Report – Gilbert Solos To Win Amstel Gold Race


BMC’s Philippe Gilbert soloed to victory Sunday at Amstel Gold Race to win for the third time in five years

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Report – Gilbert Solos To Win Amstel Gold Race
(photos Team Report)

On the same finish where he soloed to win the 2012 world road title, Gilbert put in a vicious attack on the fourth and final time up the Cauberg climb. In the clear over the top, he opened a gap that kept growing until he started celebrating in the final 50 meters of the 251.4-kilometer race.


“This was a particularly emotional win for me,” Gilbert said. “My wife and my kids were here for the first time in two years. So to win will be something they will never forget. I have been dreaming of this.”

Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) was runner-up five seconds later and Simon Gerrans (ORICA-GreenEDGE) finished third. Also a winner here in 2010 and 2011, Gilbert’s victory was his second straight after holding off Michael Matthews (ORICA-GreenEDGE) Wednesday at Brabantse Pijl.

BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the performance re-confirms the importance of the hard work the team put in during its winter training. “This victory was a result of perfectly-executed strategy and 100 percent delivery by the team of that strategy, from start to finish,” he said. “I give full compliments to everybody: the riders, managers, staff, all the way down the line.”


The entirety of the BMC Racing Team played a part in the team’s ninth win of the season. Past Olympic road race champion Samuel Sánchez attacked at the foot of the Cauberg to set up Gilbert’s winning move after Marcus Burghardt escorted him into a forward position on the descent leading to the climb.

Earlier, Greg Van Avermaet covered an attack by Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) with 30 km to go in a move that was not brought back until seven kilometers remained. And Ben Hermans, Dominik Nerz, Michael Schär and Peter Velits all contributed to the chase of the day’s breakaway when its gap peaked at nearly 13 minutes after about 100 kilometers.


“My teammates really did a great job before the final ascension of the Cauberg,” Gilbert said. “They all did a very good job to place me in the best position. During the briefing, it was planned for Samuel to do an attack at the foot of the Cauberg. It was not a surprise for me, but I think it was one for my adversaries. I only had to wait for the best moment to attack. And I did that when it was most difficult and hurting for everyone.”


Simon Gerrans three times third in Valkenburg.
“Everyone did their job today,” said Gerrans. “We all did everything we could. We were beaten on by a stronger guy on the day. We couldn’t have done much more, so we have to be proud of that.”

“Third time third – particularly with third last year – is a little disappointing,” Gerrans added. “I would have loved to have improved my result. The goal was to win today, so anything less would always have felt like we had fallen a bit short but to finish on the podium of Amstel Gold is still a pretty satisfying result.”

“Mat Hayman had looked after me for the majority of the day,” noted Gerrans. “He stayed with me for the first 200 kilometres. When we hit the climbs, Mat moved me to the front. I needed to stay there from that point on so that I would be in a good position to respond to any attacks that it might be necessary for me to cover.”

“Coming into the finish, Pieter and Simon placed me perfectly into the bottom of the climb,” Gerrans explained. “They gave me the opportunity to attack the last time up the Cauberg. Philippe attacked right past me, and he got a gap straightaway. There wasn’t any cooperation behind, so we were left racing for the minor places.”

“I had felt really good coming into the race,” added Gerrans. “I was happy with my preparation. I wasn’t expecting a result, but I was certainly hoping for one. I was confident in the team and myself coming into the race today, and we all did a fantastic job. We would have liked to have won, but when you race the way we raced and come away with the podium, it’s a good day.”


Second for Jelle Vanendert after bad start
“The race didn’t start well for me” says Jelle Vanendert. “I crashed after about 40 kilometers. I hit my knee and had much pain. That moment I wasn’t sure I would finish the race, it was difficult to get back on track. Eventually I could make a switch. In the last 50 to 60 kilometres, I took my place in the front rows of the peloton”.

“For the team the race went as planned with Pim Ligthart in the front group and Tim Wellens who responded when the strong teams started the final. My brother Dennis took care of me. My ideal scenario was that we reached the top of the Cauberg with a small group and that I could take off when the others hesitated. Only Gilbert crossed my plans”.

“I did make the jump when the tempo went down after the Cauberg and I came second just like in 2012. This confirms my good shape, I’m back where I want to be. This result isn’t unexpected for me after all the hard work”.

“My season started with a setback due to the elbow injury I incurred in the Tour de San Luis. That’s why I wasn’t at my full strength in Paris-Nice. This second place is a nice reward. The Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are coming up. The Mur de Huy is very steep and you need to be explosive there. I think others are more cut out for that. La Doyenne suits me more, although I came fourth in the Flèche Wallonne two years ago.”

1 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team 06:25:57
2 VANENDERT Jelle Lotto Belisol 00:05
3 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE 00:06
4 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team
5 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
6 GESCHKE Simon Team Giant-Shimano 00:10
7 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
8 GASPAROTTO Enrico Astana Pro Team
9 MORENO Daniel Team Katusha
10 ARASHIRO Yukiya Team Europcar 00:12

12 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE
13 REBELLIN Davide CCC Polsat Polkowice
17 COSTA Rui Lampre-Merida
18 KREUZIGER Roman Tinkoff-Saxo
20 DUMOULIN Tom Team Giant-Shimano
21 SLAGTER Tom-Jelte Garmin Sharp
24 SCHLECK Fränk Trek Factory Racing 00:23
25 VOECKLER Thomas Team Europcar 00:36
39 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald Team Sky
40 VAN AVERMAET Greg BMC Racing Team
46 BAKELANTS Jan Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
50 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre-Merida
51 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
52 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team
56 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE
61 WESTRA Lieuwe Astana Pro Team
62 SáNCHEZ Samuel BMC Racing Team 02:16
72 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 06:26
76 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE
118 POELS Wout Omega Pharma – Quick-Step

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