41rst Amstel Gold Live Ticker
Join us for the live race commentary...
Today's commentary with Jan Jansens in Belgium and Locutus...
Wow, it looked pretty rainy during the early part of the stage. Christophe
"Bug Taster" Moreau went on the attack. That was early: Now there is Moreau with
three more men with him as they climb up past the ":finish" line. Their break
was up to 11'.
Current state of the race with 90 kms to the finish: Albasini (Liquigas),
Thijs (Unibet), and Bram Schmitz (T-Mobile) have dropped Moreau. They have 2'
05" on Moreau, and over 7' to the peloton.
There was another rider in the front group, but he was disqualified for moto-pacing
after getting a flat.
Back in the peloton, Rabobank sets the pace on the front. They are rather
listless. Of course, this is the biggest day of the year for the homeboys and
their leader Michael Boogerd
This classic sees a very different group of men in the peloton. Gone are most
of the cobblers, the men who excel over the bumpy hells of northern Europe. Of
course injury has also decimated the peloton: Van Petegem (Davitamon) broke his
collarbone, Hincapie (Discovery) separated a shoulder, and that's just the tip
of the injury iceburg for this season. The three breakaway men are riding up
theCauberg and pass the "finish" line.
They will now head back out on the course for another windy route over every
freakin' little hill that the organizers can find in the region, and then it
will be back up the Cauberg for a final time.
The gap is now down to 4' 25" for the three leaders over the peloton. Thomas
Dekker is pounding the pedals on the front, pushing the pace along to close down
the break for his big men: Booger, Erik Dekker, and Oscar Freire.
Erwin Thijs (Unibet) is struggling alone setting the pace in the break. They are
on a little bump in the road. All of the riders that that smeared look that
indicates they got drenched during the early stage of the race. Now they have
shed their rain capes, and the weather is cloudy but dry.
The peloton is looking all strung out single file. The pressure is increasing.
It's already looking like any rider not in the top fifty spots in the peloton
will have a rough ride today.
73 km left: The peloton has slackened the pace just a bit, though the
Rabobank domestics are still working their bums off. the gap is still at 3' 40"
for the three leaders Thijs, Albasini, and Schmitz.
Rabo really has an iron grip on this race as it does every year...it's the only
The peloton split in two along a separated two-lane stretch of road. Some
other riders have to come to the front and set the pace to try to keep up with
the Rabo-led part of the peloton.
Finally, the peloton is reunited. For the most part. But those three men off the
front are still chugging along by themselves, looking cold and tired.
Now the helocopter shows the peloton single-file blazing by some futbol (soccer,
Americanos) stadium that we would know if we were Dutch futbol fans.
Uh oh... a crash. Christian Moreni (Cofidis) went down, it looks like. He's
limping back up and throwing his leg over his bike, pushing off again. Can't
have been too serious, but probably pretty painful (easy to say it wasn't
serious from my seat in the DP studios).
The riders are rapidly approaching the Bemelerberg, a little nasty climb that
hits with about 60km left. I think they only have nasty little climbs in this
part of the world.
The Rabobanks are certainly not worrying about anybody helping them set the
pace. Being the home team, they just assume leadership of the race every year,
it seems. They have it all stretched out in the peloton again, and the gap is
down to 3' 00
Not a very exciting race so far, but once we start hitting the smaller roads
and the ridiculously steep short climbs we're in for some fireworks
If you like looking at the bum of men in orange and blue, it has been a good
race so far for the men in the peloton.
Well, Schmitz (T-Mobile) is in trouble, getting dropped by the other two men in
the break on the Bemelerberg with 61km left.
Yep, Schmitz is gone. He's been soundly dropped by Thijs and Albasini.
Oh boy, some rider just took to the sidewalk and now the peloton hit a corner,
and the rider had to ride through the crowd slowly and around some bushes. Not
the fast-track to the front of the pack that he'd hoped it would be. (DOH!)
