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Gasparotto wins Amstel Gold Race with Demoitie in mind

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Enrico Gasparotto wins the 2016 Amstel Gold Race

Enrico Gasparotto wins the 2016 Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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the 2016 Amstel Gold podium: Valgren, Gasparotto and Colbrelli.

the 2016 Amstel Gold podium: Valgren, Gasparotto and Colbrelli.
(Image credit: Bettini)
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Enrico Gasparotto celebrates winning the 2016 Amstel Gold Race

Enrico Gasparotto celebrates winning the 2016 Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Antoine Demoitie died after the 2016 Gent-Wevelgem

Antoine Demoitie died after the 2016 Gent-Wevelgem
(Image credit: Wanty-Groupe Gobert)
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Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) remembers Antoine Demoitié on the podium

Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) remembers Antoine Demoitié on the podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

As Enrico Gasparotto sat in the press room after winning Amstel Gold Race for the second time, he couldn’t help but cast his mind back three weeks to when he first learned of the tragic crash that claimed his teammate Antoine Demoitié’s life.

On that Sunday afternoon, Gasparotto was has in high spirits as he waited with his Wanty-Groupe Gobert companions for their flights home after a tough Volta a Catalunya. Gent-Wevelgem was taking place at the same time, and the general levity in the departures lounge at Barcelona airport was quickly dampened when word filtered through that Antoine Demoitié had been struck by a motorbike after crashing during the race, and was now in a critical condition in hospital.

“I was with Gaëten Bille, Antoine’s best friend on the team, when we got the call about his crash,” Gasparotto said in Valkenburg on Sunday. “It was a special moment. Gaëten called his wife and then we realised that he was close to death. From that point, I felt sick inside. I couldn’t sleep that night.”

Gasparotto awoke at his Swiss home on the Monday morning to the doleful confirmation that Demoitié had died, and was still processing the news when anti-doping testers knocked on his door for an out-of-competition control. “Ok, it’s our job, and we have to do the controls, but it was not the right moment to do a control,” he said.