2012 Amstel Gold Race - Enrico Gasparotto Wins Big
Astana's Enrico Gasparotto claims big victory at 2012 Amstel Gold Race by timing his sprint perfectly. Jelle Vanendert holds onto 2nd place as Slovak champion Peter Sagan finishes 3rd.
Astana Pro Team rider Enrico Gasparotto sprinted to a fantastic 2012 Amstel Gold Race win today after doing a perfectly executed sprint in the final few meters to win the first of the three Ardennes classics in 2012 ahead of Lotto Belisol's Jelle Vanendert and Liquigas Cannondale's Slovakian National Champion, Peter Sagan.
Other big names such as three time former World Champion Óscar Freire (Katusha Team), Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and last year's winner Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) all finished within the top ten.
In the final 30 meters it was BMC Racing Team who had brought their remaining men to the front of the peloton in an attempt to set up Philippe Gilbert for his 3rd win at the one day race. However, in the end all the work was put on the shoulders of Gilbert on the final climb to bring back Freire and others who were just ahead of the peloton.
On the final climb Gilbert made an attack that brought back Niki Terpstra of Omega Pharma-QuickStep and eventually Óscar Freire, but the Belgian National Champion couldn't put in a big enough acceleration for the win and faded before the finish line.
Slovak National Champion Peter Sagan of Liquigas quickly came around Gilbert and made an acceleration of his own in an attempt to reach the finish line first, but he also faded before the link, leaving Vanendert and Gasparotto to battle it out for the final sprint win.
The day's featured breakaway included nine men: Eliot Lietar (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Simone Stortoni (Lampre-ISD), Cedric Pineau (FDJ-Big Mat), Steven Caethoven (Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda), Alex Howes (Garmin-Barracuda), Raymond Kreder (Garmin-Barracuda), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Pello Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi). The group of 9 established a maximum gap of thirteen minutes, thirty seconds. Eventually several teams brought men to the front of the peloton to bring the large group back.
After the group breakaway was caught there were many attacks, but all were eventually reeled back into the peloton. At the end it was Freire who had the final attack that escaped the peloton, but in the end the peloton was all brought back together for the sprint.
1 Enrico GASPAROTTO ITA AST 6:32:35
2 Jelle VANENDERT BEL LTB +0
3 Peter SAGAN SVK LIQ +2
4 Oscar FREIRE GOMEZ ESP KAT +2
5 Thomas VOECKLER FRA EUC +2
6 Philippe GILBERT BEL BMC +2
7 Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ ESP EUS +2
8 Fabian WEGMANN GER GRM +4
9 Rinaldo NOCENTINI ITA ALM +4
10 Bauke MOLLEMA NED RAB +4
11 Maxim IGLINSKY KAZ AST +4
12 Frank SCHLECK LUX RNT +4
13 Elia FAVILLI ITA FAR +4
14 Dries DEVENYNS BEL OPQ +9
15 Ryder HESJEDAL CAN GRM +9
16 Nicki SÖRENSEN DEN SAX +12
17 Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ ESP KAT +12
18 Thomas DEKKER NED GRM +12
19 Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA POR MOV +12
20 Simon GERRANS AUS GEC +19
21 Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA COL SKY +19
22 Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE ESP MOV +22
23 Karsten KROON NED SAX 36 +22
24 Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER ESP KAT +22
25 Romain BARDET FRA ALM +30
26 Giovanni VISCONTI ITA MOV +36
27 Vasili KIRYIENKA BLR MOV +36
28 Niki TERPSTRA NED OPQ +36
29 Robert KISERLOVSKI CRO AST +36
30 Alex HOWES USA GRM +47