Gilbert wins 2014 Amstel Gold Race

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) won the Amstel Gold Race for a third time in his career on Sunday after making a signature winning move during the last ascent of the Cauberg. The former world champion and Ardennes Classics triple crown winner crossed the finish line with a victory salute ahead of chasers Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) in second and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) in third.

"This was a particularly emotional win for me," Gilbert said. "My wife and my kids were here for the first time in two years. So to have won will be something they will never forget. I have been dreaming of this."

The Belgian made his timely attack near the base of the Cauberg during the fourth and last of the smaller finishing circuits. A series of riders, including Vanendert and Gerrans, jumped out of the dwindled main field in response to the attack but were unable to close the gap before the finish line in Valkenburg.

Gilbert’s move came after the field caught breakaway riders Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen), Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC). His teammate Samuel Sanchez set him up perfectly with an attack at the base of the Cauberg that forced Orica-GreenEdge to chase. The move drew out Gerrans and Valverde, but Gilbert launched on the left side of the road with devastating force and soloed the final 3km to victory.

"My teammates really did a great job before the final ascension of the Cauberg," Gilbert said. "They all did a very good job to place me in the best position. During the briefing, it was planned for Samuel to do an attack at the foot of the Cauberg. It was not a surprise for me, but I think it was one for my adversaries. I only had to wait for the best moment to attack. And I did that when it was most difficult and hurting for everyone."

How it unfolded

The 250km classic started in Maastricht and ended with four smaller circuits on the Cauberg, with the finish line about 1.8km past the top of the climb. The race is notorious for its twisty and narrow roads, short and steep climbs, and a strong collection of fans. There were some 34 climbs on a parcours and not many flat sections, making this race a of attrition. It is the first of three Ardennes Classics, followed by La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Under pleasantly dry and sunny conditions, Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) took the start line as the defending champion alongside a series of other previous winners including former Ardennes Classics triple crown champions Gilbert and Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat).

Pim Ligthart (Lotto Belisol) kicked of the day’s breakaway right off the start line and was joined by seven other riders to establish a four-minute lead during the first kilometres of the race. The eight-man move also included Van Hecke, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Matej Mohoric (Cannondale), Manuel Belletti (Androni Venezuela), Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling), James Van Landschoot (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Nicola Boem (Bardiani CSF).

Riblon and Rory Sutherland (Tinkoff-Saxo) bridged across to the move and they gained nearly 14 minutes ahead of a seemingly content main peloton over the day’s fourth climb, the Bergeseweg.

With a tough 200km still ahead, the breakaway worked in unison to reach the first ascent over the Cauberg, where they picked up another minute in their quest to stay ahead of the field.

BMC led much of the initial chase from the peloton, keeping the breakaway in check for Gilbert, who proved to be in top form after winning De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne last Wednesday. “[Winning De Brabantse Pijl] was important because I am a winner and I’m always racing to win,” Gilbert said. “It was important for me to gain the trust of my team. It is also a very beautiful race and it was important on the calendar so I wanted to win it, but yes, it was also important for today.”

Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Katusha eventually sent some of their riders to aide in BMC’s efforts to bring the gap down to a more manageable distance as the race approached the half-way point. Movistar also joined in the chase and the gap came down to eight minutes over the Vrakelberg and toward the Eyserbosweg.

For the second consecutive year, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was sidelined after an unfortunate accident with 150 km to go. The crash also involved Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing), who later abandoned the race as well.

The gap continued to fall when Omega Pharma-QuickStep joined the chase over the Cauberg for the second time with roughly 80km to go. Some of the breakaway riders struggled to stay on pace after such a long effort.

With 35km to go, Boem, Van Hecke and Riblon continued on ahead in hopes of holding a small gap into the final circuits. Boem, who previously tried to make a move on his own, ended up losing contact with his two companions.

