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Kwiatkowski wins Amstel Gold Race

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Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) triumphs after winning Amstel Gold Race

Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) triumphs after winning Amstel Gold Race
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Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep)

Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) talks to the press at the finish of Amstel Gold Race

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) talks to the press at the finish of Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The podium at the 2015 Amstel Gold Race

The podium at the 2015 Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the attack

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the attack
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) attacks as Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) digs deep

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) attacks as Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) digs deep
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) tried to repeat his Amstel Gold Race win from 2014

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) tried to repeat his Amstel Gold Race win from 2014
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) on the attack at Amstel Gold Race

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) on the attack at Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) launches his attack on the Cauberg

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) launches his attack on the Cauberg
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Gilbert leads Matthews as they briefly distance the field

Gilbert leads Matthews as they briefly distance the field
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) had to settle for third in Amstel Gold Race

Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) had to settle for third in Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the Amstel Gold Race podium

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the Amstel Gold Race podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Van Avermaet tracks Fuglsang in Amstel Gold Race

Van Avermaet tracks Fuglsang in Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ben Hermans attacks on the Cauberg

Ben Hermans attacks on the Cauberg
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ben Hermans sets up Philippe Gilbert for an attack on the Cauberg

Ben Hermans sets up Philippe Gilbert for an attack on the Cauberg
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tony Martin marks Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

Tony Martin marks Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) leads a dangerous break

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) leads a dangerous break
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) leads Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge)

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) leads Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge) on the attack in Amstel Gold Race

Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge) on the attack in Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep)

Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing) crashed during Amstel Gold Race

Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing) crashed during Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton passes one of the many windmills on the parcours

The peloton passes one of the many windmills on the parcours
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Belgian and Flemish flags fly in the wind

Belgian and Flemish flags fly in the wind
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton climbing during the 2015 Amstel Gold Race

The peloton climbing during the 2015 Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton climbing during the 2015 Amstel Gold Race

The peloton climbing during the 2015 Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Amstel saw a number of crashes

Amstel saw a number of crashes
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wilco Kelderman (Lotto Jumbo)

Wilco Kelderman (Lotto Jumbo)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Dennis Vanendert (Lotto Soudal) was one of the riders to crash today

Dennis Vanendert (Lotto Soudal) was one of the riders to crash today
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Michael Reihs surveys the crash site while holding a broken front wheel in his hand

Michael Reihs surveys the crash site while holding a broken front wheel in his hand
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lieuwe Westra (Astana) trying to work out how he ended up in the woods after crashing

Lieuwe Westra (Astana) trying to work out how he ended up in the woods after crashing
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) at the start line

Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) at the start line
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marcus Burghardt (BMC)

Marcus Burghardt (BMC)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) getting aero

Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) getting aero
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Michał Kwiatkowski and Etixx-Quick Step teammate Gianni Meersman celebrate victory

Michał Kwiatkowski and Etixx-Quick Step teammate Gianni Meersman celebrate victory
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the podium in second place

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the podium in second place
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) on the podium

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) on the podium
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) enjoys his Amstel after claiming his first road win in the rainbow jersey

Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) enjoys his Amstel after claiming his first road win in the rainbow jersey
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The peloton passes by a wind mill

The peloton passes by a wind mill
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Movistar in the peloton

Movistar in the peloton
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) attack as Ben Hermans (BMC) fades after his earlier attack to set up Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) attack as Ben Hermans (BMC) fades after his earlier attack to set up Gilbert
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) didn't win Amstel Gold Race but won the race to the top of the Cauberg

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) didn't win Amstel Gold Race but won the race to the top of the Cauberg
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) on the Cauberg

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) on the Cauberg
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Matt Goss (MTN-Qhubeka)

Matt Goss (MTN-Qhubeka)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka)

Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Linus Gerdemann (Cult Energy) leads Laurens De Vreese (Astana)

Linus Gerdemann (Cult Energy) leads Laurens De Vreese (Astana)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Arthur Vichot (FDJ) and Robert Kišerlovski (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Arthur Vichot (FDJ) and Robert Kišerlovski (Tinkoff-Saxo)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin) alongside Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)

Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin) alongside Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Rafa Valls (Lampre-Merida)

Rafa Valls (Lampre-Merida)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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British champion Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky)

British champion Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lars Boom (Astana)

Lars Boom (Astana)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Songezo Jim (MTN-Qhubeka)

Songezo Jim (MTN-Qhubeka)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) and fellow Australian David Tanner (IAM Cycling) animated the race late today

Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) and fellow Australian David Tanner (IAM Cycling) animated the race late today
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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David Tanner (IAM Cycling) was active today

