Wout van Aert wins Amstel Gold Race in photo finish

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) claimed victory in Amstel Gold Race after a photo finish sprint against Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers). Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished third after the trio broke clear inside the final 15km of the race and held off a frantic chase from the remnants of the peloton.

The winning break formed after a series of aggressive attacks from the main contenders, and with Ineos Grenadiers briefly posting three riders in a key move before Pidcock attacked and was quickly joined by Schachmann and Van Aert. The trio worked well together but eased up with 1,000 metres to go with Van Aert opening the sprint with 200m remaining. 

It looked as though the Belgian was beginning to fade as Pidcock came around his cyclo-cross rival inside the final 75m but Van Aert found an extra gear just when he needed it most to take a narrow victory. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) won the sprint for fourth.

A decisive moment came with 18km to go as the race hit the foot of the Cauberg for the final time with Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo) making an initial move off the front of the bunch. Van Aert was the first to respond but at the exact moment the Belgian rider lost a valuable teammate in Primož Roglič. Until that point Roglič had marked almost every major move but when Van Aert went over the top of Conci he found Pidcock, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) and Schachmann on his wheel. The group split just before the top with Kwiatkowski attacking as Alaphilippe began to struggle and a chase group formed that contained Pidcock, Van Aert, Schachmann, Matthews and Richard Carapaz.

Kwiatkowski was caught in on the slopes of the Geulhemmerberg after a desperate chase lead my Schachmann before Pidcock quickly countered. This time only Van Aert and the Bora rider could follow, and the trio quickly opened up a gap of 20 seconds on a fragmented chase that included Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech).

With 5km to go the leaders’ advantage appeared to be slipping but a lack of cooperation gave them all the time they needed and as they slowed into the final kilometer. It looked as though Pidcock had the best position as he stalked Van Aert’s rear wheel. When the Belgian opened up his sprint for the line it looked as though he had gone too soon, with Pidcock quickly establishing some momentum on the Jumbo rider’s right-hand side. But just when it looked like Pidcock would take the biggest win of his career, Van Aert gave one final surge to take the win by just a few millimeters.

How it unfolded

After the 2020 cancellation, Amstel Gold Race was back on the calendar with a new circuit course and 38 climbs littered over 217km of racing.

The break of the day formed on the first lap with 10 riders Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroën), Sébastien Grignard (Lotto Soudal), Maurits Lammertink (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert ), Loïc Vliegen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Chad Haga (Team DSM), Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team Emirates), Kenny Molly (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces-WB) and Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X Pro Cycling) pushing clear and establishing a five-minute advantage over the main field. Jumbo-Visma, riding on home turf and with Van Aert and Roglič in their ranks, set about making the early pace but they had help from Movistar, so with 109km to go the break’s lead dropped to just over four minutes.

The race situation remained stable until Robert Power (Qhubeka Assos) accelerated out of the peloton on the Bemeleberg. He was quickly joined by Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix) and although the move was futile, it certainly indicated that teams were starting to think about the next wave of attacks and building groups that could form ahead of the main favourites.

It wasn’t long before a nine-man move went clear with Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Peter Serry (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Jan Tratinki (Bahrain Victorious), Jan Bakelants (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), and Krists Neilands (Israel Start-Up Nation) included in their numbers. Ineos brought that move back before a series of accelerations lead to an 11-rider group forming with Florian Sénéchal and Trantik joined by Alex Howes (EF Education-Nippo), Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) among the riders aboard.

A crash between Schachmann, Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Bob Jungels (AG2R Citroën) saw the latter drop away from contention before the peloton reformed. Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Senechal, Simon Clarke (Qhubeka Assos), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto Soudal) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) generated the next split.

