Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of the 40th Amstel Gold.
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For the list of climbs, click here.
ith 80 kilometres to go the race so far has been dominated by a breakaway of 4 riders:
Christophe Moreau (Crédit Agricole), Erwin Thijs (MrBookmaker.com), Alain van Katwijk (Shimano) and Andriy Grivko (Domina Vacanze). The four men working together got a lead of nearly 13 minutes by 155 kilomteres, however as the pressure built first Alain van Katwijk (Shimano) was dropped and then Andriy Grivko (Domina Vacanze) suffered a mechanical so by 110 kilometres just Moreau and Thijs were left to soldier on.
21. Cauberg - Vilterweg, at 173.5 km, asphalt
Moreau and Thijs still have 8 minutes on the peloton while Givko and Katwijk will soon be caught by the peloton. Gerolsteiner, riding of course for the defending champion, Davide Rebellin, and home team Rabobank are leading the peloton, but there is no real urgency – yet.
Height: 130 metres Length: 1000 metres Slope: 8 percent
There is a thick fog covering the Amstel Gold Race today, which we have never seen in the last 40 editions. The TV helicopters are having difficulty flying in these conditions.
70 km to go and Français Christophe Moreau (Crédit Agricole) and Erwin Thijs (MrBookmaker.com) now have 7 min 30 on the peloton.
T-Mobile were training on the course yesterday, afterwards Vino said: "It's not really my race. In fact, Liege-Bastone-Liege next week suits me better. I don't really like the roads here so well. But today we went over the climb, where I attacked two years ago. It gave me a good feeling." So we will see today if T-Mobile can kick start their season.
54 km to go the gap is falling a lot quicker now, down to under 6 minutes.
After initial work from Van Bon (Davitamon Lotto), he has been joined by Steffan Wesemann and these two are trying to bridge the gap.
Wesemann and Van Bon are a dangerous combination and the peloton will be keeping a close eye on them - but at the minute they seem to be closing the gap to Moreau and Thijs.
41 km to go and Voigt tries to bridge to the Van Bon-Weseman duo - Moreau and Thijs (who was also in the break in Paris-Roubaix) are begining to tire.
The gap is down to around 5 minutes for Moreau and Thijs - Van Bon and Wesemann have around 45 seconds on the peloton which will surely react soon.
Indeed the gap is down to around 2'30" as the peloton ups the chase.
Still no pictures as the fog refuses to lift.
15.55 CET The Gerolsteiner-Rabobank peloton sweeps up Voigt, but Van Bon and Wesemann still are chasing down the two leaders as the pace increases on the Wolfsberg - climb 24 of the 31 climbs.
Climb 25 for the leaders, the Loorberg - 218 metres high, 1500 metres long with 8 percent climbs - Moreau and Thijs' legs must be feeling this slope.
Wesemann and Van Bon have now 1'20" on the peloton - the duo are doing a great ride together.
However, it seems that the race will come together as the peloton piles on the pressure.
Six climbs left in the race and the big favourites will now be vying for position in the bunch.
Yes, the peloton just about all back together at the foot of climb 26, the Gulperbergweg.
16.13 CET Visibility must be down to about 50 metres, very surreal conditions for racing...
So the Eyserbosweg, Fromberg, Keutenberg and Cauberg climbs still to come and the favourites still all in contention and waiting to make their move.
Marc Lotz and David Etxebarria have attacked and three other riders are trying to bridge. Lotz and Etxebarria join Wesemann along with Kroon.
Over the Fromberg - climb 28, Weseman, Lotz, Etxebarria and Kroon have a small advantage on the peloton. About 20 km to go. No, make that the Eyserbosweg.
So my apologies to Wesemann - I thought he was bound to be pulled back but he has hung on and is now still in the leading 4 riders.
The 4 riders had a 30 second advantage over the Eyserbosweg, next climb the Fromberg.
16.28 CET. 15 kilometres left - just the Keutenberg and the Cauberg to go. The gap for the quartet about 20 seconds.
The gap is growing slightly as the riders have just 11 kilometres to go - can these 4 stay clear?
A crash in the peloton - a chasing group separates and it is a mighty group - Rebellin, Di Luca, Freire and Boogerd amongst them.
12 km to go - the crash has disrupted the chase and the 4 men still have around 35 seconds.
9 km to go - the 4 leaders still have around 20 seconds on the chasers, which include Valverde.
