34th Amstel Gold Race, World Cup Round 5
Netherlands, April 24, 1999
As it Happened
Maastricht - Maastricht, 253 kms:
1. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 6.37.23 (38.547 km/h) 2. Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 3. Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 0.06 4. Maarten den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank 0.06 5. Laurent Roux (Fra) Casino 0.06 6. Leon van Bon (Ned) Rabobank 0.46 7. Markus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 0.46 8. Gianmatteo Fagnini (Ita) Saeco-Cannondale 0.51 9. Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 0.51 10. Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Bianchi 0.54 11. Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 1.01 12. Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step 1.13 13. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom 1.18 14. Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) Lampre-Daikin 1.18 15. Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 1.18 16. Romans Vainsteins (Let) Vini Caldirola 1.18 17. Jo Planckaert (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 1.18 18. Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Polti 1.18 19. Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 1.18 20. Peter Van Petegem (Bel) TVM-Farm Frites 1.18 21. Geert Verheyen (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 1.18 22. Bart Voskamp (Ned) TVM-Farm Frites 1.18 23. Rolf Sörensen (Den) Rabobank 1.18 24. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Festina 1.18 25. Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Cofidis 1.18 26. Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Vini Caldirola 1.18 27. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Team Polti 1.18 28. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 1.18 29. Franco Ballerini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 1.18 30. Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank 2.06 31. Alberto Elli (Ita) Telekom 6.27 32. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 6.36 33. Udo Bölts (Ger) Telekom 6.36 34. Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 6.36 35. Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Lampre-Daikin 6.36 36. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Casino 6.36 37. Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) Mercatone Uno-Bianchi 9.20 38. George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service 9.20 39. Denis Zanette (Ita) Team Polti 9.20 40. Oscar Cavagnis (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Alexia 9.20 41. Enrico Cassani (Ita) Team Polti 9.20 42. Marty Jemison (USA) US Postal Service 9.20 43. Alain Turicchia (Ita) Riso Scotti-Vinavil 9.20 44. Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Alexia 9.20 45. Tyler Hamilton (USA) US Postal Service 9.20 46. Sèbastien Hinault (Fra) Crèdit Agricole 9.20 47. Rolf Aldag (Ger) Telekom 9.20 48. Marco Gili (Ita) Amica Chips-Costa Almeria 9.20 49. Felice Puttini (Swi) Amica Chips-Costa Almeria 9.20 50. Frèdèric Bessy (Fra) Casino 9.20 51. Jens Heppner (Ger) Telekom 9.20 52. Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Amica Chips-Costa Almeria 9.20 53. Rolf Huser (Swi) Festina 9.20 54. Bobby Julich (USA) Cofidis 9.20 55. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Telekom 9.20 56. Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 9.20 57. Aitor Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Banesto 9.20 58. Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank 9.20 59. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 9.20 60. Francisco Cerezo Perales (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 9.20 61. Daniel Clavero Sebastian (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 9.20 62. Stèphane Heulot (Fra) La Française des Jeux 9.20 63. Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis 9.20 64. Cèdric Vasseur (Fra) Crèdit Agricole 9.20 65. Ermanno Brignoli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Bianchi 9.20 66. Vjatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) Amica Chips-Costa Almeria 9.20 67. Wilfried Peeters (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step 9.20 68. Chris Peers (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 9.20 69. Tobias Steinhauser (Ger) Mapei-Quick Step 9.20 70. Sergio Barbero (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Bianchi 9.20 71. Servais Knaven (Ned) TVM-Farm Frites 9.20 72. Javier Ochoa Palacios (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 9.20 73. Fernando Escartin (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 9.20 74. Serguei Ivanov (Rus) TVM-Farm Frites 9.20 75. Eduardo Hernandez Bailo (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 9.20 76. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Banesto 9.20 77. AngelLuis Casero Moreno (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 9.20 78. Steven De jongh (Ned) TVM-Farm Frites 9.20 79. Mirko Celestino (Ita) Team Polti 9.20 80. Josè Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 9.20 81. Maximilian Sciandri (GB) La Française des Jeux 9.20 82. Tristan Hoffman (Ned) TVM-Farm Frites 9.20 83. Jörg Jaksche (Ger) Telekom 9.20 84. Geert Van bondt (Bel) TVM-Farm Frites 9.20 Started: 190 Finished: 84
Time Line of the Race10.20: - The 34th Amstel Gold Race started in Maastricht and there were 17 Dutch riders participating all of them hoping to win the race on their home soil. The first attack came from Spijkenisse rider John Talen (Batavus) and he was accompanied by Sergei Outchakov (TVM). The attack came on the Sibbergrubbe (just near Valkenburg) but it did not last for more than 75 metres.
