Skip to main content

Live coverage

Amstel Gold Race 2016

Hello and welcome to our live coverage from Amstel Gold Race.

 

 We're in Maastricht for the start of Amstel Gold Race. the Cobbled Classics are now history as we turn towards the Ardennes. The start is about 15 minutes away and riders are signing on and gathering at the startline for the roll out. 

Ahead of the peloton, 258-kilometre and 34-climbs including several ascents of the Cauberg. The riders tackle the Cauberg for a final time in the closing kilometres and that's typically where the race is won. However the additional 1.8km run to the finish after the climb has become a crucial and in many ways, welcome addition. 

 

It's a lovely spring morning though as the riders make their way to the startline. The UCI have been out checking bikes for motors, as is typically the case at races this season.

 

News: Bronzini hopes Euskal Emakumeen stage win boosts Olympic chances: Two-time world champion Giorgia Bronzi... https://t.co/h3n7l7W425

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 17th Apr 2016 08:00:21

News: Day-long breakaway leads to Liege-Bastogne-Liege U23 win for Owen: Logan Owen was the final survivor fro... https://t.co/u71a6ulKGp

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 17th Apr 2016 08:00:21

It's an impressive start list for this morning's sign-in too. The defending champion, Kwiatkowski is here and he's backed by a decent-looking Team Sky that includes Segio Henao, Ben Swift and Wout Poels.

 

We spoke to Kwiatkowski yesterday afternoon, and here's what the Pole had to say:
 

“We’ve got a really good group of guys and I’m always confident when coming into races with the team. All the guys are around me and that give me confidence both before and during racing. That’s why I signed for Team Sky, so that I could have that level of support.

“It’s really important, to have more than one guy who can win the race though. If you look at Tinkoff they had Peter Sagan and it worked out for him in Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders but sometimes it can be harder when you just one guy to work for, as we saw with some teams in Roubaix. That’s our strength in some ways, because if you look back at a race like Milan-San Remo, I was able to attack on the Poggio but then we had Ben Swift for the sprint and he took second. We ride well as a team and we’ll try and do that over the next few races.”

 

Read the full story, here.

 

Watch Henao today too. We've seen how critical the 'last man' can be in this race. Remember Sammie Sanchez setting up Gilbert's last win a couple of years ago?

 

Over in the Etixx camp, there are a few 'top, top players' in the mix. Julian Alaphilippe burst onto the scene last year and although he's not hit those heights yet in 2016, the signs are that his form is improving. Petr Vakoč and Bob Jungels also make the team and the former is in the form of his life. 

 

Further down the start list, Davide Rebellin. Interesting fact but did you know that the first time 'Tintin' rode Amstel Gold, the internet was still in black and white. Incredible, isn't it?

 

He's of course won this race too. Back in 2004 when he won all three Ardennes to complete the best three-day week of his career. He tested positive for EPO in 2008.

 

The riders are off, by the way, and they're rolling through the neutralized zone at the moment. CCC riders on the front, along with a few Roompot lads.

 

The racing's just got going at #AGR. Nice to see our Dutch star @WoutPoels get a warm reception before the start. https://t.co/uYmLAX0z3x

@TeamSky Sun, 17th Apr 2016 08:18:49

The complete start list is here, if you want to take a gander. It's genuinely a really strong field if you don't believe me.

 

 

Orica head into the race with two leaders and a Paris-Roubaix winner in their ranks. Mat Hayman lines up after his memorable win last week in France but for this race the interesting angle is the relationship between Matthews and Gerrans. 

 

Why is that, you ask? Well, they've not raced together since the Worlds last year in which Matthews criticised Gerrans' riding in the closing kms. Orica have done an exceptional job of keep the pair apart but still winning this season but today's a big test for them. Both have been on the podium and both are due a massive Classics win. Can they pull it off? Let me know what you think on the Twitters, right here

 

Steep climbs? Narrow and twisting roads? No worries, the guys are ready! #AGR #WayToRide https://t.co/T2COKoqBm1

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 17th Apr 2016 08:25:43

First bit of news from the race and it's not great. Trek Factory confirm that Fabio Felline crashed in the neutral zone and is out of the race. Hope he's not too banged up.