Over the Keytenberg, the lead hovering around the 10 second mark.
The 4 leaders still have a small gap as they approach the Cauberg...
Around 30 riders reform at the front of the race as the Cauberg approaches through the gloomy fog.
Rabobank have the numerical advantage with Kroon, Dekker Boogerd and Freire; not for the first time we see a swaithe of orange at the front.
But it's Di Luca through the mists - the killer strikes.
The Rabobank team seemed to have set the finish up perfectly but the winner of the Tour of the Basque Country on his revenge year was just too strong. Di Luca wins!
The Killer and his team had been very confident going into this race: "I finished fourth last year and third in 2003. I like the finish on the Cauberg," and he showed how much he liked it today, with a burst of scintillating speed that left his rivals lacking.
Di Luca had rightly predicted who his rivals would be - Rebellin and Boogerd - but in spite of great work from the Rabobank team, Boogerd could only again finish second.
The victory continues the success of the Liquigas Bianchi team this season, who are looking a very effective force in the peloton. Pellizotti will probably be team leader next weekend and their rivals best look out. The celeste army is on the march.
Really Di Luca was so strong today he had time to look back and raise his arms in triumph; Boogerd again went maybe too early again but there was no doubting the strength of the killer.
Thanks for reading, and sorry for the fog-laden recovery. Results to come, right here.
1 Di Luca, Danilo Liquigas - Bianchi 6:21:07
2 Boogerd, Michael Rabobank
3 Celestino, Mirko Domina Vacanze
4 Rebellin, Davide Gerolsteiner
5 Martin Perdiguero, Miguel Angel Phonak Hearing Systems
6 Sinkewitz, Patrik Quickstep
7 Leukemans, Bjorn Davitamon-Lotto
8 Etxebarria Alkorta, David Liberty Seguros - Würth Team
9 Pineau, Jerome Bouygues Telecom
10 Freire Gomez, Oscar Rabobank
11 Kirchen, Kim Fassa Bortolo
12 Astarloa Ascasibar, Igor Barloworld - Valsir
13 Valverde Belmonte, Alejandro Illes Balears - Caisse d´Epargne
14 Arvesen, Kurt-Asle CSC
15 Schumacher, Stefan Shimano - Memory Corp.
16 Zaballa Gutierrez, Constantino Saunier Duval - Prodir
17 Coenen, Johan MrBookmaker - SportsTech
18 Brandt, Christophe Davitamon-Lotto
19 Mertens, Pieter Chocolade Jacques - T Interim
20 Mori, Manuele Saunier Duval - Prodir
21 Ljungqvist, Marcus Liquigas - Bianchi
22 Kessler, Matthias T-Mobile
23 Murn, Uros Phonak Hearing Systems
24 Landaluze Intxaurraga, Inigo Euskaltel - Euskadi
25 Pereiro Sio, Oscar Phonak Hearing Systems
26 Voigt, Jens CSC
27 Merckx, Axel Davitamon-Lotto
28 Sørensen, Nicki CSC
29 Rodriguez Oliver, Joaquin Saunier Duval - Prodir
30 Moos, Alexandre Phonak Hearing Systems
31 Lotz, Marc Quickstep
32 Dekker, Erik Rabobank
33 Dekker, Thomas Rabobank
34 Gusev, Vladimir CSC
35 Wesemann, Steffen T-Mobile
36 Verbrugghe, Rik Quickstep
37 Bettini, Paolo Quickstep
38 Tankink, Bram Quickstep
39 Kroon, Karsten Rabobank
40 Kashechkin, Andrey Crédit Agricole
41 Zberg, Markus Gerolsteiner
42 Vicioso Arcos, Angel Liberty Seguros - Würth Team
43 Haussler, Heinrich Gerolsteiner
44 Wiggins, Bradley Crédit Agricole
45 Wegmann, Fabian Gerolsteiner
46 Botcharov, Alexandre Crédit Agricole
47 Bileka, Volodymyr Discovery Channel
48 Wijnants, Maarten Chocolade Jacques - T Interim
49 Zabel, Erik T-Mobile