David Tanner (IAM Cycling) was active today
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin)

Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling)

Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Diego Ulissi (Lampre Merida)

Diego Ulissi (Lampre Merida)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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LottoNL-Jumbo presented the crowd

LottoNL-Jumbo presented the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC are presented to the crowd

BMC are presented to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mikaël Cherel (Ag2r-La Mondiale)

Mikaël Cherel (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dani Moreno (Katusha)

Dani Moreno (Katusha)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha)

Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) on the Gulpenberg

Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) on the Gulpenberg
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Johann Van Zyl (Mtn-Qhubeka)

Johann Van Zyl (Mtn-Qhubeka)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida)

Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lars Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky)

Lars Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge)

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) riding in the middle of the peloton

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) riding in the middle of the peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step)

Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step)

Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bert-Jan Lindeman (Lotto-Jumbo)

Bert-Jan Lindeman (Lotto-Jumbo)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek) gets out of the saddle

Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek) gets out of the saddle
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Local Tom Dumoulin and Giant-Alpecin are presented to the crowd

Local Tom Dumoulin and Giant-Alpecin are presented to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC at the team presentation in Maastricht

BMC at the team presentation in Maastricht
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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There was plenty of support for the riders in Maastricht

There was plenty of support for the riders in Maastricht
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Bakelants (Ag2r) drops back to the team car

Jan Bakelants (Ag2r) drops back to the team car
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty Groupe Gobert)

Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty Groupe Gobert)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcus Burghardt (BMC)

Marcus Burghardt (BMC)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fränk Schleck (Trek)

Fränk Schleck (Trek)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bauke Mollema (Trek)

Bauke Mollema (Trek)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 1.64 metre tall Julián Arredondo (Trek) and 1.99 metre giant Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx-Quick Step)

The 1.64 metre tall Julián Arredondo (Trek) and 1.99 metre giant Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx-Quick Step)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek)

Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Etixx-Quick Step keep Michał Kwiatkowski safe

Etixx-Quick Step keep Michał Kwiatkowski safe
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Linus Gerdemann (Cult Energy) on the front

Linus Gerdemann (Cult Energy) on the front
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The early breakaway

The early breakaway
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A scenic shot of the peloton

A scenic shot of the peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton on the smaller roads of the race

The peloton on the smaller roads of the race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Carlos Betancur (Ag2r)

Carlos Betancur (Ag2r)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Carlos Betancur (Ag2r)

Carlos Betancur (Ag2r)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A smiling Sammy Sánchez (BMC)

A smiling Sammy Sánchez (BMC)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin)

Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin)

Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx - Quick-Step)

Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx - Quick-Step)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mike Terpstra (Team Roompot)

Mike Terpstra (Team Roompot)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Timo Roosen (Lotto Jumbo) wills himself up the climb

Timo Roosen (Lotto Jumbo) wills himself up the climb
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC lead the peloton

BMC lead the peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ben Hermans (BMC)

Ben Hermans (BMC)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Losado (Katusha)

Alberto Losado (Katusha)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) with reporters from RAI after the race

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) with reporters from RAI after the race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marco Marcato (Wanty Groupe Gobert) and Samuel Sánchez (BMC) post crash

Marco Marcato (Wanty Groupe Gobert) and Samuel Sánchez (BMC) post crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sergey Lagutin (Katusha) tries to get back on his bike with bloodied hands

Sergey Lagutin (Katusha) tries to get back on his bike with bloodied hands
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Samuel Sánchez (BMC) gets back on after being involved in a crash

Samuel Sánchez (BMC) gets back on after being involved in a crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ramūnas Navardauskas (Cannondale-Garmin)

Ramūnas Navardauskas (Cannondale-Garmin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Danish champion Michael Valgren (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Danish champion Michael Valgren (Tinkoff-Saxo)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin)

Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Samuel Sánchez (BMC) with his tongue out

Samuel Sánchez (BMC) with his tongue out
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Poels (Team Sky)

Wout Poels (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Italian champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

Italian champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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David Tanner (IAM Cycling) with Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge)

David Tanner (IAM Cycling) with Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Damiano Caruso (BMC) took the wrong line into a corner and hit the ground hard

Damiano Caruso (BMC) took the wrong line into a corner and hit the ground hard
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wilco Kelderman (Lotto Jumbo) on the attack

Wilco Kelderman (Lotto Jumbo) on the attack
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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David Tanner animated the race for IAM Cycling

David Tanner animated the race for IAM Cycling
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rory Sutherland brings Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) back into the peloton

