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Gasparotto wins Amstel stunner

Cycling News

Italian gets first Classics victory

Enrico Gasparotto (Astana Pro Team) won a thrilling Amstel Gold Race, timing his sprint to perfection atop the Cauberg, to win ahead of Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol Team) and Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale).

Three time world champion Oscar Freire (Katusha Team) finished fourth after his bold attack in the closing 7 kilometres was caught in the final meters of the race. Two-time defending champion, Philippe Gilbert, (BMC Racing Team) had to settle for sixth behind Thomas Voeckler (Europcar).

BMC had controlled the race throughout much of the closing stages but Gilbert was left to do all the work on the final ascent of the Cauberg. His acceleration first brought back Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma QuckStep) and then Freire's dying legs to within touching distance. However the move proved as a spring board for the podium placers.

Sagan was the first rider to come around the Belgian champion but he too ran out of gas, with Gasparotto accelerating on his left and Vanendert on his right.

Maastricht treaty lasts until opening climbs

The riders had left the chilly start city of Maastricht with a blessing of rain drops and a cold northern wind on their noses. Typically many riders tried break clear on the first of the 31 climbs but nobody gained enough in the first hour of the race, which was covered at 45kph.
After nearly 60 kilometers of racing a large group finally was allowed to go. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Pello Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Raymond Kreder (Garmin-Barracuda), Alex Howes (Garmin-Barracuda), Steven Caethoven (Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda), Cedric Pineau (FDJ-Big Mat), Simone Stortoni (Lampre-ISD), Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) and Eliot Lietar (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) were the lucky men.

During the second hour they gathered a maximum lead of 13:30 on the peloton, with no teams wanting to chase. Eventually RadioShack-Nissan, BMC and Katusha took the responsibility and gradually the gap went down.

When approaching the second ascent of the Cauberg the pace in the peloton increased even more and after the Vrakelberg a first group of riders was caught behind the peloton, including outsider Cadel Evans (BMC). In front, the breakaway group lost ground. On top of the Cauberg the gap was down to less than five minutes and that was also where Evans abandoned the race.

With 55 km to go the breakaway group still had four minutes on the peloton. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) went down on the Bemelerberg and even though he was assisted by a couple of teammates his race was almost over. When the pace increased inside the final 30 kilometres he was dropped. Meanwhile Danish rider Matti Breschel (Rabobank) also abandoned the race.

The Wolfsberg, at 41km from the finish line on the Cauberg, was the first of the last string of eight climbs. It proved to be the ground where the Astana moved forward. The gap quickly dropped below two minutes and the speed went up another notch when Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank) attacked the peloton, without much success.

In front Bardet, Bilbao, Howes and Stortoni dropped their fellow breakaway companions although Kreder and Delfosse returned little later. The six remaining leaders entered the last 30km with an advantage of 1:10.

The break split further when Bardet and Howes accelerated again.

Boasson Hagen was the first contender to attack inside the final 15 kilometres but the Sky rider was unable to gain more than 100 meters, with the BMC trio of Mauro Santambrogio, Greg Van Avermaet and Gilbert holding court at the head of the race.

Avermaet, was the perfect teammate, sacrificing his chances for Gilbert, who was either confident of taking on Sagan in the sprint or lacked the legs to attack earlier.

On the penultimate climb of the Keutenberg, Boasson Hagen was swiftly brought back, with Bardet shelling his breakaway companion for the second and final time.

Sky, Astana and Katusha were able to send probing attacks off the front, and Thomas Voeckler and Sagan went briefly alone, but it was Freire who struck a decisive blow with 7km to go, just after Bardet was finally swallowed up.

Freire has never made the podium in Amstel and with Rabobank having such a poor race with Breschel out and Gesink already dropped, Freire's former Dutch team must have been reeling when the Spaniard had a gap of 13 seconds.

But it wouldn't be a Spring Classic without Omega Pharma-Quickstep having their say, and Niki Terpstra accelerated away in pursuit of the Spaniard as the race descended from the Keutenberg.

At the foot of the Cauberg Terpstra had failed to make contact, with a tiring Van Avermaet leading a 20-strong group with Gilbert latched to his wheel.

