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2018 Amstel Gold Race (World Tour)

53rd edition: Sunday, April 15, 2018

Amstel Gold Race podium history | 2016 edition | Course map | Race photos | Pre-race photos | Route notes | Start list

Maastricht - Valkenberg, 263 km, The Netherlands

Michael Valgren

Michael Valgren wins the Amstel Gold race ahead of Roman Kreuziger & Enrico Gasparotto. Sirotti photo

Weather at Maastricht at 2:50 PM, local time: 18C (65F), Partly cloudy with the wind from the SSW at 16 km/hr (10 MPH). No rain is forecast.

The race: Here's the report from second-place Roman Kreuziger's Mitchelton-Scott team.

2013 Amstel Gold Race winner Roman Kreuziger came close to taking a second victory today in the 53rd edition of the lengthy 262kilometre Ardennes classic, after breaking away from a lead group of favourites in the final three kilometres.

In the end it came down to a head-to-head sprint after six and a half hours of racing, with Michael Valgren (Astana) pushing ahead in the closing moment to claim the 2018 victory with Kreuziger taking second for Mitchelton-SCOTT.

Nine make the breakaway
With warm, welcoming conditions at the start line in Maastricht, the scene was set for a long day out in the saddle. In the opening kilometres a group of nine riders formed the day’s breakaway and with distance on their side, the peloton allowed the escapees to gain a maximum advantage of 15minutes and 30seconds after 55kilometres was completed.

Team Movistar and Quickstep-Floors did the initial chasing at the head of the peloton as the riders slowly ticked off each of the 35climbs one-by-one, and the breakaway’s advantage began to gradually decrease.

Kreuziger shows he means business
With 30kilometres to go the breakaway reduced in size and their advantage hovered just one minute ahead. The pace began to increase and Kreuiziger lifted the tempo on one of the final few climbs as the peloton drastically shrunk in size.

A flurry of attacks came on the Keutenberg and Kreuziger made a strong move with Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain Merida) following his tracks.

The final decisive move
The final time up the Cauberg climb, Kreuziger and Garparotto worked together to successfully stay away and make it across to the remaining breakaway riders, but as they passed the finish line, the chasing group of favourites was in hot pursuit.

Finally, the bridge was made with 13kilometres to go and the front of the race swelled to nine, with race favourites such as Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep-Floors), Jakob Fugslang (Astana) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) present.

Kreuziger waited patiently as the tension rose and after a strong attack by Valgren in the last three kilometres, Kreuziger was the only rider to react. The pair remained ahead with the 31-year-old taking a well fought second place for Mitchelton-SCOTT to kick off their Ardennes campaign.

Roman Kreuziger - Second place
“It was a long final 40kilometres and I spent some extra energy off the front with Enrico Gasparotto and maybe Michael Valgren had something more in the final, but our goal was to be on the podium and we achieved that.

“It’s a pity to lose, because it’s a big classic and I would like to win again after five years since the last time. We knew the guys behind were closing pretty quick and there were some fast guys in there, but chapeau to Michael he showed his class today.

“If I arrived to the sprint with Sagan or Alaphilippe I would be fifth or sixth and that was not our goal we wanted to show our jersey and do our race and I think we did in the best way that we could . I am happy with second place, of course I wanted to win the race again but if you think about it how normally I can sprint then it is a big victory today.

“I had really good information from the team car, so I knew what the gap was and didn’t look over my shoulder until we had crossed the line. This race was one of my goals for the season and it is really good to start the Ardennes Classics week with a podium.”

Matt White - Sport director
“It has always been a happy hunting group for us here at this race, with this being our fifth podium finish in seven years, so it is our most consistent classics race.”

“Roman has won this race before on this same course, so he is no stranger to this sort of final and he showed today he was one of the strongest guys, forcing the move in a crucial section and having the legs to go again when the other guys got across to him, it shows he is in great shape.”

Complete Results:

263 kilometers raced at an average speed of 39.438 km/hr

1 VALGREN Michael Astana 6hr 40min 7sec
2 KREUZIGER Roman Mitchelton-Scott s.t.
3 GASPAROTTO Enrico Bahrain-Merida @ 2sec
4 SAGAN Peter Bora-hansgrohe 0:19
5 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar s.t.
6 WELLENS Tim Lotto-Soudal s.t.
7 ALAPHILIPPE Julian Quick-Step Floors s.t.
8 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana 0:23
9 CRADDOCK Lawson EF Education First-Drapac 0:30
10 VANENDERT Jelle Lotto-Soudal 0:36
11 IMPEY Daryl Mitchelton-Scott 0:53
12 VAN HECKE Preben Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
13 GILBERT Philippe Quick-Step Floors s.t.
14 VAN AVERMAET Greg BMC s.t.
15 MOLARD Rudy Groupama-FDJ s.t.
16 DE TIER Floris LottoNL-Jumbo s.t.
17 BONO Matteo UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
18 HENAO Sergio Luis Sky s.t.
19 IZAGIRRE Ion Bahrain-Merida s.t.
20 WOODS Michael EF Education First-Drapac s.t.
21 RIESEBEEK Oscar Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij 0:56
22 IZAGIRRE Gorka Bahrain-Merida 1:19
23 GRMAY Tsgabu Trek-Segafredo 1:51
24 MATTHEWS Michael Team Sunweb 2:11
25 TEUNS Dylan BMC s.t.
26 PAUWELS Serge Dimension Data s.t.
27 COSTA Rui UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
28 GESINK Robert LottoNL-Jumbo s.t.
29 VUILLERMOZ Alexis Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
30 PACHER Quentin Vital Concept s.t.
31 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Sky s.t.
32 NIBALI Vincenzo Bahrain-Merida s.t.
33 JUNGELS Bob Quick-Step Floors s.t.
34 DE MARCHI Alessandro BMC s.t.
35 MOLLEMA Bauke Trek-Segafredo s.t.
36 LANDA Mikel Movistar s.t.
37 KUZNETSOV Viacheslav Katusha-Alpecin 3:15
38 BAUGNIES Jerome Wanty-Groupe Gobert 3:26
39 SBARAGLI Kristian Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
40 SKUJIŅŠ Toms Trek-Segafredo s.t.
41 LIGTHART Pim Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
42 ROUX Anthony Groupama-FDJ s.t.
43 DEVRIENDT Tom Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
44 FRAILE Omar Astana s.t.
45 LINDEMAN Bert-Jan LottoNL-Jumbo s.t.
46 VAN GESTEL Dries Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
47 PASQUALON Andrea Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
48 COSNEFROY Benoit Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
49 BURGHARDT Marcus Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
50 ULISSI Diego UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
51 SPRENGERS Thomas Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
52 BOIVIN Guillaume Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
53 DOMONT Axel Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
54 DILLIER Silvan Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
55 GUERREIRO Ruben Trek-Segafredo s.t.
56 PONZI Simone Nippo-Vini Fantini s.t.
57 CANOLA Marco Nippo-Vini Fantini s.t.
58 WARBASSE Larry Aqua Blue Sport s.t.
59 MORI Manuele UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
60 SMITH Dion Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
61 KING Benjamin Dimension Data s.t.
62 BOLE Grega Bahrain-Merida s.t.
63 MADOUAS Valentin Groupama-FDJ s.t.
64 LAMMERTINK Maurits Katusha-Alpecin s.t.
65 HOWES Alex EF Education First-Drapac s.t.
66 BAKELANTS Jan Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
67 ROJAS José Joaquín Movistar s.t.
68 GRIVKO Andrei Astana s.t.
69 GASTAUER Ben Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
70 KONRAD Patrick Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
71 MINNAARD Marco Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
72 JUUL-JENSEN Christopher Mitchelton-Scott s.t.
73 COLBRELLI Sonny Bahrain-Merida s.t.
74 JENSEN August Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
75 SLAGTER Tom-Jelte Dimension Data s.t.
76 URAN Rigoberto EF Education First-Drapac s.t.
77 SERRY Pieter Quick-Step Floors s.t.
78 GERRANS Simon BMC s.t.
79 RIABUSHENKO Alexandr UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
80 GOLAS Michal Sky s.t.
81 DUNBAR Edward Aqua Blue Sport s.t.
82 MARCZYNSKI Tomasz Lotto-Soudal s.t.
83 VAUGRENARD Benoit Groupama-FDJ s.t.
84 VERONA Carlos Mitchelton-Scott s.t.
85 WEENING Pieter Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
86 MARTENS Paul LottoNL-Jumbo s.t.
87 GESCHKE Simon Team Sunweb s.t.
88 BETANCUR Carlos Movistar s.t.
89 ANACONA Winner Movistar s.t.
90 VANMARCKE Sep EF Education First-Drapac s.t.
91 MÜHLBERGER Gregor Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
92 NAESEN Oliver Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
93 TEN DAM Laurens Team Sunweb s.t.
94 TANKINK Bram LottoNL-Jumbo 3:35
95 CARUSO Damiano BMC 4:50
96 DAVIES Scott Dimension Data s.t.

2018 Amstel Gold Race map:

2018 Amstel Gold Race map


Race day photos by Fororeporter Sirotti:

Team BMC

Team BMC is presented during the starting ceremonies.

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde waits for the race to start.

Amstel Gold Race

The obligatory Amstel Gold Race windmill photo.

Dunbar, Eddie; Grmay, Tsgabu

Eddie Dunbar & Tsgabu Grmay on the Keutenberg

Simon Geschke

Simon Geschke on the Keutenberg ascent.

Carlos Betencur

Carlos Betancur

Michael Woods

Michael Woods on the Gulperberg

Bram Tankink

Bram Tankink

Peloton on Loorberg

On the Loorberg

Michael Valgren

Michael Valgren wins 2018 Amtel Gold Race.

Enrico Gasparotto

Enrico Gasparotto finishes third.

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan was fourth, ahead of Alejandro Valverde (obscured) and Tim Wellens.

Michael Valgren

Michael Valgren just after the race.

The podium

The podium, from left: Roman Kreuziger (2nd), Michael Valgren & Enrico Gasparotto (3rd)


Pre-race photos (April 14, 2018) by Fotoreporter Sirotti:

Sirotti caught lots of riders out training on the course.

Mithcelton-Scott

Mitchelton-Scott along with several regular riders ascend the Cauberg.

Team Quick-Step

Team Quick-Step is led up the Cauberg by Bob Jungels.

Bora-hansgorhe

Marcus Burghardt and Peter Sagan and Bora-hansgrohe teammates.

Israel Cycling Academy

Israel Cycling Academy

EF Education First

EF Education First-Drapac

Team Astana

An Astana rider seems to have spotted our photographer.

Lotto-soudal

Lotto-Soudal, and others....

Greg van Avermaet

Greg van Avermaet and a teammate, perhaps


The route: The organizer had this to say about the 2018 route.

The organization of the Amstel Gold Race has decided to make another change in the route of the Amstel Gold Race this year again. After the start on the ‘Markt’ in Maastricht, the riders will ride three big laps through the Southern Limburg hills, just like the last year, including three climbs of the Cauberg and three passages of the finishline in Vilt-Valkenburg. Just like in 2017, when the organisation changed the route, this year only the climbs of the Geulhemmerberg and the Bemelerberg are including in the final lap. So the Cauberg will be avoided in the last kilometers again

In the final lap of 16 kilometers, course director Leo van Vliet makes a change in 2018. “With this change in the final of the Amstel Gold Race we search for more narrow roads to make it harder to control the race for the bunch”; according to Van Vliet. After the climb of the Geulhemmerberg the bunch will not longer descend on the wide road of the Rasberg towards Maastricht, but the descend of the Kuitenbergweg that is parallel to the Rasberg towards the district Amby (Maastricht). Once the riders are down the descend, the riders will ride via the Molenweg and the Peutgensweg to cross the Rasberg towards Bemelen. After the climb of the Bemelerberg the riders will not cycle straight on, passing the famous windmill of Wolfshuis, but take a left turn in the village Gasthuis towards Terblijt. In Terblijt the route continues via the Rijnsbergerweg to end up at the Sibberweg again for the last kilometre.

“In 2017 we saw that a simple change in the route led to a more attractive race. With this new change the contenders for the victory have to find a good position before they enter the final or already left the bunch for an attack”, says Leo van Vliet.

The Amstel Gold Race starts on Sunday, April 15th at 10:30 am at the ‘Markt’ in Maastricht and finishes around 17:00 hrs. in Vilt-Valkenburg. This year’s Amstel Gold Race covers 260 km and contains 35 climbs.


Start list with back numbers, April 14, 2018:

  QUICK-STEP FLOORS
DS: Wilfried Peeters
1 GILBERT Philippe
2 ALAPHILIPPE Julian
3 JUNGELS Bob
4 TERPSTRA Niki
5 SERRY Pieter
6 MAS NICOLAU Enric
7 MARTINELLI Davide
MITCHELTON-SCOTT
DS: Laurenzo Lapage
11 ALBASINI Michael
12 DURBRIDGE Luke
13 HEPBURN Michael
14 IMPEY Daryl
15 JUUL JENSEN Christopher
16 KREUZIGER Roman
17 VERONA Carlos
SKY
DS: Servais Knaven
21 KWIATKOWSKI Michal
22 POELS Wouter
23 GEOGHEGAN HART Tao
24 HENAO Sergio
25 KIRYIENKA Vasil
26 GOLAS Michal
27 WISNIOWSKI Lukasz
MOVISTAR
DS: Jose Luis Arrieta
31 VALVERDE Alejandro
32 ANACONA Winner Anrew
33 BETANCUR Carlos Alberto
34 AMADOR Andrey
35 ROJAS Jose Joaquin
36 ERVITI Imanol
37 LANDA Mikel
TEAM SUNWEB
DS: Arthur Van Dongen
41 MATTHEWS Michael
42 THEUNS Edward
43 FROHLINGER Johannes
44 GESCHKE Simon
45 TEUNISSEN Mike
46 TEN DAM Laurens
47 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren
LOTTO-SOUDAL
DS: Mario Aerts
51 WELLENS Tim
52 BENOOT Tiesj
53 SIEBERG Marcel
54 MARCZYNSKI Tomasz
55 VAN DER SANDE Tosh
56 VANENDERT Jelle
57 MAES Nikolas
BMC
DS: Valerio Piva
61 VAN AVERMAET Greg
62 SCHÄR Michael
63 CARUSO Damiano
64 GERRANS Simon
65 TEUNS Dylan
66 BETTIOL Alberto
67 DE MARCHI Alessandro
LOTTO NL-JUMBO
DS: Frans Maassen
71 DE TIER Floris
72 GESINK Robert
73 LINDEMAN Bertjan
74 MARTENS Paul
75 VAN POPPEL Danny
76 TANKINK Bram
77 WYNANTS Maarten
BORA-HANSGROHE
DS: Enrico Poitschke
81 SAGAN Peter
82 BURGHARDT Marcus
83 ACKERMANN Pascal
84 KONRAD Patrick
85 MCCARTHY Jay
86 MUHLBERGER Gregor
87 BENEDETTI Cesare
TREK-SEGAFREDO
DS: Kim Andersen
91 MOLLEMA Bauke
92 DE KORT Koen
93 STUYVEN Jasper
94 GUERREIRO Ruben
95 GOGL Michael
96 GRMAY Tsgabu
97 SKUJINS Toms
ASTANA
DS: Bruno Cenghialta
101 CATALDO Dario
102 DE VREESE Laurens
103 FRAILE Omar
104 FUGLSANG Jakob
105 GATTO Oscar
106 GRIVKO Andriy
107 VALGREN ANDERSEN Michael
KATUSHA-ALPECIN
DS: Guennadi Mikhailov
111 LAMMERTINK Maurits
112 HAAS Nathan
113 KUZNETSOV Vyacheslav
114 CRAS Steff