Well, it looks like the leaders dropped Schmitz on the warm-up climb to the
Bemelerberg. Now they are on the Bemelerberg for real, and it's biting into the
legs of Albasini and Thijs. Good to see the man wearing #1 (Albasini) on the
attack. Though he's only wearing that number because last year's winner, his
teammate DiLuca, is taking it a bit easier this spring to show up fresher for
So DiLuca isn't riding Amstel Gold, he's going to start racing later in the
Attack from Wesmann!!
T-Mobile is now taking advantage from the work Schmitz has done up front.Boogerd
(?) counters behind Wesemann, with Wegmann in his wheel
Well, the T-Mobile rider isn't waiting around... he's going to see who has the
legs. No more hiding in the peloton, eh?
A group of about 10 riders now
These ten men have a little gap on the peloton that is growing. Erik Dekker (Rabobank)
is in there.
Four T-Mobile men are in this break! among them Eddy Mazzoleni who's fooling
around with Basso's sister. Well, not right now, in general.
This break is about 50 meters off the front, with a couple of men jumping
from the peloton trying to bridge. It could stick, or be brought back at this
Bettini is in the front group, while the T-mobile dudes are taking hold of
the race and putting the pace in the lead group
55 km left. Thijs and Albasini are on another little uphill, but they
won't be alone off the front for much longer it seems.
That T-Mobile-led chase group is on fire.
So there are three groups on the road: Albasini and Thijs, followed a bit
further back by a group of about a dozen men led by T-Mobile, and then a
Now Bettini sends his lieutenant to the front of the T-Mobile group: MSR
winner Pozzato is driving hard to prevent the rabo team from bringing things
together now because Boogerd isn't gonna stand for a group leaving without him!
Only 25" between the two leaders and this accelerating chase group. Soon the
Pozzato-led chase will swallow the two leaders up.
Whoa, some very wet roads now... they are wet and dangerous looking right now.
The peloton is reforming, and might bring back both of these breaks off the
front; but now an attack from a CSC man, countered by FlÍcha, Pozzato and
Kroon (CSC) attacks. He was in that chase group; it's SŲrensen I think Locutus
Locutus: Yep, it is Sorensen in there for CSC. So there are now six riders at
the front as Albasini and Thijs get caught by Sorensen (CSC), Pozzato (Quick
Step), Kessler (T-Mobile), and Flecha (Rabobank).
The peloton is splintering and reforming and splintering again behind. The
race is really on now; now a Gerolsteiner man on the attack but the
perennial FlÍcha on his wheel
Jan: Pozzato brings the peloton back though.
Flecha has shown again his great form. But it's all back together now. The
peloton has shed the weakest men, but the strongest men haven't really
distinguished themselves yet.
Another little dig by Wesemann, but it goes nowhere.
the peloton is still pretty big but it's on one long string...Bettini must be
feeling well as his best domestiques are continusly up front; Baguet and Pozzato
Not many Discovery riders left near the front of that peloton. They have been
really depleted by injuries; yeah, and they don't really have many riders for
these races anyway really
Puncture for Karsten Kroon...who's stayering behind his team car back to the
lead group now
So the peloton is down to about 70 men. Kroon is chasing back up, in the
cars. Not good, though.
Off the front is a Davitamon rider, now. that's Vansummeren! One of the
tallest riders in the pro peloton The Davitamon rider attacked on a slight
uphill, but he's being pegged back.
45 km left. Here comes a Milram rider. The blue milkmen have been
quiet so far, but now they've decided to make some noise. It's Maarten den
Bakker of Milram off the front. He's been joined by a Cofidis rider.
Chavanel is the Cofidis man, it looks like.
yep, and now they're joined by Mazzoleni, Schumacher, Horner. And there the
"Cricket" comes like it takes no effort at all!
Little packs of men are trying to bridge up, and now a larger group of
about seven men has taken shape. One of the riders up front now is Gusev
(Discovery). They are nearing the climb of the Wolfsberg.
