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"Joaquim [Rodriguez] was also part although he did not crash but was held up by it. A lot of energy was needed to come back to the group with very little time to recover so he came to the final a little tired."

Photo: Unipublic/Graham Watson








19.04.2015 @ 20:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sunday marked the 50th running of the Amstel Gold Race one-day Ardennes Classic to kick off a full week of racing on the famous climbs of the region. Team Katusha riders took part in the final action, putting two men in the reduced group that came to the line. Daniel Moreno and Giampaolo Caruso took 11th and 13th in the final sprint action. 


"We had some issues with a crash some 40 km from the finish that included Sergey Lagutin and Tiago Machado. These were two important guys for the final. Joaquim [Rodriguez] was also part although he did not crash but was held up by it. A lot of energy was needed to come back to the group with very little time to recover so he came to the final a little tired. Caruso made a good move in an attack with six riders, but the group came back together and with the tailwind behind it was just too fast for us to make a better result," said team director José Azevedo.


A final group of 17 riders came to the line with Team Katusha’s Moreno and Caruso part of the action, but it was world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx – Quick Step) who out-kicked the group and came straight up the middle of the race course to take his first win while wearing the rainbow jersey. Fast on his wheel were Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde and Michael Matthews of Orica-GreenEdge for second and 3rd places.


The 258 km classic began in Maastricht and ended in Valkenburg after just over six-and-a-half hours of racing. Early attempts to get away finally saw a break of six riders go clear after 40 km. This group held more than 10 minutes but were steadily brought back and finally reabsorbed as the effort of 34 “bergs” (climbs) began to take a toll on the legs. Tour de France Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was next to form a group at the front, but despite many efforts to get away and claim a solo move, a large group arrived on the Cauberg for the fourth and final ascent. Giampaolo Caruso followed the moved initiated by Ben Hermans of BMC, but it was a group of just over 15 riders that sped under the red kite signaling 1000 meters left to race. From this group came the sprint with Kwiatkowski able to take the win and show a clean set of wheels to the rest of the field.


The Ardennes Week continues with another classic on Wednesday and Team Katusha will be there to race in La Flèche Wallonne.  



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