Gilbert's attack displayed elements of panic and reluctant acceptance at the same time, the rider well aware that everyone was watching him, while also knowing that Freire was on the cusp of a shock win.

Terpstra was quickly reeled in and Gilbert's second acceleration caused the chase group to splinter. Damiano Cunego (Lampre) crashed along with Lars-Peter Nordhaug (Sky), and with a fading Freire unable to hold on the race came down to the strongest, but also the freshest in the sprint for the line.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Pro Team Astana 6:32:35  
2 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:02  
4 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team    
5 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar    
6 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
7 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
8 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:04  
9 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
11 Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Pro Team Astana    
12 Frank Schleck (Lux) Radioshack-Nissan    
13 Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
14 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:09  
15 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda    
16 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:12  
17 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team    
18 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda    
19 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team    
20 Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:00:19  
21 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling    
22 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:22  
23 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank    
24 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team    
25 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:30  
26 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:00:36  
27 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team    
28 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
29 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Pro Team Astana    
30 Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:47  
31 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:51  
32 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:05  
33 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team    
34 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
35 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
36 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
37 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
38 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:01:17  
39 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
40 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Procycling    
41 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:01:30  
42 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar    
43 Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:02:03  
44 Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos - Shimano    
45 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
46 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos - Shimano    
47 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
48 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team    
49 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar    
50 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
51 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
52 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
53 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
54 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
55 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
56 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
57 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
58 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
59 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
60 Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda    
61 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
62 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
63 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:21  
64 Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
65 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
66 Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
67 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Pro Team Astana    
68 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Pro Team Astana    
69 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
70 Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan    
71 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
72 Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
73 Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale    
74 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan    
75 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda    
76 David Tanner (Aus) Team Saxo Bank    
77 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team    
78 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Pro Team Astana    
79 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:02:40  
80 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:02:51  
81 Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:03:01  
82 Christopher Horner (USA) Radioshack-Nissan 0:03:19  
83 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:43  
84 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:04:32  
85 Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
86 Bruno Pires (Por) Team Saxo Bank 0:04:46  
87 Michael Albasini (Swi) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
88 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team    
89 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
90 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin-Barracuda    
91 Andy Schleck (Lux) Radioshack-Nissan 0:05:39  
92 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
93 Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
94 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar    
95 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
96 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
97 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Argos - Shimano    
98 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale    
99 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
100 Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
101 Troels Ronning Vinther (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
102 Dominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:07:00  
103 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
104 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
105 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
106 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling    
107 Yann Huguet (Fra) Argos - Shimano    
108 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
109 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team    
110 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Pro Team Astana 0:07:33  
111 Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar    
112 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:08:02  
113 Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
114 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
115 Reinier Honig (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
116 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team    
117 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Argos - Shimano    
118 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan 0:11:26  
119 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
120 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
121 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
122 Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
123 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
124 Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:11:31  
125 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
126 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team Europcar    
127 Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
128 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
129 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
130 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
131 Daryl Impey (RSA) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
132 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
133 Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
134 Steven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
135 Simon Clarke (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
136 Oleg Chuzhda (Ukr) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
137 Peio Bilbao (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
138 Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
139 Borut Bozic (Slo) Pro Team Astana    
140 Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Argos - Shimano    
141 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
142 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
143 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda    
144 Brian Bulgac (Ned) Lotto Belisol Team    
145 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
DNF Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Jens Keukeleire (Bel) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
DNF Jens Mouris (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
DNF Christian Meier (Can) GreenEdge Cycling Team    
DNF Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha Team    
DNF Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team    
DNF Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Stefano Agostini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
DNF Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Laurent Didier (Lux) Radioshack-Nissan    
DNF Joost Posthuma (Ned) Radioshack-Nissan    
DNF Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling    
DNF Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling    
DNF Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling    
DNF Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
DNF Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
DNF Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
DNF Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
DNF Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
DNF Francesco Failli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
DNF Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
DNF Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
DNF Roberto De Patre (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
DNF Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
DNF Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
DNF Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos - Shimano    
DNF Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos - Shimano    
DNF Franck Bouyer (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
DNF Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator