Cycling News

Rampant Tadej Pogačar wins Amstel Gold Race

Rampant Tadej Pogačar wins Amstel Gold Race

There were no surprises Sunday in the Limburg region of the southern Netherlands (well, besides Ben Healy), as the imperious Tadej Pogačar won Amstel Gold Race, drinking the giant beer for the first time. Solo for the final 29.5 km, the Slovenian became the first rider to do the Ronde van Vlaanderen-Amstel Gold Race double since Phillipe Gilbert in 2017 and the fourth overall. It was his third WorldTour round victory of the season. Hugo Houle was top Canadian in 68th.

The Course

Amstel Gold Race is more of a pivot race than an actual Ardennes Classic, which have fewer, longer climbs. The riders were challenged by 33 hills over 253 km, with the famed Cauberg (600 metres of 9.2 percent) positioned 19 km from the finish line. After that came the Geulhemmerberg (800 metres of 6.4 percent) and the Bemelerberg (600 metres of 5.3 percent), the latter cresting 5 km from the line in Berg en Terblijt.

The Canadian contingent was all Israel-Premier Tech: Michael Woods, Hugo Houle and Guillaume Boivin.

Almost from the gun in Maastricht, a septet of escapees, heavy on the wild card teams, sprang up the road. After 113 km and 10 taxing hills, this group, representing seven different nations, held a 2:30 advantage.

With 96 km to ride, the breakaway hauled in and the big climbs yet to come, the peloton split, Pogačar, Tom Pidcock and Alexey Lutsenko in the leading 11-rider group. The Slovenian trailblazed up the first passage of the famed Cauberg, Jumbo-Visma pulling in the peloton behind.

Up and over the Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg the Pogačar-Pidcock gang rambled. Bahrain-Victorious grabbed the reins in the chase group. Michael Woods flatted. A massive crash on a curve disturbed the chase. Trek-Segafredo took over the pursuit.

There was an even further decanting of the chase group, and the race headed into the final 39 km and last six climbs with two small bands trying to bridge to Pogačar, who had to change bikes. On the Eyserbosweg, the Slovenian thinned out the group, Pidcock and EF Education-Easypost’s Irishman Ben Healy able to hang.

Pidcock able to go with Pogacar on the Eyserbosweg.


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…