Niewiadoma wins Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition

Polish rider holds off Van Vleuten after Cauberg attack

Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) won the 2019 Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition, attacking on the final climb of the Cauberg and holding off Annemiek Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) in a dramatic pursuit.

The Polish rider had looked strong on previous ascents of the Cauberg and surged away from an elite group of 15 as the race hit the famous climb for the final time. Van Vleuten was late to respond but made her way up past Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) to crest in second place, leaving a nail-biting 1.8 km run-in to the line.

The time trial world champion gained and gained time on the leader, but ran out of road. Niewiadoma could sit up and celebrate in the final 15 metres, with Van Vleuten now right on her back, but the victory was by then secure.

“To be honest, I still cannot believe what happened,” Niewiadoma said. “I’m filled with so many different emotions. I’m just shivering now, inside, like, ‘Oh my god – what have I done?’ I’ve been wanting so much to win the Amstel Gold Race. I’ve been dreaming about it, and it just happened. A dream came true. It’s just so amazing. It’s beautiful.”

How it happened

With 19 classified climbs on 126.8 kilometres through southern Limburg, the women’s Amstel Gold Race offered a challenging course. The first ten hills were on a big loop that was followed by three laps of a finishing circuit with the Geulhemmerberg, Bemelerberg, and Cauberg.

A group of seven riders attacked four kilometres into the race and built a huge gap of more than five minutes with just under 100km to go. This came down again as the pace increased in the peloton on the Plettenberg with 76km to go, leading to the first splits. The attacks continued on the next hill, and an elite group of 14 chasers formed after the Fromberg.

An attack by Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv) on the first of four ascents of the Cauberg split the chasing group that reformed on the descent and caught the four remaining escapees just before the Geulhemmerberg. Although there were several attacks, nobody got away until Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo), returning to racing after her maternity leave, made a move with 41km to go.

The Briton rode away while the rest of the group was caught by the peloton, but the race was reset on the Cauberg. Deignan got passed by a select group of Van Vleuten, Niewiadoma, Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Bigla), and Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans).

Things came back together on the descent, and 19 riders entered the Geulhemmerberg together. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott), Katie Hall (Boels Dolmans) and Longo Borghini attacked and got away. The trio held a twenty-second gap onto the penultimate ascent of the Cauberg with 20 km to go where Niewiadoma attacked from the chase group and bridged to the front.

The lead trio was reeled in at the top of the Geulhemmerberg with 15km left to race, prompting a counterattack by Longo Borghini who went solo and held an advantage of 25 seconds with 9km to go. After a move by Van Vleuten on the Bemelerberg came to nothing, Moolman-Pasio and Spratt countered and could bridge to Longo Borghini 5 km from the finish.

As the three could not agree to work together, they were caught in the descent before the Cauberg. Alison Jackson (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) took her heart in both hands and attacked into the climb. She was reeled in by Van Vleuten just as Niewiadoma attacked on the right side of the road with Vos in her wheel. The Pole continued to push the pace and eventually shook off a fading Vos while Van Vleuten went on the pursuit, passing Vos at the top of the climb with 1.8km to go.

Niewiadoma’s advantage shrunk more and more on the long finishing straight and was down to only seconds at the flamme rouge, but she persisted and managed to hold off Van Vleuten. Vos led home a small group seconds later to finish third. An eighth place was enough for Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtu Cycling) to defend her lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour ranking.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon - SRAM Racing3:25:48 
2Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton Scott0:00:00 
3Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC - Liv0:00:10 
4Annika Langvad (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
5Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:00:10 
6Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Bigla0:00:10 
7Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
8Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling0:00:30 
9Alison Jackson (Can) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
10Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
11Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton Scott  
12Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek - Segafredo0:00:33 
13Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:01:06 
14Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek - Segafredo  
15Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope0:01:09 
16Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC - Liv0:02:01 
17Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb0:02:27 
18Ruth Winder (USA) Trek - Segafredo  
19Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek - Segafredo  
20Katharine Hall (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
21Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Parkhotel Valkenburg0:04:02 
22Margarita Victo Garcia Cañellas (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
23Julie Van De Velde (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
24Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg0:05:04 
25Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
26Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon - SRAM Racing  
27Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb  
28Brodie Chapman (Aus) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
29Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb  
30Anouska Koster (Ned) Team Virtu Cycling  
31Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Ale Cipollini  
32Rachel Neylan (Aus) Team Virtu Cycling  
33Marta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
34Marion Sicot (Fra) Doltcini - Van Eyck Sport Uci Women Cycling  
35Nikola Noskova (Cze) Bigla  
36Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Trek - Segafredo  
37Elise Chabbey (Swi) Bigla  
38Sophie Wright (GBr) Bigla  
39Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon - SRAM Racing0:05:09 
40Juliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb0:05:10 
41Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) CCC - Liv  
42Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek - Segafredo  
43Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:06:06 
44Elizabeth Banks (GBr) Bigla0:09:01 
45Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
46Shannon Malseed (Aus) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
47Victorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
48Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Movistar Team Women0:10:00 
49Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women  
DNFJip Van Den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
DNFKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Ale Cipollini  
DNFDiana Carolina Peñuela Martinez (Col) Ale Cipollini  
DNFNadia Quagliotto (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
DNFChloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cipollini  
DNFMikayla Harvey (NZl) Bigla  
DNFElena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon - SRAM Racing  
DNFTiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon - SRAM Racing  
DNFAlexis Ryan (USA) Canyon - SRAM Racing  
DNFRiejanne Markus (Ned) CCC - Liv  
DNFPaulien Rooijakkers (Ned) CCC - Liv  
DNFAgnieszka Skalniak (Pol) CCC - Liv  
DNFTetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) Doltcini - Van Eyck Sport Uci Women Cycling  
DNFSeverine Eraud (Fra) Doltcini - Van Eyck Sport Uci Women Cycling  
DNFJesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Doltcini - Van Eyck Sport Uci Women Cycling  
DNFMieke Docx (Bel) Doltcini - Van Eyck Sport Uci Women Cycling  
DNFAnisha Vekemans (Bel) Doltcini - Van Eyck Sport Uci Women Cycling  
DNFShara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFLauren Kitchen (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFCharlotte Becker (Ger) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFLara Defour (Bel) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFVeronika Anna Kormos (Hun) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFEsther Meisels (Isr) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFChristina Perchtold (Aut) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFZsófia Szabó (Hun) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFKylie Waterreus (Ned) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFDanielle Christmas (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFDemi De Jong (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFDanique Braam (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFPuck Moonen (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFKelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFLucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton Scott  
DNFMoniek Tenniglo (Ned) Mitchelton Scott  
DNFGracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton Scott  
DNFGrace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton Scott  
DNFAlicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFSheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFGloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFBelle De Gast (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFRoxane Knetemann (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFNina Buijsman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFLiane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb  
DNFCoryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb  
DNFNina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFRozanne Slik (Ned) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFLauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFKatrine Aalerud (Nor) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFSofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFBarbara Guarischi (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFBarbara Malcotti (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
DNFVittoria Guazzini (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
DNFIlaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
DNFDalia Muccioli (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
DNFKathrin Hammes (Ger) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
DNFAnna Badegruber (Aut) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
DNFAafke Soet (Ned) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
DNFLaura Asencio (Fra) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
DNFLea Lin Teutenberg (Ger) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  

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