The race is still in flux, with all kinds of attacks and counters while men
trying to establish the big break. But Bettini is looking EXTREMELY strong as he
command the lead group where no Rabo riders are present
About a dozen men now in this leading group.
A lot of strong riders in this group. Discovery has Joachim and Gusev in
here. But they are disorganized.
Belgian champ... Serge Baguet sets the pace in the peloton as they try to chase
back this break.
The lead group only has about 12" on the peloton. Rabobank is now organized
getting this break back.
Chavanel punctures, so he drops back from the lead group.
The peloton now catches the break. So all together with about 40 km left;
yeah, but all this must cost Rabobank SO much power.
Attack from Wesemann again, with Astarloa on his wheel Still a pretty big
These attacks will have to sort that out.
Yeah, I'm sure Boogerd and Bettini will change that on the Eyserbosstraat.
Some Disco boys are now dancing at the back of the peloton, struggling to
keep up. The Raboboys are still driving the peloton up this latest climb. 10
seconds for the 3 leaders as Dekker leads the peloton; a lot of T-Mobile behind
the Rabo guys.
That looks like Erik Dekker on the front too, so Rabobank is having to burn
some of their big engines to control this race.
Flat for Axel Merckx...that should be the end of his race
37 km left. The peloton is all strung out, with three men off the front.
Freire moving towards the front of the peloton together with Bettini.
Wesemann (T-Mobile), Astorloa (Barloworld), and Bertagnolli (Cofidis) have
10" on the peloton.
Beautiful countryside they are riding through... being a product of American
culture, I expect there to be an injured American GI and a concerned farm girl
hiding out from the Nazis in each one of these pretty little farmhouses. Where
are those airdrops?! operation Market Garden 2006
Well, the break of three riders is almost over... Wesemann and Astorloa and
Bertagnolli are sitting up. Well, no, not Wesemann. So Wesemann is now solo off
the front. The other two were swallowed up by the peloton.
Wesemann and Bettini look like the strongest men in the race so far.
Wesemann has a mere 7" lead over the peloton, but he's got a weird smile on
his face as he just hammers on alone. It quickly goes up to :15 as Wesemann
presses on. Behind, Rabobank is burning a lot of gas (not Liquigas, just regular
gas) trying to chase down this one crank-happy German.
The old feud between Dutchies and Germans is coming up again now; you see the
rabo guys going slightly faster now they're chasing a German. There are a lot of
men in the peloton who are happy to just sit in for the moment while the Rabos
tire themselves out.
Look who's peeping at the front of the peloton? Alessandro Ballan!! wasn't
that the man who attacked like a rocket taking off in MSR more than a month ago?
Rebellin is being prepared for an attack, Bettini is looking at him
attentively; On the Gulperberg, it's a milkman rocket as the pitch of the climb
In the back of the group FlÍcha is burning out
Wesemann really hammers up near the top, while men are shelled all over the
place at the back of the peloton.
Flecha is toasted. He's off the back. 15 seconds still for Wesemann, he's going
28 km to go: Gerosteiner now on the front of the peloton... so an
inter-German struggle is emerging between the waterboys of Gerolsteiner and the
pinkos of T-Mobile.
Jan Jansens: my townsman Leukemans is near the front too...go Bjorn!
Wesemann alone off the front with a good bap. Two Gerolsteiners set the pace,
working for Rebellin. This peloton is greatly reduced now. A lot of jockeying is
starting at the front of the peloton. No one team is able to get control.
Wesemann has 16" still; while Wesemann just peddles on like it's a training
ride. The Swiss German who loves the roads of the low countries
23 kms to go: CSC is now putting a couple of guys on point, but
Wesemann meanwhile pushes his lead up to 20".
Flat for Erik Dekker, who abandons. yeah, I guess he figured there wasn't
much point going on at this point in the race; he's done his work...
Wesemann hits the 17% of the Kruisberg. Milram sets the pace behind in the
peloton. with Ivanov as Wesemann's guard dog on the Milram rider's wheel
Wow, the peloton is exploding on this steep pitch of the climb! Kroon (CSC)
and some Rabobanks are prominent on the climb.