Rory Sutherland brings Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) back into the peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The podium at the 2015 Amstel Gold Race

The podium at the 2015 Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) wins Amstel Gold Race 2015

Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) wins Amstel Gold Race 2015
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) wins Amstel Gold Race 2015

Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) wins Amstel Gold Race 2015
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) wins Amstel Gold Race 2015

Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) wins Amstel Gold Race 2015
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The sprint for the line at the end of Amstel Gold Race

The sprint for the line at the end of Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The sprint for the line at the end of Amstel Gold Race

The sprint for the line at the end of Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale)

Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The podium at the 2015 Amstel Gold Race

The podium at the 2015 Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) celebrates his Amstel Gold Race victory on the podium

Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) celebrates his Amstel Gold Race victory on the podium
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Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) lifts his arms in a victory salute

Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) lifts his arms in a victory salute
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Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) waves to the crowds after winning Amstel Gold Race

Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) waves to the crowds after winning Amstel Gold Race
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Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) beats Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge)

Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) beats Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge)
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World champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) wins Amstel Gold Race

World champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) wins Amstel Gold Race
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The peloton climbs during the 50th edition of the 258km Amstel Gold Race

The peloton climbs during the 50th edition of the 258km Amstel Gold Race
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Belgian racer Laurens de Vreese of Astana Pro Team leads a breakaway

Belgian racer Laurens de Vreese of Astana Pro Team leads a breakaway
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The peloton races past a windmill during the 50th edition of the Amstel Gold Race

The peloton races past a windmill during the 50th edition of the Amstel Gold Race
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Andrea Piechele of Italy and Bardiani-CSF

Andrea Piechele of Italy and Bardiani-CSF
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The team presentation at the start of Amstel Gold Race

The team presentation at the start of Amstel Gold Race
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) before the start of the Amstel Gold Race

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) before the start of the Amstel Gold Race

Michał Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) claimed his first road race win as World champion with a perfectly executed sprint at the end of Amstel Gold Race.

The Pole was briefly distanced on the final ascent of the Cauberg by defending champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and sprinter Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) but the Etixx-QuickStep rider fought back with several other riders, including Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) as the leading contenders crested the climb.

Matthews and Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) opened their sprints first but it was Kwiatkowski who powered clear to win by a bike length with Valverde second and Matthews third.

The expected showdown on the Caugberg delivered a close affair with BMC determined to retain their defence of the race. Ben Hermans accelerated at almost the exact point at which Samuel Sanchez has 12 months ago and like last year Gilbert delivered the next punch with a power acceleration of his own. However, unlike 12 months ago, the Belgian was unable to shed all of his opposition and it was Matthews, third in Milan-San Remo, who glued himself to the Belgian’s rear wheel.

Kwiatkowski looked determined to make it three riders in front when he moved up the front of the chase group but it was the experienced Valverde who cut the distance in no time to make it a three-man move.

It all looked decisive enough, only that Gilbert’s accelerations hadn’t caused the damage they had last year and a large group, containing Kwiatkowski and many of the other pre-race favourites were able to regain contact in the 1.8 kilometres between the crest of the climb and the finish.

Kwiatkowski was almost dead-last with around 500 metres to go but he ambled his way through a gap behind Tony Gallopin before unleashing a long-distance sprint of supreme quality.

How it unfolded

The third climb of the day had been and gone by the time six men went clear of the bunch with Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Jan Polanc (Lampre), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Linus Gerdemann (Cult Energy), Johan Van Zyl (MTN-Qhubeka) and Mike Terpstra (Team Roompot) going clear. The bunch were tentative at first in letting them go but they finally allowed them some space and the gap quickly grew to a substantial 10 minutes by the feed zone.

Behind the leaders, BMC and CCC Sprandi Polkowice controlled the bunch, with the Polish team hoping to keep their two former champions Davide Rebellin and Stefan Schumacher out of trouble. Others weren’t so lucky though and a number of riders, including last year’s second placed rider Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Soudal), came down in a crash. Lieuwe Westra (Astana) was another to greet the tarmac and he soon became the first rider to abandon.

As the escapees crossed the finish line, their advantage was cut to less than six minutes under a concerted effort from the peloton.

Valverde’s Movistar teammates picked up the pace setting with around 80 kilometres to go, pulling out a small gap on the bunch on the first descent of the Bemelerberg and bringing the advantage of the escapees down to under four minutes. A mechanical problem for Valverde meant that the Spanish team soon found themselves at the back as they paced their leader back to the group.

As the race neared the final lap, the leading group held less than a minute over the main group and began shelling riders. Only three remained with 44 kilometres remaining.