12.20: - After 70 kilometers the pace was slower than the slowest schedule imagined. On the Cauberg at Valkenburg, the peloton was complete but three riders decided to chance their hand - Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank), Ludo Dierckxens (Lampre) and Alexandre Vinokourov (Casino).
12.35: - The 3 riders maintained a 10 second lead but could not build on it.
12.48: - The lead started to grow as the three showed real intent. First it was shown to be 2.25, then 4.15 and reached 7.00.
13.10: - Franck Vandenbroucke's Cofidis team was leading the peloton and were keeping an eye on the events out front.
13.20: - There was a big fall at km 110 which involved among others Pierre Bourquenoud, Abraham Olano, Alvaro Gonzalez Galdeano, Fabio Sacchi, Peter Meinert-Nielsen. As a result of the mayhem the peloton split into two parts.
13.35: - The 3 leaders had a lead of 6.16.
13.55: - At the climb up Schweiberg after 188 kms the peloton was moving more quickly and the lead was at 4.15.
14.10: - The peloton was not "yachting" anymore and the gap on the first peloton was 6.10 and 7.10 on the second peloton (which included Abraham Olano).
14.34: - The leaders had 5 minutes. On the climb at Eperheide the peloton split into several smaller groups. Belgian Peter Farazijn (Cofidis) attacked on the climb but without any success. On the fast descent down the narrow roads through the fields the peloton came together again.
14.50: - The leaders were maintaining the 5 minute lead. On the 18th climb (Gulpenerberg) the peloton fragmented again but came back together on the descent. There was a huge crowd on the narrow road up to the top of the Gulpenerberg. in the descent the same scenario.
14.55: - There was still 87 kms to finish.
14.57: - An attack from Belgian Jo Planckaert (Lotto) came with Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) following.
15.02: - The three leaders were in Huls and the average speed to date was a slow 37 km/h. There were two riders chasing them - Planckaert and Boogerd. A fall occured back in the peloton with local rider Marc Lotz (Rabobank) and Danilo di Luca (Cantina Tollo) being involved.
15.05: - Gabriele Missaglia (Lampre) bridged the gap to Boogerd and Planckaert. The leaders had only 3.42 on this group (Boogerd, Planckaert and Missaglia).
15.10: - The Mapei team was on the front of the peloton keeping Bartoli in contention. The 3 leaders had 4.35 on the peloton.
15.16: - Wilfried Peeters (Mapei) was driving the peloton up the climb at Fromberg. Marc Lotz, covered in mud, regained contact with the peloton.
15.18: - Moerenhout, Dierckxens and Vinokourov started climb number 22 - the Keutenberg (15-23%). Boogerd and co were at 3.19. By the time the peloton had climbed the sharp hill it was very fragmented.
15.21: - The three leaders: Moerenhout (Rabobank), Ludo Dierckxens (Lampre) and Alexandre Vinokourov - were followed by another three riders - Michael Boogerd (Rabobank), Jo Planckaert (Lotto) and Gabriele Missaglia (Lampre). The next group comprised 11 riders - Michele Bartoli and Paolo Bettini (Mapei), Maarten den Bakker, Leon van Bon and Markus Zberg (Rabobank), Frank Vandenbroucke (Cofidis), Davide Rebbelin (Polti), Gian-Matteo Fagnini (Saeco), Laurent Jalabert (Once), Zbigniew Spruch (Lampre) and Lance Armstrong (US Postal)
15.26: - The gap between the two chasing groups (Bartoli chasing Boogerd) was getting smaller and soon after the two groups came together.