 

One non-starter was Westra, who was pulled from Astana's line-up yesterday morning due to flu. He's been replaced by Diego Rosa, who won a stage at Pais Vasco and then did a pretty respectable Filippo Simeoni impression by lifting his bike above his head when he crossed the line.

 

 

A bit of a dark horse for today - Luis Leon Sanchez. He's on form and could be given a free role today. Fabio Aru also lines up for Astana but Fleche and Liege perhaps suit him a little more than today. 

 

 

Team presentation #AGR @lampre_merida https://t.co/Lhr4peXQ9n https://t.co/eNZHUpPrRu

@lampre_merida Sun, 17th Apr 2016 08:34:42

Less than 5km into the race now, and no breaks from the peloton although there have been a few attacks as the early break starts to come together. 

 

A group of four riders has gone clear of the peloton but their lead is a rather slender 10 seconds. No names yet from race radio but hopefully they'll trickle through in the coming minutes. 

 

It's mid-April and Giant-Alpecin are still without a win this year. Of course a major factor in that was the early-season incident in which a car drove into six of their riders but they come into today's race with three cards to play. You can read about their Amstel hopes, right here.

 

Team LottoNl-Jumbo are slightly similar in that they don't have a standout favourite for the race but they do have e few riders who can animate the action. 


Robert Gesink will be in a confident mood after re-signing with the team for another two years, while Wilco Kelderman looks to be back to somewhere near his best. He led Pais Vasco until his crash. Sep Vanmarcke is also in the team.

 

Rider 57 has abandoned the race. That's Lotto Soudal's Tiesj Benoot. Reports are that he's ill. That's a blow for the Belgian team but they still have the likes of Tony Gallopin, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens in their ranks. 

 

227km remaining from 251km

Meanwhile that four-man break is no more, and the peloton are back together. 227km to go!

 

20km into the race and we've still not seen a truly significant move off the front of the peloton. The attacks continue though and the pace is high so it's only a matter of time before the elastic snaps. 

 

Astana and BMC Racing are both on the front and trying to force a move, which is interesting in itself, given the firepower they have for the finale, and it's caused the peloton to split in two.

 

That gap, though, is quickly closed and the two groups merge into one.

 

This year is the first time since 2011 that Movistar have not raced Amstel Gold with Alejandro Valverde as team leader.


As sports director Jose Luis Arrieta tells Cyclingnews, “above all it means less pressure and the responsibility, given we don’t have a guaranteed top favourite. We want to do it well, and Dani [Moreno] has done this well, whilst Giovanni Visconti rode very strongly in the Vuelta al País Vasco and won the GP Amorebieta. Then we’ve got the Izaguirre brothers, who couldn’t do País Vasco because they were ill but who are on the way back up again. Gorka was second in the GP Amorebieta.”


“It’s a good squad, but it’s lacking that top contender to finish off the job. Dani’s maybe going to be able to do something, and we’ll see. It’s a hope, rather than a certainty, that he’ll do that.The big favourite for me is Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky).”

 

30km down and the peloton is still together. A few more attacks rain down but nothing can stick due to the intense pressure and pace from the main field.

Catch your Amstel Gold Race start list https://t.co/T4sHYTQlzF https://t.co/uTksMAGLgg

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 17th Apr 2016 09:05:43

Joaquim Rodriguez: "Of the three Ardennes Classics, this is the one that suits me the least. If they had the old finish at the top of the Cauberg that would have been better for me. But it’s a tough race and hard to predict. I’m in good form, coming up after País Vasco, though, so I’m optimistic."

 

While we wait for the break to form, now is probably a good time to view our 'top ten riders to watch in the Ardennes' video. It's right here

 

There's a crash involving Teunissen but the LottoNL Jumbo rider is okay to continue. The pace has been rapid for the first hour today.

 

Do we finally have a break? 11 riders have a few seconds on the peloton but they've not sat up yet.

 

Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), fourth in Amstel Gold last year and fourth in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and twice a top 20 finisher before that in the Dutch Classic, is looking to break into the podium this year if he can. “It’s a big race, and there are some very fast riders here who can surely open up some big gaps at the top of the climb,” he told Cyclingnews, “Simon Gerrans, Michal Kwiatkowski…I hope that my legs are good, I was certainly going well in Pais Vasco” - where he took seventh - “and if we can try something right at the end, then I’ll do that. But Liege is my favourite of the three Ardennes Classics.”