A few kilometres back, over the top of the Kruisberg, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) made an attack to try and bridge across to the pair of leaders. He was joined by Fuglsang, Van Avermaet, Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), but the main field followed just 20 seconds back.

Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) attacked from the bunch in a bid to bridge to Voeckler’s group. Paul Martens (Belkin) and Bjorn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) also made it across.

Van Hecke and Riblon muscled over the Cauberg for the second to last time with just under two minutes ahead of Voeckler’s group and another 20 seconds ahead of the main field. But a series of attacks were beginning to start from the main bunch including a strong but short-lived move from Garmin-Sharp’s Nathan Haas.

Up the road, Weening tried to take a flyer out of Voeckler’s chase group but Fuglsang countered and eventually Van Avermaet, Leukemans, Kolobnev and Martens caught back up to the pair on the descent.

The leading duo, Van Hecke and Riblon, tried desperately to hang on to a small lead with less than 15km to go but the gap had dropped to just 30 seconds. Van Avermaet and Fuglsang were the last to remain from the chase group while the rest were reabsorbed back into the peloton.

Van Hecke, Riblon, Fuglsang and Van Avermaet united as the race headed over the Bemelerberg, however, Garmin-Sharp and Omega Pharma-QuickStep led the main field just 10 seconds behind. Ultimately, the field came back together with seven kilometres to the finish line.

Orica-GreenEdge buried themselves at the front of the field to put their favourites Gerrans and Michael Matthews in top position heading into the final climb over the Cauberg.

Gilbert launched an attack at the base of the ascent with three kilometres to go and opened an instant gap. Gerrans, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) tried to respond but it was too late, and with only a few hundred metres to go, Gilbert was on his way to winning his third Amstel Gold Race.

