Van Hecke and Riblon continued on ahead in hopes of holding a small gap into the final circuits. Boem, who previously tried to make a move on his own, ended up losing contact with his two companions.

A few kilometres back, over the top of the Kruisberg, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) made an attack to try and bridge across to the pair of leaders. He was joined by Fuglsang, Van Avermaet, Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), but the main field followed just 20 seconds back.

Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) attacked from the bunch in a bid to bridge to Voeckler’s group. Paul Martens (Belkin) and Bjorn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) also made it across.

Van Hecke and Riblon muscled over the Cauberg for the second to last time with just under two minutes ahead of Voeckler’s group and another 20 seconds ahead of the main field. But a series of attacks were beginning to start from the main bunch including a strong but short-lived move from Garmin-Sharp’s Nathan Haas.

Up the road, Weening tried to take a flyer out of Voeckler’s chase group but Fuglsang countered and eventually Van Avermaet, Leukemans, Kolobnev and Martens caught back up to the pair on the descent.

The leading duo, Van Hecke and Riblon, tried desperately to hang on to a small lead with less than 15km to go but the gap had dropped to just 30 seconds. Van Avermaet and Fuglsang were the last to remain from the chase group while the rest were reabsorbed back into the peloton.

Van Hecke, Riblon, Fuglsang and Van Avermaet united as the race headed over the Bemelerberg, however, Garmin-Sharp and Omega Pharma-QuickStep led the main field just 10 seconds behind. Ultimately, the field came back together with seven kilometres to the finish line.

Orica-GreenEdge buried themselves at the front of the field to put their favourites Gerrans and Michael Matthews in top position heading into the final climb over the Cauberg.

Gilbert launched an attack at the base of the ascent with three kilometres to go and opened an instant gap. Gerrans, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) tried to respond but it was too late, and with only a few hundred metres to go, Gilbert was on his way to winning his third Amstel Gold Race.

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Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 6:25:57  
2 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:05  
3 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica Greenedge 0:00:06  
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team    
5 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
6 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:10  
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
8 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
9 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha    
10 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar 0:00:12  
11 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
12 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica Greenedge    
13 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
14 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin Sharp    
15 Anthony Roux (Fra)    
16 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha    
17 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida    
18 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo    
19 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:21  
20 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
21 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
22 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
23 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra)    
24 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:23  
25 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:36  
26 Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
27 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar    
28 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha    
29 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team    
30 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing    
31 Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale    
32 Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF    
33 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
34 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
35 Alex Howes (USA) Garmin Sharp    
36 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling    
37 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo    
38 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing    
39 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky    
40 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
41 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:01  
42 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team    
43 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
44 Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team    
45 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar    
46 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
47 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
48 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida    
49 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale    
50 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
51 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
52 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
53 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:01:32  
54 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
55 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra)    
56 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica Greenedge    
57 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida    
58 Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani-CSF    
59 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
60 Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:02:03  
61 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team    
62 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:02:16  
63 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team Katusha 0:02:54  
64 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha    
65 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale    
66 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team    
67 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica Greenedge 0:03:07  
68 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:03:23  
69 Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:03:32  
70 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp 0:05:36  
71 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin Sharp    
72 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:06:26  
73 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
74 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling    
75 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling    
76 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica Greenedge    
77 Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:08:45  
78 Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team 0:10:00  
79 Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky    
80 Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing    
81 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
82 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol    
83 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
84 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
85 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
86 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar    
87 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Androni Giocattoli    
88 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
89 Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
90 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team    
91 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling    
92 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar    
93 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Cannondale    
94 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
95 Antonio Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
96 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin)    
97 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
98 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol    
99 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling    
100 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale    
101 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
102 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
103 Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
104 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Tinkoff-Saxo    
105 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano    
106 Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale    
107 Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani-CSF    
108 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar    
109 Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling    
110 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:13:15  
111 Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
112 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale    
113 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani-CSF    
114 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing    
115 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo    
116 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano    
117 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
118 WoutPoels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
119 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team    
120 Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
121 Arthur Vanoverberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
122 Jérémy Roy (Fra) 0:16:13  
123 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo    
DNF Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo    
DNF Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo    
DNF Nicki Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo    
DNF Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
DNF David Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale    
DNF Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale    
DNF Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale    
DNF Arnaud Courteille (Fra)    
DNF Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra)    
DNF Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra)    
DNF Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
DNF Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
DNF Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp    
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team    
DNF Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
DNF Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
DNF Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge    
DNF Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica Greenedge    
DNF Christian Meier (Can) Orica Greenedge    
DNF Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
DNF Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano    
DNF Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
DNF Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha    
DNF Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Team Katusha    
DNF Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky    
DNF Joshua Edmondson (GBr) Team Sky    
DNF Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky    
DNF Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky    
DNF Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky    
DNF Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky    
DNF Andy Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing    
DNF Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory Racing    
DNF Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing    
DNF Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Nicola Testi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Omar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Andrea Zordan (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling    
DNF Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling    
DNF Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
DNF Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
DNF Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
DNF Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
DNF Michel Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
DNF Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
DNF James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
DNF Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF    
DNF Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF    
DNF Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF    
DNF Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani-CSF    


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