After 132 kilometres the Amstel Gold Race came to and end for Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing). "Nicki Sörensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) got something in his wheel and went down hard," Schleck told Luxemburgish newspaper, Wort.lu. "I wanted to avoid him but hit my knee against a pole at the side of the road."
The youngest of the Schleck brothers tried to continue but the pain proved too much and had to abandon the race. "I had trouble following but did manage to get back to the peloton. But I was suffering a lot."
The crash compounds what has been a torrid few seasons for Schleck. The Ardennes classics are traditionally the focus of both Schleck brothers next to the big goal of the season: the Tour de France. Frank rode Amstel as the team's leader, finishing in 24th, with Andy setting his sights on Liège-Bastogne-Liège this Sunday. He had hoped that reuniting with his brother this season would help him find the confidence he's been sorely lacking. It looked like he might be finding it, but the crash will be a setback. Despite the fact that his last individual top ten result in a UCI-race was more than 1,000 days ago (2nd place in the 2011 Tour de France), Schleck keeps morale for the races ahead.
"I did the work I had to do to start the Classics on good form. I hope to show it in Flèche Wallonne and in Liège but I have doubts. Our Trek Factory Racing Team has competent people so I hope that we manage to resolve this problem," he concluded.