Victory for Michael Valgren at Amstel Gold Race
Apr 15 2018 11:15 pm CET

Victory for Michael Valgren at Amstel Gold Race
Victory for Michael Valgren at Amstel Gold Race
Photo of Michael Valgren by Astana

Astana's Michael Valgren has taken the victory of the Amstel Gold Race. The Dane launched a late attack and won the sprint of two against Roman Kreuziger.

The Dutch race was 263 kilometres long between Maastricht and Berg en Terblijt with a revamped finish to make the last part even more exciting.

Early on the day an escape group was formed and got an advantage of more than seven minutes over the peloton. The escapees' group included riders like Bram Tankink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Tsgabu Grmay (Trek-Segafredo), Matteo Bono (UAE Team Emirates) and Lawson Craddock (EF Education First Drapac).

With around 40 kilometres to go, the climbs took a toll on the peloton and the front group, breaking them apart and leaving the stronger ones holding on. At 29 kilometres from the end, Bahrain-Merida's Ion Izagirre made a move from the peloton and went on to try to catch the escapees by himself.

A few kilometres later, the Spaniard was caught by the reduced peloton and with 25 kilometres to go, former winners of the race Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain-Merida) and Roman Kreuziger (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked from the peloton, managing to create a considerable gap with the rest.

With around 15 kilometres to go the escapees were reeled back in while Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) unsuccessfully tried to get away from the pack. After they were caught, Movistar's Alejandro Valverde changed the pace and riders like Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) kept to his wheel.

Behind them, Mitchelton-Scott's Daryl Impey tried to connect to the front group. The next kilometres had several attacks in front that were soon repelled by the rest, including that of Astana's Jakob Fuglsang as he was caught by a selected group led by Valverde.

With five kilometres to go, Michael Valgren (Astana) launched an attack but the others worked hard to bring him back. At more than one kilometre to go, Valgren attacked again and was followed by Kreuziger.

The duo created a considerable gap with the rest, while behind them Gasparotto tried to catch them. They arrived at the last kilometres on their own and Valgren soon showed that he had the better legs to sprint, crossing the finish line with enough space to celebrate. Kreuziger was second and Gasparotto finished third.

The women's race also took place on this day and World Champion Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) took the victory. Team Sunweb's Lucinda Brand and Mitchelton-Scott's Amanda Spratt stepped on the second and third place of the podium respectively.




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