 

35km and the break has formed. There are 11 men - De Vreese (Astana), Devriendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Didier (Trek), Howes (Cannondale), Montaguti (AG2R), Bono (Lampre), Reza (FDJ), Warbasse (IAM), Cerny (CCC) , Grellier (Direct Energy) and Berlato (Nippo).

 

208km remaining from 251km

The 11 leaders have 1:45 over the peloton so that's the break for the day. Probably. 

 

Howes has been in the main break in Amstel on at least one occasion. The American has become a familiar face within the Cannondale collective for the Ardennes and his job here today will be relieve pressure on the rest of the team back in the peloton.

 

 

 

Petr Vakoc (Etixx-QuickStep):

I went up the Cauberg last year and we did a couple of more times on the recon on Friday, it’s a really hard climb, but it’s relatively short but it’s always where the race is decided, there’s a big group on the climb and then it’s all going to come apart. We will see how the race develops, it’ll depend on the size of the group and the wind direction, but if I see an opportunity to attack like last Wednesday in Brabantse Pijl, I’ll take it. I didn’t hesitate then and if I see an opportunity I will try to go. My favourites? It’s definitely Michael Matthews, Philippe Gilbert even though he’s injured and Simon Gerrans.

 

202km remaining from 251km

Just over 200km to go and the break have extended their lead over the peloton to 4'02. The bunch have let this one go and Lampre, Trek, Cannondale, and Astana will be pretty content with the current situation. It's up to BMC, Etixx and the Lottos to chase.

 

“I haven’t done the Ardennes in a long time,” Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo) told Cyclingnews, “so we’ll have to see what we can do here.” (The Canadian last raced Amstel in 2013, finishing 26th, but his best performance in the Dutch Classic was in 2010, when he was second behind Philippe Gilbert.) “Dryer weather like today is good, but the roads are complicated and it’ll be an extremely tough day. We have Bauke [Mollema] and Frank [Schleck] is in good condition, has won here before. But it’s a hard race to predict and we’ll just try to be up there in all scenarios.”

 

Images of Felline's crash show the rider going over the bars. He has his hand between the fork and the wheel as he goes down. Image courtesy of Sporza.

 

192km remaining from 251km

Back to the front of the race, and the break have moved their advantage out to five minutes over the peloton. 192km to go.

Best wishes @FabioFelline #AGR

@l_guercilena Sun, 17th Apr 2016 09:43:51

We've climbed the Cauberg for the first time today. The gap to the break is holding at a steady five minutes with Sky, Etixx and BMC showing early signs of mounting a chase. 

 

The work at the front of the peloton from a number of teams has seen the break lose around 30 seconds of their advantage. The gap is down to 4'30 with 180km to go.

 

The build-up to the race has seen a degree of debate in the local press about whether Amstel Gold Race’s finale on the Cauberg has become too formulaic. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) is among those who feels the race might be better served by returning to its old finish, in his home town of Maastricht. "For us it's very hard, but on TV the finale could seem boring,” Dumoulin told NOS. "In any case, I’d have the finish back in Maastricht."

Dumoulin also came up with a novel method of designing a new route. "Get somebody completely unrelated to cycling to outline the course. That way we won’t understand it, team managers won’t understand it, and you’ll get an interesting race..."

 

An update on Felline. The Trek rider is undergoing facial surgery right now but the team confirm he may be able to leave hospital tonight. There were unconfirmed reports straight after his crash that he had broken his nose.

 

The break have covered just under 80km now and their lead is relatively intact as they tick off the climbs that litter Amstel Gold Race. 26 climbs still to go.

 

Amstel Gold Race: start line quotes https://t.co/eqadpBNbsW https://t.co/Mn6WQiqiZz

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 17th Apr 2016 10:23:40

Despite losing Felline, Trek Segafredo still have a rider in the break with Laurent Didier. The Luxembourg rider was part of the Saxo Bank team that included the Schlecks and Richie Porte in 2010. He moved to RadioShack and through all the other incarnations that team has gone through. Now 31, he won a stage in the USA Pro Challenge a few years ago, and has become a trusted domestique. 

