51st Amstel Gold Race, 249km - 17/04/16

Amstel Gold Race 2016

It is time for the Ardennes. We have had the cobbled classics, which were all awesome and culminated in an incredible, surreal Paris-Roubaix, so it is time for the annual trio of uphill sprints. Although Amstel isn't technically an uphill sprint.

Amstel kicks them off. Since the change in course, the chances of the race not being decided on the Cauberg have been reduced dramatically. Although, Kreuziger did win in 2013 with an attack. The hardest and most interesting circuit unfortunately is the penultimate one. The last one is pretty bad, IMO.

Just in case some of you forgot this immensely memorable race.

After a trademark "I'm in bad form" Nibali attack about 20km out, the group regathered for to encounter the Cauberg. Gilbert attacked, and hard, and was only really followed by Matthews, who's main goal that year was Amstel. Gilbert, having realised Matthews was with him, refused to work, knowing Matthews will beat him in a sprint. However, Matthews was utterly shattered, and also didn't work. Valverde and someone else (sorry I've forgotten) who were dropped slightly on the Cauberg, caught up. Then, everyone did, creating an almost 20-man Gruppo Compatto with a kilometre or two to the line. Matthews was on paper the quickest but Kwiatowski broke the Rainbow curse and took the sprint. A clever race by him, as he was defeinetly not the strongest. Matthews 3rd and Bala 2nd, very close to winning and thus the Ardennes Triple, which he would've won had he conquered Amstel for a first time.

1. Kwiatkowski Michal
2. Valverde Alejandro "
3. Matthews Michael "
4. Costa Rui "
5. Van Avermaet Greg "
6. Gallopin Tony "
7. Alaphilippe Julian "
8. Gasparotto Enrico "
9. Paterski Maciej "
10. Gilbert Philippe "

Startlist (should be mostly right)
Team Sky
1 Kwiatkowski, Michal
2 Henao, Sergio Luis
3 Kennaugh, Peter
4 Golas, Michal
5 Nordhaug, Lars Petter
6 Poels, Wout
7 Swift, Ben
8 van Poppel, Danny

Etixx - Quick Step
11 Alaphilippe, Julian
12 Martin, Tony
13 Bouet, Maxime
14 Jungels, Bob
15 Meersman, Gianni
16 Serry, Pieter
17 Vakoc, Petr
18 Velits, Martin

Movistar Team
21 Erviti, Imanol
22 Fernández, Rubén
23 Herrada, Jesús
24 Izagirre, Gorka
25 Izagirre, Ion
26 Lobato, Juan José
27 Moreno, Daniel
28 Visconti, Giovanni

Orica GreenEDGE
31 Matthews, Michael
32 Gerrans, Simon
33 Hayman, Mathew
34 Impey, Daryl
35 Juul-Jensen, Christopher
36 Durbridge, Luke
37 Albasini, Michael
38 Yates, Adam

Team Giant - Alpecin
41 Dumoulin, Tom
42 Curvers, Roy
43 Barguil, Warren
44 Fröhlinger, Johannes
45 Geschke, Simon
46 Haga, Chad
47 Ludvigsson, Fredrik
48 Preidler, Georg

Lotto Soudal
51 Vanendert, Jelle
52 Gallopin, Tony
53 Ligthart, Pim
54 Van der Sande, Tosh
55 Roelandts, Jurgen
56 Sieberg, Marcel
57 Benoot, Tiesj
58 Wellens, Tim

BMC Racing Team
61 Gilbert, Philippe
62 De Marchi, Alessandro
63 Dillier, Silvan
64 Burghardt, Marcus
65 Hermans, Ben
66 Sánchez, Samuel
67 Teuns, Dylan
68 Vliegen, Loïc

Team LottoNL - Jumbo
71 Kelderman, Wilco
72 Gesink, Robert
73 Battaglin, Enrico
74 Lindeman, Bert-Jan
75 Martens, Paul
76 Tjallingii, Maarten
77 Vanmarcke, Sep
78 Teunissen, Mike

Lampre - Merida
81 Bono, Matteo
82 Costa, Mário
83 Costa, Rui
84 Conti, Valerio
85 Mohoric, Matej
86 Mori, Manuele
87 Polanc, Jan
88 Ulissi, Diego

91 Brutt, Pavel
92 Hansen, Jesper
93 Kišerlovski, Robert
94 Kreuziger, Roman
95 McCarthy, Jay
96 Petrov, Evgeni
97 Trofimov, Yuri
98 Valgren, Michael