With 49km to go and three laps remaining the early break held a slender one-minute advantage before Roglič almost singlehandedly brought back the Sénéchal group on the ascent of the Geulhemmerberg. With 35km to go to the two leading groups merged at the foot of the Cauberg with Roglič again coming to the fore.

Over the top of the climb and only Vliegen remained out in front before Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), who had already been prominent at the front of the bunch, attacked with 25km to go.

With 18km to go Conci made his move, and although he wasn’t able to gain any clear distance on the leading pack, the Italian set up what would eventually form into the winning move.

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Full results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 5:03:29
2Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
3Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:00:03
5Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
6Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
7Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
8Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
9Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
10Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
11Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
12Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
13Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
14Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
15Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team DSM
16Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
17Ben Tulett (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix
18Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
19Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
20Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
21Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel Start-up Nation
22Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
23Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
24Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
25Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
26Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
27Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
28Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
29Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
30Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Team Qhubeka Assos
31Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
32Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
33Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
34David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
35Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
36Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:08
37Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:09
38Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:10
39Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo 0:02:12
40Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
41Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
42Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis
43Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
44Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
45Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
46Luc Wirtgen (Lux) Bingoal WB
47Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
48Floris De Tier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
49Dion Smith (NZl) Team BikeExchange
50Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
51Michael Gogl (Aut) Team Qhubeka Assos
52Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
53Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
54Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
55Simon Clarke (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos
56Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
57Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
58Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
59Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
60Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team
61Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis
62Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers
63Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
64Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:17
65Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange 0:02:19
66Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
67Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:02:29
68Jonas Abrahamsen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 0:03:44
69Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
70Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
71Ryan Gibbons (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
72Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
73Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM
74Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
75Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
76Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
77Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
78Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
79Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates 0:04:59
80Ruben Apers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:06:17
81Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Gazprom-RusVelo
82Jack Bauer (NZl) Team BikeExchange
83Michael Schär (Swi) AG2R Citroën Team
84Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
85Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
86Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
87Alex Howes (USA) EF Education-Nippo
88Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
89Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Qhubeka Assos
90Sergei Chernetskii (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
91Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
92Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
93Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
94Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team DSM
95Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team
96Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
97Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange
98Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
99Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
100Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
101Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
102Syver Wærsted (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
103Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic
104Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
105Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal
106Tom Wirtgen (Lux) Bingoal WB
107Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Team Arkea-Samsic
108Michal Golas (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
109Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos Grenadiers
110Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
111Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
112Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
113Kenny Molly (Bel) Bingoal WB
114Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
115Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
116Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM
117Stephen Williams (GBr) Bahrain Victorious
118Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:14:24
119Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
120Martin Bugge Urianstad (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
121Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange
122Rob Power (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos
123Simone Velasco (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
124Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
125Ivan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
DNFIan Garrison (USA) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNFLennard Hofstede (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
DNFPaul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
DNFLuke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFJasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
DNFAlexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
DNFBob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroën Team
DNFSander Armée (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNFSean Bennett (USA) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNFJenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
DNFGuillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
DNFReto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation
DNFFabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFRomain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFSylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFBrent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFTomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
DNFHeinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
DNFLawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo
DNFDaniel Arroyave Cañas (Col) EF Education-Nippo
DNFAimé De Gendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFHugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech
DNFSamuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
DNFStefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech
DNFNicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
DNFRuben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis
DNFEmmanuel Morin (Fra) Cofidis
DNFJorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFJohan Jacobs (Swi) Movistar Team
DNFLuis Mas Bonet (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFIvan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFChad Haga (USA) Team DSM
DNFNico Denz (Ger) Team DSM
DNFSøren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM
DNFIvo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
DNFPhilipp Walsleben (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFBenjamin Declercq (Bel) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFAmaury Capiot (Bel) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFChristophe Noppe (Bel) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFJulian Mertens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFAaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFBoris Vallee (Bel) Bingoal WB
DNFArjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal WB
DNFMilan Menten (Bel) Bingoal WB
DNFLudovic Robeet (Bel) Bingoal WB
DNFMarco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
DNFPetr Rikunov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
DNFIver Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

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