 

Warbasse is another solid rider in the break. He was struggling to find a contract last summer but he picked up a few impressive results and had a consistent Vuelta. It was enough to secure another one-year deal at IAM Cycling. 

 

After the lightening quick start the pace has somewhat settled in the race. The break continue to hold a gap of 4'45 over the peloton with 159km to go. Each climb, although short and sharp, just takes a little bit out of you. Amstel Gold is a real war of attrition. 

 

Don't forget you can download or listen to the Cyclingnews podcast. The latest episode previews the Ardennes and also looks back on Paris-Roubaix. It's just here.

 

At the moment it's Team Sky who are on the front and setting the pace for the main field. In their ranks this year is the Amstel Gold Race defending champion Michal Kwiatkowski. The Pole won this race last year, and move to Sky in the winter. He already has a win under his belt in 2016, courtesy of his ride in E3 and he's leading the line here today for the British team. Not many riders defend their crowns in this race. Gilbert was the last. Raas another, of course.

 

.@sepvanmarcke grabs a bag with food and drinks on the top of the Schweiberg. #AGR https://t.co/k2mx66eor4

@LottoJumbo_road Sun, 17th Apr 2016 10:52:03

Who is your pick for today (and why)? Let me know at Twitter.com/dnlbenson

 

Onto the 11th climb of the day, the Camerig, and the peloton pull the break back to 4'10.

 

The gap between the escape and the pack still sits at more than four minutes, with 22 hills remaining. #AGR

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 17th Apr 2016 11:00:27

@dnlbenson Vakoc is my pick; so much untapped potential and capable of getting a gap while others fear bringing Mathews to the line.

@tomdouglas16 Sun, 17th Apr 2016 11:01:31

By the way, I know it's going back a few days but you should really check out the latest video from inCycle (not a threat, more of a request). It looks back at Boonen's Paris Roubaix and has a section on disc brakes. You can watch it here.

 

"It looks dull, but for the riders it is already hard," Erik Dekker tells Sporza. He's the last Dutch rider to win this race, way back in 2001, for Rabobank of course. 

 

132km remaining from 251km

132km to go and the peloton continue to hold the break at around four minutes as Sky drag everyone along at a steady pace. Something will happen soon, I promise. 

 

If you're just joining us, we have an 11-man break up the road  and they have 4'10 over the peloton. 

 

In the break we have : De Vreese (Astana), Devriendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Didier (Trek), Howes (Cannondale), Montaguti (AG2R), Bono (Lampre), Reza (FDJ), Warbasse (IAM), Cerny (CCC) , Grellier (Direct Energy) and Berlato (Nippo).

 

One rider who is without pressure today is Edvald Boasson Hagen.
 

“Anything we get from him now will be a bonus,” Dimension Data Jens Zemke told Cyclingnews. “He’s been really up there all the way since Qatar” - where Boasson Hagen finished fifth behind team-mate Mark Cavendish after a double puncture on the second last stage when leading scuppered his chances - “so normally by this point, after doing all the cobbled classics, you’re done after Paris-Roubaix. But I asked him if he’d liked to race Amstel, he was fine with that, so it’s another chance for him."

 

At the finish, we still have a headwind, although it's fairly gusty and inconsistent. That could certainly be a factor at the finish and should favour a small group rather than a single rider attacking and staying clear... we'll see.

 

In the build up to the race we spoke to Matt White from Orica GreenEdge. He had this to say on the Matthews - Gerrans leadership.

 

If you compare it to BMC, they have had Gilbert and Van Avermaet, both competitive riders but they’ve got the job done in the past and that’s what we expect from our guys. We go into the bike race on Sunday with the aim of winning. With which rider, that doesn’t bother me, because we’re going in there trying to win Amstel, and be very competitive in Fleche and Liege. We’ve a great group of riders but, to get those sorts of results, we’re going to have to stick to our plan.”

 

You can read the full story, here.

 

The break are still working well together as they crest the top of the Gulpenerberg. 115km to go.

 

I'm with @michalkwiatek for the win today #AGR @dnlbenson He's flying.

