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“I missed that explosiveness and in this race you have to be very, very explosive. I’m very confident for next week because the climbs are longer and for the whole year I have done better on the longer climbs."

Photo: Sirotti






19.04.2015 @ 19:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The 50th edition of Amstel Gold Race, Netherlands’ biggest one-day race, kicked off the climbers’ Classics, and with 34 climbs packed into the 258-kilometer parcours making for more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) of climbing there was no hiding: by the end the hardiest were all that was left.


Trek Factory Racing had a few cards to play in the finale with Fabio Felline and Bauke Mollema both suited to the decisive Cauberg ending, and with Bob Jungels and the experienced legs of Fränk Schleck also tucked in the front peloton that arrived to the bottom for the final ascent everything, at least on paper, looked to be playing out perfectly for the pinstripes.


However, inside the peloton the story was different. The constant up and downs over narrow Dutch roads and after six hours and a half hours in the saddle the team’s fairy tale ending was not to be.


Bauke Mollema was not feeling his normal explosive self, and Fabio Felline harshly berated himself for making a big error at the end: 


“It was hard, fast, and you know it’s hard to escape at the end because so many teams want to keep it together for the last 2-3 kilometers.  I missed explosiveness to be there at the end and in this race you absolutely need that," Mollema said.


“I recovered well between the climbs, which tells me my shape is really good, but on the Keutenberg I could tell I lacked power. The crash in Basque did not help, and perhaps it’s a result of that.”


“The problem was I was too far back when I started the Cauberg for the last time. It was a big, big mistake. After that - finished.”  Fabio Felline struggled to find words he was so riddled with disappointment. “It was difficult for me to get to the front, and by the time I made my way forward the group was split. I want to ask everyone to excuse my performance, it was a big opportunity to make a good result today, and at the finale I missed this opportunity.”


In spite of an aggressive final 30 kilometers where numerous breakaway attempts formed, everything was back to one group - albeit a skeleton of the huge peloton that started the day - for the final kilometers.


The fierce pace into the bottom of the Cauberg continued to the top – the accelerator was pressed, and it was full gas to the finish line.

As the road flattened for the final 1.8 kilometers the top 18 riders joined forces, and it was a small group sprint that decided the Amstel Gold Race 2015 victor.


Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step) outkicked Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde and Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) respectively.

Bob Jungels and Fabio Felline arrived with the second group that finished 18 seconds later, with Fränk Schleck and Bauke Mollema finishing with a group at 52 seconds.


“After my crash maybe I trained a bit differently this week,” continued Mollema. “I missed that explosiveness and in this race you have to be very, very explosive. I’m very confident for next week (Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège) because the climbs are longer and for the whole year I have done better on the longer climbs.  But still, I hope to find the explosivity back because I will need that next week too.”



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