50 Weening, Pieter Rabobank
51 Codol, Massimo Fassa Bortolo
52 Sivtsov, Konstantin Fassa Bortolo
53 Kleynen, Steven Chocolade Jacques - T Interim
54 De Weert, Kevin Quickstep
55 Calcagni, Patrick Liquigas - Bianchi
56 Fofonov, Dmitri Cofidis, le crédit par téléphone
57 Stangelj, Gorazd Lampre - Caffita
58 Basso, Ivan CSC
59 Vinokourov, Alexandre T-Mobile
60 Chavanel, Sylvain Cofidis, le crédit par téléphone
61 Moletta, Andrea Gerolsteiner
62 Vila Errandonea, Patxi Xabier Lampre - Caffita
63 Brochard, Laurent Bouygues Telecom
64 Vansummeren, Johan Davitamon-Lotto
65 Van Bon, Leon Davitamon-Lotto
66 Noval Gonzales, Benjamin Discovery Channel
67 Hincapie, George Discovery Channel
68 Moreau, Christophe Crédit Agricole
69 Voeckler, Thomas Bouygues Telecom
70 Reynes Mimo, Vicente Illes Balears - Caisse d´Epargne
71 Vanhecke, Preben Davitamon-Lotto
72 Lagutin, Sergey Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
73 Jalabert, Nicolas Phonak Hearing Systems
74 Ivanov, Sergei T-Mobile
75 Aldag, Rolf T-Mobile
76 Engels, Addy Quickstep
77 Pellizotti, Franco Liquigas - Bianchi
78 Pozzato, Filippo Quickstep
79 Loosli, David Lampre - Caffita
80 Jeker, Fabian Saunier Duval - Prodir
81 Sanchez Gonzalez, Samuel Euskaltel - Euskadi
82 Thijs, Erwin MrBookmaker - SportsTech
83 Ivanov, Ruslan Domina Vacanze
84 Valoti, Paolo Domina Vacanze
85 Den Bakker, Maarten Rabobank
86 Padrnos, Pavel Discovery Channel
87 Castresana Del Val, Angel MrBookmaker - SportsTech
88 Mengin, Christophe Française des Jeux
89 Facci, Mauro Fassa Bortolo
90 Elmiger, Martin Phonak Hearing Systems
91 Grabsch, Bert Phonak Hearing Systems
92 Le Mevel, Christophe Crédit Agricole
93 Carlström, Kjell Liquigas - Bianchi
94 White, Matthew Cofidis, le crédit par téléphone
95 Dewaele, Bert Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
96 Giunti, Massimo Fassa Bortolo
97 Schleck, Frank CSC
98 Zaugg, Oliver Saunier Duval - Prodir
99 Barredo Llamazales, Carlos Liberty Seguros - Würth Team
100 Righi, Daniele Lampre - Caffita
101 Ten Dam, Laurens Shimano - Memory Corp.
102 Willems, Frederik Chocolade Jacques - T Interim
103 Commesso, Salvatore Lampre - Caffita
104 Ballan, Alessandro Lampre - Caffita
105 Arreitunandia, Pedro Barloworld - Valsir
106 Marichal, Thierry Cofidis, le crédit par téléphone
107 Jäksche, Jörg Liberty Seguros - Würth Team
108 Serrano Rodriguez, Marcos Antonio Liberty Seguros - Würth Team
109 Fernandez Bustinza, Bingen Cofidis, le crédit par téléphone
111 Joachim, Benoit Discovery Channel
112 Farazijn, Peter Cofidis, le crédit par téléphone
113 Hesjedal, Ryder Discovery Channel
115 Posthuma, Joost Rabobank
116 Geslin, Anthony Bouygues Telecom
117 Kannemeyer, Tiaan Barloworld - Valsir
118 Pronk, Matthé MrBookmaker - SportsTech
119 Van Der Wal, Eelke Shimano - Memory Corp.
120 Bertolini, Alessandro Domina Vacanze
121 Rous, Didier Bouygues Telecom
122 Irizar Aranburu, Markel Euskaltel - Euskadi
123 Nozal Vega, Isidro Liberty Seguros - Würth Team
124 Montfort, Maxime Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
125 McCarty, Jonathan Patrick Discovery Channel
126 Isasi Flores, Inaki Euskaltel - Euskadi
127 Etxebarria Arana, Unai Euskaltel - Euskadi
128 De Schrooder, Benny Chocolade Jacques - T Interim
129 Veikkanen, Jussi Française des Jeux
130 Poilvet, Benoît Crédit Agricole
131 Ghyllebert, Pieter Chocolade Jacques - T Interim