@DStan58 Sun, 17th Apr 2016 11:50:34

That last climb has seen the peloton start to react with more intensity and the gap has been cut to 3'15 with 112km to go.

 

The leaders reach the foot of the Plettenberg. Once that's climbed they'll have crossed off half the hills in today's race. 

 

@dnlbenson 2 Czech cards to play: 1) young gun in national champion´s jersey Petr Vakoc, 2) experienced former AGR winner Roman Kreuziger!

@jilektomas Sun, 17th Apr 2016 12:06:20

Team Sky have been joined on the front of the race by AG2R and Orica GreenEdge as the pace ramps up once more. We're almost into the final 100km of racing as the break hits yet another climb. 

 

The bunch line out as the pace continues to rise. Orica have placed one rider on the front and he's doing a huge turn for his team. 

 

Back in the race and Edvald Boasson Hagen is keeping a watchful eye on the front of the peloton. Sky are still leading the way though with the gap down to 3'10.

 

Sky are doing an awful lot of work at this point but there's still nearly 100km to go. 

 

@dnlbenson What's about A. Vuillermoz? Guess a finish at top of Cauberg would suit him better. But who knows? #AGR

@trody87 Sun, 17th Apr 2016 12:17:10

Up ahead the break are fully aware that the peloton are hunting them down, and they react, upping the pace themselves. There are no passengers in the break, that's for sure.

 

Vuillermoz crashes hard on a corner. He's on the ground but thankfully moving. His race looks to be over though.

 

The peloton sit up, slightly, having navigated through a tricky phase of climbs. It allows a few riders to take a quick comfort break. The break are climbing once more and find a few more seconds to bring their lead out to 3'12.

 

Back to that story on mechanical doping, allegedly taking place in races this season - it's full of information, including a claim that the current UCI checks simply aren't good enough. Read the full story, here.

 

And a fascinating nugget: 'Perfect for athletes with high cadence' per @Corriere @Cyclingnewsfeed https://t.co/wTgeO5sxlU

@TeddyCutler Sun, 17th Apr 2016 12:25:50

Howes leads the break onto to the Cauberg for the second time today.  The gap to the bunch at 3'23.

 

83km remaining from 251km

Over four hours of racing so far today as the peloton crest the top of the Cauberg for the second time today. 83km to go, the break at 3'12.

 

Dark clouds overhead and a few drops of rain already as the peloton hit the feedzone. 

 

Hesjedal is drifting around the back of the peloton, and so too is Gilbert, who is looking for a team car. 

 

Any threat of heavy rain has eases as the sun comes out for the time being. Gilbert picks up some food from the team car and heads back to the peloton. 

 

74km remaining from 251km

Under 75km to go now as those dark clouds continue to gather. Team Sky, has they have been for the last few hours, continue to set the pace on the front of the peloton.

Heavy rain now at the finish, where the riders are heading for the third ascent of the Cauberg.

 

There's a Katusha rider on the deck. It's Rodriguez. He's sitting up but that's awful news for the Spaniard and his Russian team. He was a real contender for the win today and the rest of the Ardennes Classics.

 

Orica still have just one man near the front. They've saving their powder for the final 40km, while Sky carry out their normal tactic of keeping everyone near the front.

 

Rodriguez is being paced back to the peloton with 68km to go. The veteran rider is still in the game. 

 

65km remaining from 251km

An attack from Lotto Soudal, with the Belgian team sending a rider up the road. 

 

Two riders are giving chase and we'll soon have a three-rider counter attack. Make that four.

 

The gap to the leading break is under three minutes and the race is heating up nicely. 

 

Thurau, Van de Sander, Meersman and Bonifazio make up the chase group. It will be interesting to see how well they work given than some of them have teammates up the road. This is all about setting up the race from behind though. 

 

Astana are trying to send a rider up the road too. It's Grivko but there's another fall in the bunch. It's Clement for IAM Cycling. He's down on the ground and not moving. There's a rider from Nippo also on tarmac. It's Bole.

 

60km remaining from 251km

The tight roads, the constant corners, road furniture and the fight for position leads to so many falls as the break's advantage drops to 2'27.

