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) TeamResult
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team6:25:57 
2Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:05 
3Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica Greenedge0:00:06 
4Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team  
5Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
6Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano0:00:10 
7Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
8Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
9Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha  
10Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar0:00:12 
11Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
12Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica Greenedge  
13Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
14Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin Sharp  
15Anthony Roux (Fra)  
16Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha  
17Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida  
18Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo  
19Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:21 
20Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
21Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp  
22Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
23Arnold Jeannesson (Fra)  
24Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:00:23 
25Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:36 
26Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
27Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar  
28Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha  
29Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team  
30Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
31Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale  
32Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
33Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
34Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
35Alex Howes (USA) Garmin Sharp  
36Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling  
37Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
38Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
39Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky  
40Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
41Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:01 
42Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
43Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
44Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
45Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar  
46Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
47Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
48Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida  
49Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale  
50Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
51Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
52Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
53Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:01:32 
54Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
55Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra)  
56Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica Greenedge  
57Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida  
58Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
59Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
60Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:02:03 
61Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team  
62Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:02:16 
63Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team Katusha0:02:54 
64Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha  
65Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale  
66Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team  
67Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica Greenedge0:03:07 
68Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:03:23 
69Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:03:32 
70Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp0:05:36 
71Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin Sharp  
72Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:06:26 
73Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
74Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling  
75Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling  
76Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica Greenedge  
77Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:08:45 
78Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team0:10:00 
79Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky  
80Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing  
81Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
82Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol  
83Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
84Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
85Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
86Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar  
87Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Androni Giocattoli  
88Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
89Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
90Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team  
91Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling  
92Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar  
93Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Cannondale  
94Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
95Antonio Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
96Jussi Veikkanen (Fin)  
97Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
98Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol  
99Jérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling  
100Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale  
101Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
102Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
103Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
104Karsten Kroon (Ned) Tinkoff-Saxo  
105Dries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano  
106Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale  
107Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
108Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar  
109Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling  
110Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:13:15 
111Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
112Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale  
113Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
114Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing  
115Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo  
116Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano  
117Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
118WoutPoels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
119Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team  
120Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
121Arthur Vanoverberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
122Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr0:16:13 
123Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFJesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFBruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFNicki Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFJos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFDavid Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFMichael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale  
DNFMichel Koch (Ger) Cannondale  
DNFDaniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale  
DNFArnaud Courteille (Fra)  
DNFMurilo Antonio Fischer (Bra)  
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra)  
DNFThomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin Sharp  
DNFSebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp  
DNFDaniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp  
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFMattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFNelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida  
DNFJurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFImanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJohn Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team  
DNFJesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJosé Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFBenat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFZdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFJulian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFMichael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge  
DNFMathew Hayman (Aus) Orica Greenedge  
DNFChristian Meier (Can) Orica Greenedge  
DNFPerrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFKoen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFThierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFAlbert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFJoaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha  
DNFSergei Chernetski (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFIan Boswell (USA) Team Sky  
DNFJoshua Edmondson (GBr) Team Sky  
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Team Sky  
DNFDanny Pate (USA) Team Sky  
DNFBen Swift (GBr) Team Sky  
DNFGeraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky  
DNFAndy Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFKristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFHaimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFManuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFNicola Testi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFOmar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFAndrea Zordan (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFBartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
DNFLukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
DNFMarek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
DNFAdrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
DNFAdrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
DNFSylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling  
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling  
DNFEdward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFPieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFWesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFMichel Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFMarco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFNico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFJames Vanlandschoot (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFSonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
DNFEnrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
DNFNicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
DNFEdoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  


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