Amstel Gold Team News – fifth for Quickstep


Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Michal Kwiatkowski finished 5th in the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday whilst Tony Martin crashed

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Amstel Gold Team News – fifth for Quickstep
(Report here of race won by Gilbert)

Team News from Omega Pharma Quickstep
The race came down to the final ascent of the Cauberg, with 3 kilometers to go. Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) launced an acceleration no one could match, and he went on to win solo. Kwiatkowski was in good position heading into the climb after being led there by teammate Michal Golas, even marking accelerations from the beginning. He marked an attack of Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) just before Gilbert went up the road.


Picture: (Thomas van Bracht)

Kwiatkowski did his best to chase with a small group including Gerrans, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), and Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol), but they were unable to close the gap. Vanendert was 2nd, Gerrans was 3rd, and Valverde 4th.

Zdenek Stybar was also a protagonist for OPQS, going with an attack of Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) with 39km to go. A select group then formed as they pursued the original breakaway. However, most of those riders were absorbed by the peloton except for Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). Those riders caught two left in the lead with about 10km left in the race, but those riders were all neutralized with 7km to go.

OPQS was also a team that helped chase down several breakaways.

Tony Martin suffered a crash, without serious consequences, after being last of the line in a wide road that suddenly narrowed. He touched wheels with Kwiatkowski and fell. He was able to keep riding quickly after suffering a mechanical, which required a new bike.

Wout Poels had a bike change on the Bemelerberg with about 8km to go in the race. That, and a bit of a bad day on the bike, put him out of contention for the final.

“There is something so good about this Cauberg,” Kwiatkowski said. “I think it’s something I need to discover. I think I would have been a little bit better further back in the group, maybe following a guy like Gilbert. He has so much experience. I think it would be a bit easier.”

“I didn’t catch an attack from Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing Team) right away early on the climb. I was a little bit back. That surprised me, but I had just started behind my teammate Michal Golas on the Cauberg. I thought ‘why do I have to wait,’ as I thought after a couple of seconds later we’d be on the top. But on the bike, it’s a long way to the top. I went too early actually and I paid for it. But, I’m happy.”

“I had so much support from my teammates,” Kwiatkowski continued. “I have done this race twice now, and I have performed recon of the parcours. I’m learning year-by-year. I stayed in the race all day in the front, but maybe from this I learned I need to stay a little more in the back and realize when to use my energy. But the support of my teammates was great today regardless of my choice of position.”

“Golas was really impressive today. He was able to chase down a breakaway, then he was still with me on to the bottom of the Cauberg. So I’m happy with what they did for me. I finished 5th and while I didn’t improve on last year’s 4th place, I made it a little bit better start.”

“Because I could follow guys on the Cauberg and I couldn’t last year. I had maybe a little bit better of a sprint, but this year I took a different way. I did better but in the end I just couldn’t follow Gilbert. There is so much to learn and I for Fleche Wallone, I think this makes me confident. After Pais Vasco I took a different way to prepare for the Ardennes Classics. I’m happy my legs are OK and there are a few days of recovery. If you have good legs, you can be there. I showed today they are there. I’m looking forward to the next two races.”


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