 

The four-man counter attack are two minutes down on the leaders, with the peloton a further minute down. 

 

There's another fall, this time involving two Roompot riders. They're both quickly riding again.

 

The break are starting to feel the pace and there are a few cracks in that group. Lotto Soudal are leading the peloton too as we hit another another climb. 55km to go.

 

I'm not sure Bonifazio is working in the counter-attack. He has a man up the road so that's probably why.

 

Grivko is still out there but on his own with the peloton around 10 seconds further back. The Astana man will be caught fairly soon.

 

49km remaining from 251km

The rain begins to fall heavily now as the break continue to lose time on the chasers. The Meersman group are at 1'35.

 

Still not seen Bonifazio do a turn on the front of the counter attack as the rain continues to fall heavily on the riders. Voeckler, right at the back of the peloton for now. Not sure he's enjoying it out there.

 

Hesjedal is also at the back of the field and it looks like he's about to be dropped. That's a bit of a surprise to be honest. 

 

The break are on yet another climb and a few from their ranks are starting to slip off the back. Didier is one of them.

 

Reza was also dropped but he'll have chance to chase back on during the descent. 

 

A few of the riders dropped from the early break have been caught by the counter attack. Team Sky move back to the front of the peloton as Howes drives the bunch on the Kruisberg.

 

And now Didier is dropped by the second group. Berlato too. 

 

40km remaining from 251km

The Team Sky led peloton are 2'04 back on the Howes group with 40km to go.

 

And it looks like Howes as a slight gap as he starts the descent from the last climb. It's Bono who is starting to chase him down. The American sits up.

 

We're down to six riders in the front break but Grellier is starting to suffer and begins to drift back. The repetitive climbs allow little time for riders to recover.

 

37km remaining from 251km

And now Orica attack from the bunch with 37km to go. It looks like Albasini who has gone clear. That's a big move this early.

 

Nordhaug is trying to chase this one down for Team Sky but the early selections are being made.

 

Sky have pulled the Orica rider back as the entire peloton is strung out. 

 

1'30 separates the peloton from the leading group of six as the break tackle the Fromberg.

 

And now Vanmarcke attacks for Lotto Jumbo. It's immediately brought back though. Around 60 to 70 riders left in the peloton as they hit the Fromberg.

 

Team Sky have move off the front and been replaced by Orica, Astana and Jumbo. Kreuziger, a former winner here, is second wheel at the moment. 

 

There's another acceleration from Orica GreenEdge as they crest the Fromberg, with the leaders at 1'28.

 

Orica and Jumbo continue to set the pace for the peloton as we head towards the final 30km of Amstel Gold Race. The leaders are on the Keutenberg with Monaguti leading the way. The rains has eased but the roads are still wet. 

 

The counter attack is about to be caught by the main field as they start the climb. 

 

And there's another attack from LottonNL as BMC match the move. 

 

Vande der Sande is still putting in a shift but a few riders from the bunch are making their way over to him. They include  Bakelants who makes contact with two other riders. So once more we have a counter attack of four riders. 

 

It's Jungels though who brings it all back together for the peloton. 

 

At the back of the bunch Boasson Hagen has been dropped. Hayman too.

 

Gilbert has also been dropped. That's a huge surprise, fractured finger or not. This race is wide open.

 

25km remaining from 251km

The remaining six leaders have 40 seconds with 25km to go.

 

Gilbert is trying to come back through the groups but it's going to be a huge ask for the BMC Racing rider.

 

Two more ascents of the Cauberg to go, the leaders still with 38 seconds on the peloton, which is being led by Lotto Soudal. Tom Dumoulin has also been distanced by the bunch.

 

So onto the Cauberg for the penultimate time and we're down to five leaders. The gap is less than 15 seconds as Etixx accelerate. 

And Jungels attacks with just over 20km to go.

 

It looks like Lotto and BMC are chasing down this move as we see Gilbert and Dumoulin link up. The race is over for that pair though.

 

Jungels has been joined by Battaglin from LottoNL as they close in on the early break. 

 

It's up to Orica GreenEdge to chase this one down and they put a man on the front and Kwiatkowski has been dropped. That's a major shock. 