Trek - Segafredo
101 Bonifazio, Niccolo
102 Beppu, Fumiyuki
103 Didier, Laurent
104 Felline, Fabio
105 Hesjedal, Ryder
106 Mollema, Bauke
107 Reijnen, Kiel
108 Schleck, Fränk

Astana Pro Team
111 Boom, Lars
112 de Vreese, Laurens
113 Grivko, Andrei
114 Lutsenko, Alexey
115 Aru, Fabio
116 Sanchez, Luis Leon
117 Cataldo, Dario
118 Westra, Lieuwe

Team Katusha
121 Rodríguez, Joaquim
122 Chernetckii, Sergei
123 Losada, Alberto
124 Machado, Tiago
126 Bystrøm, Sven Erik
127 Tsatevich, Alexey
128 Vicioso, Ángel
129 van den Broeck, Jurgen

AG2R La Mondiale
131 Bakelants, Jan
132 Cherel, Mikael
133 Gastauer, Ben
134 Gautier, Cyril
135 Gougeard, Alexis
136 Montaguti, Matteo
137 Riblon, Christophe
138 Vuillermoz, Alexis

141 Bonnet, William
142 Eiking, Odd Christian
143 Fischer, Murilo Antonio
144 Roy, Jérémy
145 Réza, Kévin
146 Roux, Anthony
147 Vaugrenard, Benoit
148 Vichot, Arthur

IAM Cycling
151 Coppel, Jérome
152 Clement, Stef
153 Enger, Sondre Holst
154 Laengen, Vegard Stake
155 Naesen, Oliver
156 Warbasse, Larry
157 Saramotins, Aleksejs
158 Tanner, David

Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
161 Clarke, Simon
162 Bettiol, Alberto
163 Brown, Nathan
164 Howes, Alex
165 King, Benjamin
166 Koren, Kristijan
167 Skujiņš, Toms
168 Slagter, Tom-Jelte

Dimension Data
171 Pauwels, Serge
172 Boasson Hagen, Edvald
173 Fraile, Omar
174 Haas, Nathan
175 Berhane, Natnael
176 Reguigui, Youcef
177 Sbaragli, Kristian
178 Venter, Jaco

Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
181 De Tier, Floris
182 Helven, Sander
183 Lietaer, Eliot
184 Van Gestel, Dries
185 Van Hecke, Preben
186 Van Hoecke, Gijs
187 Vergaerde, Otto
188 Wallays, Jens

Roompot - Oranje Peloton
191 de Maar, Marc
192 Duijn, Huub
193 Hoogerland, Johnny
194 Kreder, Michel
195 Lammertink, Maurits
196 van der Lijke, Nick
197 Asselman, Jesper
198 Weening, Pieter

Wanty - Groupe Gobert
201 Gasparotto, Enrico
202 Bille, Gaetan
203 Claeys, Dimitri
204 Degand, Thomas
205 Baugnies, Jerome
206 Marcato, Marco
207 Minnaard, Marco
208 Thurau, Bjorn

Direct Energie
211 Voeckler, Thomas
212 Boudat, Thomas
213 Duchesne, Antoine
214 Grellier, Fabien
215 Hurel, Tony
216 Tulik, Angelo
217 Anderson, Ryan
218 Coquard, Bryan

CCC Sprandi Polkowice
221 Rebellin, Davide
222 Paterski, Maciej
223 Grosschartner, Felix
224 Kurek, Adrian
225 Marycz, Jaroslaw
226 Matysiak, Bartłomiej
227 De La Parte, Víctor
228 Ponzi, Simone
Nippo - Vini Fantini

231 Cunego, Damiano
232 Colli, Daniele
233 Bole, Grega
234 De Negri, Pier Paolo
235 Berlato, Giacomo
236 Koishi, Yuma
237 Kuboki, Kazushige
238 Stacchiotti, Riccardo

Bardiani - CSF
241 Colbrelli, Sonny
242 Boem, Nicola
243 Ciccone, Giulio
244 Andreetta, Simone
245 Rota, Lorenzo
246 Ruffoni, Nicola
247 Sterbini, Luca
248 Tonelli, Alessandro

Matthews: Should be better than last year, with more experience in the race too. My favourite if it is a sprint, probably. Biggest problem arguably is Gerrans.

Kwiatowski: Defending champion, is having a much better year this year. Could win again.

Coquard: A dark horse. If it is a sprint then best bet to beat Matthews.

Gilbert: Mr. Cauberg. Awesome on this climb. 3 time winner, WC on it and strongest on it last year too. Ha a broken finger after punching a driver. Could be hampered.

Rui Costa: Dark horse. Best chance of winning is attacking from afar, but he was 4th last year.