This looks like somebody's driveway, this climb. Very narrow; barely wide enough
for one car, let alone an SUV
Gaps are everywhere now that the climb is over.
Grivko's attack has torn the peloton apart, I think we can expect some fireworks
from Bettini on the Eyserbosweg
Next up is the Eyserbosweg climb. Just a bit over 20 km left. Wesemann is
still alone off the front. The peloton seems to be on Prozac all of the sudden,
while Wesemann still hammers along; and no attack yet on this very very steep
30 seconds for Wesemann!
Ivanov of T-Mobile is in the middle of the road at the front of the peloton,
setting a false tempo while his teammate stretches his lead up the road.
Kroon attacks!! Bettini comes up and over him, and nobody seems to be
able to follow!!
Kroon of CSC goes, with Ivanov on his wheel.
Boogerd crawling back to his wheel, bettini is so damn strong, Bettini, Kroon,
and Ivanov with Boogard.
Bettini really put the screws to the field on that one, but the climb is over.
Whoa, there is a big gap, and a selection has been made.
Leukemans who was with the lead group but is dropping out with a mechanical,
who yells a 4-letter word into his communications gear on camera/
"FLAT!" Horner? nope, that was Leukemans.
Wesemann alone still. Sanchez of Euskaltel has clawed his way up to that break
that is chasing Wesemann.
Yeah, but he's in the lead group again, seems like his problem is solved
There are about 15 men left chasing Wesemann at 13"
Wegmann attacks, and Ivanov is on his wheel. Leukemans is third wheel. They
have a bit of a gap now in pursuit of Wesemann.You know, this is an amazing show
of legs and defiance by Wesemann. If Ivanov wins today, he'll owe it to his mate
Wesemann's attack that has taken the stuffing out of so many riders in the
Chavanel (Cofidis) now has a mechanical in the third group.
Attack by Il Grillo but it's not really a very steep climb so he can't make much
Bettini has a small gap on the peloton, but he still isn't close to catching
Wesemann. Well, having said that, Wesemann is now not that far in front of
The gap is still about 7". Ivanov and Schlek are pacing up to Bettini in
their national jerseys. Schleck and Ivanov are chasing Bettini. The rest of that
"peloton"... what's left of it... is sitting around waiting for something;
probably for someone to tow them up to the front; where's flÍcha when you need
Well, Bettini is now up to Wesemann. Can these two work together?
They have a brief chat in that universal mash-up cycling lingo, and off they
go, working together. It will be hard to bring back Wesemann and Bettini this
late in the race. Or is Wesemann sitting on, waiting for his mate Ivanov to
Bettini and Wesemann crawling up the Keuteberg; Ivanov, Wegmann (Gerolsteiner),
and Schleck (CSC) are chasing Bettini and Wesemann. Only 11 km from the finish.
Ivanov and company are getting there but the 2nd group isn't far behind either;
Well, there are a lot of men chasing behind on this climb. It could all come
back together before the finish, but Bettini and Wesemann don't want that to
Horner is still in that larger group.
Now only the final climb of the Cauberg is left. Bettini and Wesemann are
caught by the Ivanov group. Boogerd has made his way up there too. Sammy Sanchez
has bridged up, as has Rebellin.
T-Mobile has three guys up front...this could be interesting. That lead group is
now about a dozen men.
Boogerd looks over his shoulder and sees that he's already burned up all of
his teammates and he's on his own.
Attack from Ivanov, Bettini immediately on his wheel.
this race rocks! Schleck attacks, Sinkewitz follows but can't keep his wheel,
Bettini lets the others bridge up
Schleck attacks and has a bit of a gap! Wesemann and Ivanov are struggling back
to the group of men chasing Schleck. Great race indeed! Attack after attack,
hard to keep up...