115 PLANCKAERT Baptiste
116 BIERMANS Jenthe
117 SMIT Willie
AG2R LA MONDIALE
DS: Julien Jurdie
121 BAKELANTS Jan
122 DOMONT Axel
123 GASTAUER Ben
124 NAESEN Oliver
125 VUILLERMOZ Alexis
126 COSNEFROY Benoit
127 DILLIER Silvan
GROUPAMA-FDJ
DS: Martial Gayant
131 SINKELDAM Ramon
132 MADOUAS Valentin
133 MOLARD Rudy
134 ROUX Anthony
135 SEIGLE Romain
136 VAUGRENARD Benoît
137 CIMOLAI Davide
UAE-TEAM EMIRATES
DS: Jose Fernandez
141 FARIA DA COSTA Rui Alberto
142 BONO Matteo
143 MARTIN Daniel
144 MORI Manuele
145 RIABUSHENKO Aliaksandr
146 SUTHERLAND Rory
147 ULISSI Diego
EF EDUCATION FIRST-DRAPAC
DS: Juan Manuel Garate
151 VANMARCKE Sep
152 CRADDOCK Lawson
153 WOODS Michael
154 HOWES Alex
155 BRESCHEL Matti
156 OWEN Logan
157 URAN Rigoberto
DIMENSION DATA
DS: Jean-Pierre Heynderickx
161 SLAGTER Tom Jelte
162 DAVIES Scott
163 GEBREIGZABHIER Amanuel
164 VAN ZYL Johann
165 KING Benjamin
166 PAUWELS Serge
167 VENTER Jacobus
BAHRAIN-MERIDA
DS: Tristan Hoffman
171 NIBALI Vincenzo
172 BOLE Grega
173 COLBRELLI Sonny
174 IZAGUIRRE Gorka
175 IZAGUIRRE Jon
176 GASPAROTTO Enrico
177 PELLIZOTTI Franco
ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
DS: Michael Boogerd
181 WEENING Pieter
182 REINDERS Elmar
183 LIGTHART Pim
184 MEIJERS Jeroen
185 RIESEBEEK Oscar
186 GERTS Floris
187 VAN DER LIJKE Nick
ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY
DS: Kjell Carolstrom
191 GOLDSTEIN Roy
192 JENSEN August
193 NEILANDS Krists
194 BOIVIN Guillaume
195 SBARAGLI Kristian
196 PERRY Benjamin
197 WILLIAMS Tyler
AQUA BLUE SPORT
DS: Robert Decnodder
201 CHRISTIAN Mark
202 GATE Aaron
203 DUNBAR Eddie
204 HANSEN Lasse Norman
205 WATSON Calvin
206 PEDERSEN Casper Phillip
207 WARBASSE Larry
SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
DS: Hans De Clercq
211 PLANCKAERT Edward
212 VERWILST Aaron
213 DELTOMBE Kevin
214 SPRENGERS Thomas
215 VAN GESTEL Dries
216 VAN HECKE Preben
217 WARLOP Jordi
WANTY–GROUPE GOBERT
DS: Hilaire Van der Schueren
221 BAUGNIES Jérôme
222 MINNAARD Marco
223 DEVRIENDT Tom
224 PASQUALON Andrea
225 SMITH Dion
226 ANTONINI Simone
227 MCNALLY Mark
VITAL CONCEPT
DS: Gilles Pauchard
231 COQUARD Bryan
232 BAGOT Yohan
233 TURGIS Tanguy
234 MOTTIER Justin
235 MÜLLER Patrick
236 PACHER Quentin
237 REZA Kévin
NIPPO-VINI FANTINI
DS: Mario Manzoni
241 CUNEGO Damiano
242 TIZZA Marco
243 CANOLA Marco
244 GROSU Eduard Michael
245 KOBAYASHI Marino
246 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose
247 PONZI Simone