The first flurry of late attacks came on the Eyserbowsbeg in the form of David Tanner (IAM Cycling) and Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge).

Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) helped form a five-man chasing group with Nibali and his Astana teammate Diego Rosa, Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Damiano Caruso (BMC) and Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin).

The new leading group worked well together to hold a 35-second lead on the peloton after the Fromberg. The chasers were close behind, at only 11 seconds as Rosa set the pace on the front of the second group on the road. There was a disastrous moment for Kelderman, as he missed a corner and went cross-country through a field. The Dutchman managed to stay but he was unable to make contact with the chase group.

Nibali appeared unhappy with the level of commitment from his breakaway companions and despite his group and that of Tanner and Clarke forming one unit, the Italian looked unsettled. When Rosa and Caruso crashed on a corner the remnants of the break carried on but their impetus was well and truly lost as Movistar orchestrated the chase.

With the peloton closing and Nibali cutting a frustrated figure Clarke launched another attack. He had two climbs to go but his effort was key in allowing Matthews a relatively easy ride but when the former KOM winner in the Vuelta was caught Orica moved to the front with their sprinter neatly tucked in.

BMC were also present, and having marked a number of attacks leading into the final ascent of the Cauberg, they put all their chips on Gilbert retaining his title on a finish he had also become world champion on. However it wasn’t to be, with the current holder of the rainbow jersey asserting his position and authority.

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Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step6:31:49
2Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
3Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
4Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
5Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
7Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step
8Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
9Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
10Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
11Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha
12Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
13Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha
14Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
15Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
16Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky
17Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
18Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:03
19Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:18
20Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka
21Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Team Roompot
22Michael Valgren (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
23Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
24Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
25Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Team Katusha
26Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
27Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
28Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
29Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
30Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
31Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
32Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha
33Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky
34Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
35Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
36Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:00:26
37Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
38Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
39Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin
40Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
41Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
42Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr
43Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:52
44Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
45Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale
46Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN - Qhubeka
47Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
48Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
49Diego ** Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
50Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
51Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
52Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
53Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida
54Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
55Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
56Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
57Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team
58Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
59Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
60Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff-Saxo
61Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot
62Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
63Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro Team
64Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:59
65Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:20
66Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:32
67Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge
68Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge
69Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge
70Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
71Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky
72Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin
73Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:40
74Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team Katusha0:02:14
75David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling
76Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:02:21
77Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step0:04:27
78Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:04:53
79Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling0:04:56
80Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:05:47
81Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
82Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:06:42
83Marinus Cornelis Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
84Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
85Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
86Marc Demaar (Ned) Team Roompot
87Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
88Huub Duyn (Ned) Team Roompot
89Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
90Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
91Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Team Roompot0:06:47
92Oliver Naesen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
93Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team
94Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha
95Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
96Daniele Colli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
97Michal Golas (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step
98Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
99Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha
100Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing
101Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida
102Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
103Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida
104Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
105Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ.fr
106Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr
107Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF
108Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
109Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
110Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
111Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
112Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
113Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
114Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Cult Energy Pro Cycling0:07:56
115Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha
116Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:08:59
117Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Team Roompot
118Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
119Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
120Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN - Qhubeka
121Yannick Eijssen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
122Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
123Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
124Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.fr
125Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:09:59
126Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:10:48
127Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:12:21
128Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:13:47
129Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFBen Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFChristophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) FDJ.fr
DNFOlivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.fr
DNFAnthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr
DNFJussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.fr
DNFLars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team
DNFLieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team
DNFStijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFReto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
DNFVicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) IAM Cycling
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFValerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFDennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFJasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team
DNFImanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFJosé Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team
DNFMathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
DNFChristian Meier (Can) Orica GreenEdge
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
DNFMatej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
DNFRoy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFKoen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFThierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFAlbert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFZico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFBertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFTimo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFNick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFJos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFNathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky
DNFPeter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky
DNFPhilip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky
DNFXabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Team Sky
DNFWouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky
DNFJesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNFEvgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNFFumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek Factory Racing
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
DNFCalvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing
DNFSimone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFNicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFAndrea Piechele (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFStefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFStefan Schumacher (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFRussell Downing (GBr) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
DNFLinus Gerdemann (Ger) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
DNFAlex Kirsch (Lux) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
DNFChristian Mager (Ger) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
DNFMichael Reihs (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
DNFTroels Ronning Vinther (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
DNFMatthew Harley Goss (Aus) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFJohann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFSongezo Jim (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFDaniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFGiacomo Berlato (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFIuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFAlessandro Malaguti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFRiccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFGenki Yamamoto (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFReinier Honig (Ned) Team Roompot
DNFMike Terpstra (Ned) Team Roompot
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFArthur Van Overberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFMarco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFJan Ghyselinck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNSDries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling
DNSThomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling

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