 

There are less than 40 riders in the bunch as the race starts to come together with 18km to go. Kwiatkowski and Gilbert both dropped from the peloton. 

 

Team Sky still have Poels, Nordhaug and Henao in there but losing their leader will hit them hard.

 

Orica have closed down the Jungels move but we still have the early break up the road as we head towards the final 17km of racing.

 

20 seconds remaining for the leading five as Howes takes another turn for Cannondale. The peloton can see them though as Tinkoff move men up to the front of the peloton. 

 

Albasini is laying it all on the line for his team as he leads the peloton with Poels  on his wheel. Rui Costa is in there. 

 

Etixx still have numbers, Sky and LottoNL too. 

 

Alaphilippe is near the front too and keeping out of the wind. 

 

14km remaining from 251km

And the catch is made. 14km to go and the break has been caught. 

 

Vakoc is still there too, as too is Simon Clarke for Cannondale. As we see Gallopin take on some food with 13km to go.

 

Hayman is back in the peloton and now he's setting the pace for Orica GreenEdge. 

 

Orica have three men on the front as Boasson Hagen regains contact with the peloton. LottoNL still have numbers too but they'll want to attack before the Cauberg if they can.

 

Rui Costa have three men with him and the former world champion can do some damage here. Fourth last year, and in form is the Lampre man.

 

Onto the Bemelberg as Warbasse attacks once more. He can't create a gap though and the move is closed down straight away.

 

8km go to and Kreuziger has attacked from the peloton. Albasini has to chase this one down.

 

Albasini cracks and Kreuziger has a short gap with 7,4km to go. Wellens goes after him and goes right passed him. A huge move from the Lotto Soudal rider.

 

Wellens with a massive gap with 6.9km to go. How long can he keep this up for? It's all in now for the Lotto Soudal rider.

 

I think that's about 10-15 seconds for the Belgian as Etixx move up and try and chase this one down.

 

11 seconds. That's Wellens' gap. Lotto Jumbo try and react by sending a rider up the road but that's a big ask. The chasers need to work together. 

 

It looks like Vanmarcke but Wellens still has 12 seconds on the peloton with 5.5km to go. In all honestly he needs at least that though when he hits the Cauberg. 

 

Astana are now leading the chase as Wellens builds on his lead. It's not at 19 seconds with 4.2km to go.

 

Panic in the peloton as Orica and AG2R lead the chase. Albasini is back. 

 

They're on the descent towards the foot of the Cauberg. 

 

Into the final 3km now in Amstel Gold Race.

 

Onto the final climb for Tim Wellens. Can he hold on? 

 

The gap is coming down. 12 seconds now as we see Vakoc move up.

 

No attacks yet as Lotto NL lead the bunch. 

 

Stil 12 seconds for the leader. 

 

Gasparotto has gone clear. Wellens caught. 

 

The Italian has a slight gap.

 

Valgren catches the Italian as the rest of the peloton just watch each other. These two can decide the race. 1.6km to go.

 

The leaders are sharing the pace as Matthews sits on Henao's wheel. Lotto Soundal trying to bring it all back together.

Just 400 to go.

 

Valgren is leading this out.

 

Gasparotto wins Amstel Gold Race. 

 

Experience shone through there for the Italian.

 

A convincing win from Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) for went away on the Cauberg to take his second win in Amstel Gold Race.

 

1 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
2 Michael Valgren (Den) Tinkoff
3 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani - CSF
4 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
5 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE

 

The top ten for today:

1 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 6:18:02
2 Michael Valgren (Den) Tinkoff
3 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani - CSF
4 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
5 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE
6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick Step
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida
8 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
9 Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
10 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal

 

Few would have bet on that podium at the start of the race but a number of the big names simply went missing. Gilbert, Kwiatkowski, Rui Costa, Alaphilippe and several others you would have expected to challenge were all outside of the 10-ten.

 

You can find our report, results and photos, right here.

 

And you can find our video highlights from today's race, right here.

 

In the end  Gasparotto had the legs to make the move and in hindsight he had the best possible worker to go with him. Valgren took a huge turn on the front with 400 to go and it set up the Italian perfectly for the win.

 

Thanks for joining us today. We'll be back later this week with more live coverage.

 

Latest on Cyclingnews