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Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team6:25:57
2Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:05
3Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica Greenedge0:00:06
4Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano0:00:10
7Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team KatushaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar0:00:12
11Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 10 - Cell 2
12Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenedgeRow 11 - Cell 2
13Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 12 - Cell 2
14Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin SharpRow 13 - Cell 2
15Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.frRow 14 - Cell 2
16Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team KatushaRow 15 - Cell 2
17Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-MeridaRow 16 - Cell 2
18Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 17 - Cell 2
19Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:21
20Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 19 - Cell 2
21Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin SharpRow 20 - Cell 2
22Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.frRow 22 - Cell 2
24Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:00:23
25Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:36
26Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 26 - Cell 2
28Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 27 - Cell 2
29Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 29 - Cell 2
31Marco Marcato (Ita) CannondaleRow 30 - Cell 2
32Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani-CSFRow 31 - Cell 2
33Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 32 - Cell 2
34Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 33 - Cell 2
35Alex Howes (USA) Garmin SharpRow 34 - Cell 2
36Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM CyclingRow 35 - Cell 2
37Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 36 - Cell 2
38Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 37 - Cell 2
39Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team SkyRow 38 - Cell 2
40Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:01
42Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team EuropcarRow 44 - Cell 2
46Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 46 - Cell 2
48Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CannondaleRow 48 - Cell 2
50Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 49 - Cell 2
51Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:01:32
54Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 53 - Cell 2
55Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.frRow 54 - Cell 2
56Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenedgeRow 55 - Cell 2
57Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-MeridaRow 56 - Cell 2
58Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani-CSFRow 57 - Cell 2
59Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:02:03
61Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:02:16
63Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team Katusha0:02:54
64Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team KatushaRow 63 - Cell 2
65Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La MondialeRow 64 - Cell 2
66Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica Greenedge0:03:07
68Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:03:23
69Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:03:32
70Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp0:05:36
71Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin SharpRow 70 - Cell 2
72Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:06:26
73Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 72 - Cell 2
74Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM CyclingRow 73 - Cell 2
75Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM CyclingRow 74 - Cell 2
76Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenedgeRow 75 - Cell 2
77Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:08:45
78Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team0:10:00
79Nathan Earle (Aus) Team SkyRow 78 - Cell 2
80Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory RacingRow 79 - Cell 2
81Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 80 - Cell 2
82Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto BelisolRow 81 - Cell 2
83Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 82 - Cell 2
84Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 83 - Cell 2
85Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 84 - Cell 2
86Kévin Reza (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 85 - Cell 2
87Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Androni GiocattoliRow 86 - Cell 2
88Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 87 - Cell 2
89Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 88 - Cell 2
90Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 90 - Cell 2
92Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 91 - Cell 2
93Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) CannondaleRow 92 - Cell 2
94Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Antonio Parrinello (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 94 - Cell 2
96Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.frRow 95 - Cell 2
97Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 96 - Cell 2
98Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto BelisolRow 97 - Cell 2
99Jérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM CyclingRow 98 - Cell 2
100Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 99 - Cell 2
101Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 100 - Cell 2
102Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 102 - Cell 2
104Karsten Kroon (Ned) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 103 - Cell 2
105Dries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 104 - Cell 2
106Davide Villella (Ita) CannondaleRow 105 - Cell 2
107Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani-CSFRow 106 - Cell 2
108Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 107 - Cell 2
109Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 108 - Cell 2
110Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:13:15
111Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 110 - Cell 2
112Matej Mohoric (Slo) CannondaleRow 111 - Cell 2
113Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani-CSFRow 112 - Cell 2
114Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory RacingRow 113 - Cell 2
115Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 114 - Cell 2
116Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 115 - Cell 2
117Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 116 - Cell 2
118WoutPoels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 117 - Cell 2
119Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro TeamRow 118 - Cell 2
120Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 119 - Cell 2
121Arthur Vanoverberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 120 - Cell 2
122Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr0:16:13
123Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFJesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFBruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFNicki Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFJos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) CannondaleRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFMichel Koch (Ger) CannondaleRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFDaniele Ratto (Ita) CannondaleRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFArnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ.frRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFMurilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ.frRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ.frRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin SharpRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFSebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin SharpRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Martin (Irl) Garmin SharpRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFMattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFNelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-MeridaRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFJurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFImanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Gadret (Fra) Movistar TeamRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFJesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFJon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFJosé Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFBenat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFZdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFJulian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenedgeRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFMathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenedgeRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFChristian Meier (Can) Orica GreenedgeRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFPerrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFKoen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFThierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFAlbert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFJoaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team KatushaRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFSergei Chernetski (Rus) Team KatushaRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFIan Boswell (USA) Team SkyRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFJoshua Edmondson (GBr) Team SkyRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFDanny Pate (USA) Team SkyRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFBen Swift (GBr) Team SkyRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFGeraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFAndy Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 166 - Cell 2
DNFKristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory RacingRow 167 - Cell 2
DNFHaimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory RacingRow 168 - Cell 2
DNFManuel Belletti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 169 - Cell 2
DNFNicola Testi (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 170 - Cell 2
DNFOmar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 171 - Cell 2
DNFAndrea Zordan (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 172 - Cell 2
DNFBartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 173 - Cell 2
DNFLukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 174 - Cell 2
DNFMarek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 175 - Cell 2
DNFAdrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 176 - Cell 2
DNFAdrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 177 - Cell 2
DNFSylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM CyclingRow 178 - Cell 2
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM CyclingRow 179 - Cell 2
DNFEdward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 180 - Cell 2
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 181 - Cell 2
DNFPieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - BaloiseRow 182 - Cell 2
DNFWesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 183 - Cell 2
DNFMichel Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 184 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 185 - Cell 2
DNFNico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 186 - Cell 2
DNFJames Vanlandschoot (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 187 - Cell 2
DNFSonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSFRow 188 - Cell 2
DNFEnrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSFRow 189 - Cell 2
DNFNicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSFRow 190 - Cell 2
DNFEdoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani-CSFRow 191 - Cell 2


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