|ROMAN KREUZIGER WINS AMSTEL GOLD RACE 2013
[14.04 17:00] The Spring was finally showing mercy on the field in today's 251 kilometer long Dutch one-day classic, Amstel Gold Race where a group consisting of Tim De Troyer (Accent Jobs-Wanty), Alexandre Pliuschin (IAM), Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel), Arthur Van Overberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen), Nicolas Vogondy (Accent Jobs), Klaas Sys (Crelan-Euphony) and Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) formed the early breakaway.
Half way into the race, a big crash in the front part of the field held Team Saxo-Tinkoff's Rory Sutherland back together with favorite and World champion, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) but after ten kilometers of chasing, they rejoined the field. However 25 riders with Team Blanco as the big motor took advantage of the crash and set a fierce pace to keep the favorites out of the race.
The two groups behind the escapees joined soon after and then Katusha and Movistar picked up the pace heading towards the finale in Valkenburg. And as the peloton was coming closer, Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) decided to move away from the front group and Alexandre Pliuschin (IAM) and Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel) joined him. However, the Spaniard wasn't happy about the pace and dropped his two companions on the following climb with 44 kilometers to go and a gap of 2.30 minutes to the main field.
On top of the first climb of Cauberg, Team Saxo-Tinkoff's Roman Kreuziger launched a solid attack and he bridged the gap to a chase group behind the leading rider, Asterloza (Euskaltel) and soon, the Spaniard was caught by the Kreuziger-group of seven riders.
In the peloton, Canondale and Omega-Pharma Quick Step worked hard to bring the escapees back but with seven kilometers to go, Team Saxo-Tinkoff's Roman Kreuziger created the gap and soloed his way towards Cauberg. And even though, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) launched a violent attack from the field, no one was able to catch the Team Saxo-Tinkoff rider who soloed across the finish line as the winner of Amstel Gold Race 2013.
“Today, we had two captains, Nicki Sørensen and me and with Karsten Kroon as our GPS, we were in a good position to achieve our goal. The whole team did an excellent job out there and I was fully prepared for the finale and I was feeling strong all the way. On the final climb of Cauberg, I just looked down and pedalled without thinking so much. I'm really happy about this win and it goes to the whole team for a job well done,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff's Roman Kreuziger after his magnificent victory. But the victory will not be celebrated with a party: ”Maybe we'll have a glas of champagne tonight but there's a tough week ahead of us and we have to focus on the job,” Kreuziger concludes.
Team Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Philippe Mauduit was naturally thrilled after the stunning victory:
”It's one of those days where everything just come together perfectly. The rider has each been given an assignment and every one them does his job. Right before Roman goes in the first break, the riders are told to be attentive as the teams were all losing riders and a chase was hard to establish. Roman does this race perfectly and attacks at a time and a place which everyone around him knows is crucial but no one had the legs to follow him and he's going solo to the finish line taking one of the most beautiful wins this Spring,” said a very happy Mauduit.
Amstel Gold Race ; Results