Gerrans: Similar to Matthews; funny if he gets in the way. Annoying too, for Matthews fans.

Alaphillipe: Very strong at Brabantse Pjil on Wednesday. Good team with him and looks good after a long period off ill.

Vakoc:Also very strong at Brabantse Pjil on Wednesday, and won. Could attack like Kreuziger.

Felline: Suits this course very much. As fast as Gerrans and climbs pretty well too. Last year he disappointed a bit, hopefully won't do the same again.

Purito, Kreuziger, Movistar, Dumoulin, Wellens, Gasparotto, REBELLIN, Lutsenko, Colbrelli and Kirby fave Simon Clarke not to be discounted either.

No Valverde this year :confused:

Apparently he is going to Castilla y Leon
Felline needs a couple of teammates to help him approach the Cauberg close to the front of the peloton, otherwise he's screwed. He tends to ride off the back. Given that Mollema will race for himself, I'm not sure there's any Trek rider strong enough to lead him out. If he finds a way to approach the Cauberg in the first ten positions I do think he has a shot at winning the race.

But I'm hoping Vakoc wins. He has been superb this year on this kind of terrain.
Re: Amstel Gold Race 17/04/16

Why just why did they change the route. The classics season has been superb so far (with the exception of MS) but I still don't expect anything from Amstel and FW. Liege is a bit harder so maybe something will happen there but for this weekend I wouldnt expect anything more than a sprint up the Cauberg and than either another sprint for the line or a Gilbert solo.
First of all, drop the last circuit (black). Maybe have a hybrid of the green and red as the last one, and finally, make the race longer.

I'm sick and tired of the huge bunch in the final of this race.

Netserk said:
First of all, drop the last circuit (black). Maybe have a hybrid of the green and red as the last one, and finally, make the race longer.

I'm sick and tired of the huge bunch in the final of this race.
I wouldn't mind a huge bunch of team leaders. What really gets on my nerves are the 6 men trains coming in to Valkenburg already on the last lap and the countless domestiques taking up the road. This race would benefit more from smaller teams than it would from course changing, but I understand that's impossible.
Mar 13, 2015
I've got a feeling there be much more attacks than usual. There's no big favorite, Orica is probably only team banking for the sprint and I doubt they can control this kind of field (they failed in Brabantse Pijl with much weaker competition). Etixx could try earlier, Movistar, Astana too, heck even Sky will maybe try from a far (I doubt Kwiatkowski will wait for a sprint with Matthews and Gerrans). So there will be lot of teams willing to attack before Cauberg I think..., and Orica will not have much help. Don't see BMC helping, cause Gilbert is in questionable form
The racing isn't always best, especially with the new finale, but I really enjoy watching the parcours. All those narrow, winding roads and steep little hills. It would be great to see aggressive racing, hopefully Wellens treats this like Eneco!
My favourites

***** Matthews, Kwiatowski, Vakoc
**** Gilbert, Gerrans, Vichot, Coquard
*** Dumoulin, Henao, Alaphilippe, Gallopin, Wellens, Costa, Felline, Bakelants, Tsatevich, Lutsenko, EBH, Colbrelli, Gasparotto
** Visconti, Kreuziger, McCarthy, Benoot, Haas, Swift, Kennaugh, Kelderman, Bole, JROD, Weening, Slagter, Clarke, Yates, Mollema, Battaglin, Sammy Sanchez, Lobato, Moreno.

Vakoc looks to be in great form, which is why I think he can deserve a status as a favourite, even if the distance may not suit him. I think Gilbert's drama and injury could hamper him. Vichot and Coquard look to be in good form, whilst OGE have the two stand-out favourites. Kwiatowski I think will be the strongest on the Cauberg after his cobbled performances and he'll most likely have to get a gap to win.
Brullnux said:
Amstel Gold Race 2016

It is time for the Ardennes. We have had the cobbled classics, which were all awesome and culminated in an incredible, surreal Paris-Roubaix, so it is time for the annual trio of uphill sprints. Although Amstel isn't technically an uphill sprint.
Liège isn't either :)
Aug 4, 2010
I hope Vakoc or Kreuziger obviously :)

I swear if Valverde or Gerrans wins due ridiculous wheelsucking, Im done with Ardennes for this year...
Gunna be hard for this week not to be anticlimactic after the last couple of weeks. Still, should be 10 minutes of interesting racing. Super open race this year with Gilbert maybe not the force he's been in this climb previously. Don't see him breaking clear this year.

... I'll say Alaphillipe.

But any of a dozen or so have live chances.
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