8 kms to go: Schleck on his own, with a decent little gap on about ten
chasers that includes Ivanov, Boogerd, Bettini, Wesemann, Kroon, and a few
The gap is up to 18". Kroon chasing away a motorist because he feels he's
apcing them up to Schleck.. wow, that's already a good gap...T-Mobile now
chasing hard Wesemann and Sinkewitz lead the chase for T-Mobile.
now Bettini helps, he feels it's slipping away the way things are going
Bet Rebellin is in there, as is Joost Posthuma; the larger peloton is only a
little way behind this lead group
Wesemann attacks, again! Boogerd tries to bridge up to the mad attacking
Boogerd catches him but then sits up. He looks over his shoulder looking for
help, and there is none. Perdiguero of Phonak is stucked into this group.
Schleck is laughing...Well, figuratively speaking
5km left. 15" still for Schleck. Damn, i'm getting sweaty with
excitement! Yeah, this is going to be a great smackdown on this final climb up
3 km for Schleck! Ivanov has a go on a little descent. He has Bettini
and the rest in two now.14 seconds still for Schleck in tow, that is...the only
one able to bridge on the Cauberg is Bettini I think.
counter-attack from Wesemann! how strong is he?!
Well, that chase group was looking around, and Wesemann hit them again. last
km for Schleck...he's gonna win this race!! Ivanov looks around as if to say, "Yo,
I'm on his team... I'm not chasing... this is the Russian champs jersey, but I'm
on T-Mobile, yo!"
The Amstel Gold-driven crowd goes wild. Wesemann is burning out while the
rest are coming nearer.
Schleck is going to be the first Luxembourgian to win this race!! What an
amazing attack this is for Schleck!
Wesemann grits his teeth, but that's not enough to win it.
SCHLECK WINS!!! A la Vino in 2003!
Another COUP for CSC! That is two in a row for Bjarne Riis and his boys! That
after all their bad luck.
Wesemann gets a strong 2nd place, well deserved; and Boogerd takes third...his
umpteenth podium place; and that after all their bad luck
Wesemann gets a strong 2nd place, well deserved. And Boogerd takes
third...his umpteenth podium place
Here comes Ultra-Bright Boogerd, attacking for 3rd. Now riders straggle
across in twos and threes.
What a great attacking race, with a lot of excitement over that last 40
kilometers. CSC gets Paris-Roubaix and now Amstel Gold. Can they take the Giro
and the Tour too? Basso hopes so.
haha..I bet he does!
Another trend this season: the new generation wins! Pozzato, Boonen, Cancellara,
Schleck...all 26 or younger
This was a really hard race; nice image now of Schlek crying as Wesemann
Yep, a lot of young guys have been dominating. The grand tours usually favor
older men, but could another Cunego emerge, or might Cunego himself win another
Cunego will win the Giro! says this humble commentator
Schleck is happy as he shakes his ratty Euro-mullet in disbelief while
talking to interviewers.
No no, Danielson will win! Oh, wait, he's riding for Savoldelli...
Have any of the Giro favorites done anything yet this season? Or are they
he's not riding the Tour at all, is he? I doubt Danielson will.
Basso has won a lot..well, a lot in terms of GT guys; Criterium international
for example. He might do the Giro-Vuelta double again.
Bjarne Riis gives Schleck a big bear hug. Boogerd appears to be in a much
better mood this year... he flashes those amazing pearlies and greets 2nd-place
Wesemann and winner Schleck as they mount the podium.
I think Boogerd realizes this was the best he could do today. I mean with the
way the race played out. Yeah, Boogerd didn't seem to have much pop in the legs
today, so 3rd was pretty good. Ballan comes a little bit closer to Tom Protour -erh
Boonen, but still a 25-point gap in the overall PTY ranking Last year's winner
Di Luca is watching this on a couch somewhere thinking, "I'd better make the
Giro podium this year...."
This all promises for L-B-L in any case when Cunego joins the pack too.
Next week will see even more of the climbing-happy type of grand tour riders
re-emerge from their winter hibernation to have a real go at Liege.
1) Frank Schleck
Thanks for joining us for the live ticker... full results when available and
Time to hit the road for a ride!
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