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45th Amstel Gold - Reactions
By Staff
Date: 4/19/2010
45th Amstel Gold - Reactions

45th Amstel Gold  - Reactions
Team and Rider comments after the first of the Ardennes trilogy of races...

Omega Pharma/Lotto
D.S. Marc Sergeant – very happy after this brilliant victory

Nobody will be surprised to hear that our team is extremely happy with the great victory of Philippe Gilbert at the Amstel Gold Race. Our leader, Philippe Gilbert  was great in this Pro Tour race, where he was assisted by all his team mates, who have prepared the finish bit by bit. This victory is a reward for the whole team, riders and staff, who have given their best day after day to win it.

And we also have to thank our sponsors, who have always shown confidence, even if the results were damn slow to come. Our team has presently no "all-winner", but this result has been as a ray of sun over our whole spring time results. We have been very regular since the beginning of the season, we are presently third of the UCI teams ranking, with only Caisse d'Épargne and Katusha ahead of us. Philippe has jump to third on the individual classification, and the coming two Ardennes races may put him level with the two leaders.

We will end the spring time races with Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the latter race having been especially marked on Phil's program. Philippe has always dreamed of climbing onto the top step of the podium in his home  area, and this year more than ever. Our leader will start the 260 kilometres of "la Doyenne" through the Ardennes without undue pressure, without having to fear anyone. His native Remouchamps is awaiting their local hero; over 10.000 fans are expected on the ramps of the local "Redoute".

Philippe will also Flèche Wallonne on this coming Wednesday, as well as our French revelation Jean-Christophe Péraud. Jean-Christophe has done very well at all races till now, and he certainly has a place amongst the outsiders for the final climb at Mur de Huy.

Philippe Gilbert after the win...
The South of Limburg is one of Philippe Gilberts favourite places. Not only does his girlfriend live there, it is aso his home training area on  the roads of the Amstel Gold Race. It was a only a matter of time before the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider would win the Dutch Classic.

"It's a  great feeling. I started as the big favourite and winning a race in that position is the sweetest thing there is. I felt great at the start and my teammates helped me win. In  the end Daniel Moreno-Fernandez and Jurgen Vandenbroucke were still there to help.”

",I was in front of the bunch the whole day. I saw the Schleck-brothers were really good, that’s why I decided to go after Andy. Sergei Ivanov was there too, he was strong as well."

Ater the Keutenberg you were the leader and took 15 seconds. Why did the rest catch up with you?

",There was a lot of wind and I decided to wait. I think I won the race with that decision. Now I had time to recover before the final climb and was able to win the sprint."

And now Liege-Bastogne-Liege?
"That race is a dream. But winning the Amstel Gold Race has made it a lot easier on me and the team. We won a classic so the pressure is off."

Lampre-Farnese Vini
Damiano Cunego 6th

Damiano Cunego was a willing protagonist in the 45th edition of Amstel Gold, he obtained the 6th place in the race won by Gilbert.

Despite of the gastroenteritis this week that didn't allow him to train the way he would have liked, Cunego gave a very good performance: when the race survived the epic moment at 19 kilometers to go on Eyserbosweg, Lampre-Farnese Vini's cyclist was ready to join the attacking group and then he took the head of the race (photo) on Keutenberg (-11 km) with Ivanov, Frank Schleck and Kolobnev.

When this last one he tried a counter attack, Ivanov, Cunego and Schleck were on his slipstream; but the group of 30 followers joined them on the Cauberg, just before the finish line Gilbert performed the winning move. Cunego was in the head position but, when he tried to raise his speed, his legs had no more to give, and so he crossed the finish line in 6th position.

We also had good performance from all the other Lampre-Farnese Vini's cyclists, only a little sorrow for Gavazzi who was in the head group until Keutenberg, where he could not follow the attacks.

Directeur Sportif Brent Copeland Satisfied...
"I'm satisfied with what the team showed and for the cooperation performed during the race. We saved energy  in the bunch for most of the race; and we took the lead of the group with Spezialetti, Righi and Loosli when the advantage of the breakaway was increasing. The other riders supported Cunego and Gavazzi perfectly."

"Cunego gave his best, I'm happy he could be competitive, the only regret is that, in the action that saw him in the head of the race, there were two riders of the same team that alternated their attacks: if there were cyclists of all different teams, maybe the cooperation would have been higher and the action could have reached the finish.."

Team Katusha
Good race for the team at Amstel Gold

Team Katusha did a very good race today in Holland at Amstel Gold Race. With two leaders, Sergey Ivanov, the winner in 2009, and Alexander Kolobnev, Team Katusha was among the most agressive and active players in the race.

In final 20 km, Sergey Ivanov and Alexander Kolobnev did a lot of attacks, but with 6 km to go Kolobnev was the rider, who did a strong move for victory. Unfortunately, at Cauberg, with 600 meters to go, the leader's group caught him...

