Amstel Gold Race: Giant-Alpecin with cards to play

Dumoulin, Barguil and Geschke lead team

Giant-Alpecin head into Amstel Gold Race with a three-ponged attack in the shape of Tom Dumoulin, Warren Barguil, and Simon Geschke.

The team are still without a win this season but circumstances are mitigated after a number of their squad – including top sprinter John Degenkolb – were involved in a training ride accident in which a vehicle drove into them back in January.

The team have struggled to fill rosters in several races as a result but line-up at Amstel Gold Race with a squad capable of producing a result.

"I am really motivated to compete in my home race. I've had a good training period and I'm satisfied with my current level, as last Wednesday I felt good during the Brabantse Pijl finale," Dumoulin said.

"I expect tactically a closed race for Sunday, which has been the case in recent years. Only a select group of riders will compete for the win and normally I am not among them, I have to be realistic. I always go into a race with good expectations and a lot of ambition, and I am looking forward to Sunday."

Barguil was one of the six Giant-Alpecin riders hit by the vehicle in January. He made his comeback to racing and showed glimpses of form at the recent Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

"I am coming to Amstel Gold Race off the back of a hard week of racing in Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco. Although at the end of the week the fatigue starting to kick in but it was a good preparation to get me ready for the Ardennes campaign," he said.

"For Sunday, the parcours is tough with the short, sharp climbs but I prefer races like these and I am very motivated to do well. I am anticipating the race to be decided at the Cauberg and I'll do what I can to be there. I think a top 10 result is realistic in one of the three Ardennes races and we have got the team to achieve this."

From their leading trio only Geschke has cracked the top ten, having finished sixth in 2014. Like Barguil, the German stressed the aim of a top-ten place.

"We did a really good training ride out on the course yesterday. It was nice to be back on these roads and it helps to remind yourself of where the difficulties are,” Geschke said.

"I am feeling good and hope that I can be in a good position to contest the finish on Sunday. As a team, we will need to ride well and we will aim for a top 10 finish."

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