Sergey Ivanov was first Team Katusha's rider at the finish line with 12th result.

Alexander Kolobnev took the Herman Krott Trophy as the most aggressive rider of Amstel Gold Race 2010.

Team Saxo Bank
Philippe Gilbert Untouchable on Cauberg - Fränk Schleck Seventh

Team Saxo Bank did another great spring classic in today's Amstel Gold Race but Philippe Gilbert was invincible in the final and he secured Lotto's first season win.

Team Saxo Bank took the front of the peloton with just over 120 kilometers to go, to put pressure on the lot and immediately the peloton was stretched out in a single file and bunches of riders paid the ultimate price of being dropped from the pack.

The gap between the break and the chasing pack kept getting smaller and 30 kilometers from the last climb of Cauberg, the race was wide open as the front pack was inhaled. Team Saxo Bank's Nicki Sørensen and Jakob Fuglsang played an important role as they made their opponents struggle to keep up with the high pace.

On the climb of Kluisberg, Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil) jumped out of his saddle and managed to get away until Team Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck effortlessly closed the gap with brother, Fränk Schleck and five other riders on his tail which neutralized the attack.

Philippe Gilbert (Lotto) struck on the second last climb and left Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Sergio Ivanov (Katusha) and Team Saxo Bank's Fränk Schleck to chase him on the last 10 kilometers of the race. But as the chasers caught the Lotto-rider, Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) launched a counter-attack and started the final climb of Cauberg alone.

But he was soon caught and when Philippe Gilbert struck again, no one was able to respond and he crossed the finish line in solitude. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) was second and Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) third.

Saxo Bank's Fränk Schleck took seventh place in the sprint duel
”As I have said before, Fränk and Andy were absolutely ready for this race and all in all I think we did a great job putting the peloton under pressure and basically made the pack explode. An accomplishment actually extremely hard to achieve as there was hardly any wind. Both Fränk and Andy were in the final but when Andy wanted to lead out Fränk for the sprint he lost a few places in the line due to a crash and that was pretty much it. I am satisfied with the riders' performance and honestly, the strongest guy in the bunch won today”, said sports director Kim Andersen after the race.

BMC Racing Team
Valkenburg - Karsten Kroon Top 10 At Amstel Gold Race

Karsten Kroon finished ninth and world champion Cadel Evans was 12th for the BMC Racing Team Sunday in an aggressive edition of the Amstel Gold Race.

Kroon Helped By Evans At Key Moment
Kroon said he greatly benefited from Evans’s assistance when an attack split the field with about 30 kilometers to go in the 258 km race.

“Cadel closed some gaps and was really strong,” Kroon said. “Obviously it was a big honor to have him there to help me. In the final, it was incredibly hard. The Cauberg is such a hard finish. The strongest always wins and today it was (Philippe) Gilbert.”

World Champion Pleased
Cadel Evans said he was pleased with the way he rode in his first race since last month’s Criterium International.

“It was a pleasure to work for Karsten today,” Evans said. “You really have to have the experience to do well at this race. Based upon my performance today, I'm looking forward to Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”

Team Milram
Wegmann's successful comeback

Fabian Wegmann was the best finisher for Team MILRAM at the 45th running of the Amstel Gold Race - coming in 25th place. Wegmann, who is returning from a five-week injury pause, stayed with teammates Johannes Fröhlinger and Christian Knees in the group of favourites for a long time and reached the finish line with the first chase group.

From the eighth kilometer of the day, Milram veteran Peter Wrolich helped mark the race as part of a seven-rider strong group for over 200 kilometers. The Austrian fought hard and together with his escape companions had a lead of more than 6:30 minutes. About 50 km before the finish, the escape for the group around Wrolich was finally ended. Wrolich was the only MILRAM  "victim" of the Icelandic volcano eruption. Because of the flight ban, "Paco" Wrolich had to spend 16 hours in trains from Klagenfurt over Graz to Bonn, where a Milram team worker brought him in a Skoda team car to the team hotel in Lanaken, near Maasricht.

Milram's Fabian Wegmann:
"In the last few kilometers I could tell that I hadn't raced in a while, and had cramps. The stress in such a race over nearly 260 kilometers, of course is very high, that is the extremely different compared to training. But I am satisfied with my performance. I was in the front group for a long time, I didn't have any pain and I think that I will continue to improve from race to race.

 Directeur Sportif, Christian Henn..
"We set accents over the entire race day today. With Peter Wrolich, we were in the escape group of the day and presented ourselves well. The finale was disappointing for us, we had hoped for more."

Peter Wrolich on the Amstel Race...
"The day's breakaway group got together after only seven kilometers. I had good legs from the start and could join the six leaders. I noticed the effects of my unconventional trip here near the end of the race, when my strength left me earlier than planned."

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