15.27: - The 3 leaders were now being followed by a group of 14 riders. Vandenbroucke was easy to recognise. He was completely in white today - his hair, his helmet, his (7kg) bike, his World Cup leader's shirt and his gloves.
15.28: - In IJzeren (64 kms to go) the leaders had 2.28 on the chasing group of 14 riders.
15.32: - The leaders had 2.15.
15.33: - The leaders started the final climb of the Cauberg (12%).
15.36: - 2.06 after the group of 14 started the climb.
15.39: - At the top of Cauberg the leaders had 1.35 on the group of 14. In the second peloton there were around 30 riders including Aerts, Museeuw, Sorensen, Van Petegem, Elli, Tchmil, Dekker, Zabel, Boltz, Ballerini, Roux. In the third peloton there were around 40 riders including Tafi, Knaven, Hoffman.
15.41: - The 3 leaders started the Geulhemmerberg climb but were losing ground.
15.50: - The leaders maintained a gap of 0.25 on the chasing group of 14. Bartoli showed gave the TV camera the "thumbs down" sign indicating that he was not feeling very good today.
15.55: - In Maastricht (over the finishline) the three leaders had only a few seconds on the group of 14. Museeuw's group were at 0.30.
15.56: - The three leaders were absorbed soon after and now there were 17 leaders (5x Rabobank, 3x Lampre and 2x Mapei). On Pietersberg the Rabobank game started. Maarten den Bakker (Rabobank) attacked with Pole Spruch (Lampre) following. Then Lance Armstrong (US Postal) attacked with Leon Van Bon (Rabobank) following with Vandenbroucke (Cofidis).
15.57: - Two of the three who led the race for so long (Ludo Dierckxens and Alexandre Vinokourov) were dropped from the front group - they were .
15.58: - Tafi's group arrived at finish-line in Maastricht (more than 4 minutes behind the leaders).
16.02: - There were 15 leaders. Van Bon attacked and was followed by Missaglia. Then Den Bakker attacked and was followed by Fagnini. The leading group kept coming back together only to be attacked again by another Rabobank rider.
16.04: - There was still 39 kms to the finish.
16.05: - Davide Rebellin attacked and was followed by Markus Zberg and Michael Boogerd. Armstrong, Spruch and Planckaert fought back and regained contact.
16.06: - The 15 riders were together again. Rabobank still had 5 riders in this group.
16.08: - On the climb of the Muizenberg, Boogerd attacked and Lance Armstrong reacted. He took over the pace. Then Missaglia (Lampre) attacked and was followed by Zberg.
16.09: - At Riemst in Belgium with 34 kms still to go before the finish there was 4 leaders - Michael Boogerd and Markus Zberg (Rabobank), Gabriele Missaglia (Lampre) and Lance Armstrong (US Postal). Eleven riders followed: Michele Bartoli and Paolo Bettini (Mapei), Jo Planckaert (Lotto), Maarten den Bakker, Koen Moerenhout, Leon van Bon (Rabobank), Frank Vandenbroucke (Cofidis), Davide Rebellin (Polti) Gian-Matteo Fagnini (Saeco), Laurent Jalabert (ONCE), Zbigniew Spruch (Lampre).
16.12: - Bettini was dropped.
16.13: - Missaglia was clearly not working and was waiting for his sprinter Spruch. Armstrong was driving the break and riding very strongly. The chasing group with Bartoli was at 0.37. The Rabobank riders were breaking every attack.
16.18: - There were still 4 climbs until the finish.
16.22: - tih 27 kms until the finish the four leaders had 45 seconds.
16.26: - Bartoli's group was losing ground and was now at 0.55. Every attack from this group was followed by a Rabobank rider.
16.27: - The leading 4 started the climb at St Simeon (climb number 27). There was still 24 kms to ride.
16.29: - Group 2 (with Museeuw, Tchmill, Van Petegem, Zabel, Giannetti, Kivitev, Sorensen, Ballerini) was close to the group with Bartoli.
16.31: - Bartoli attacked and was followed by Leon Van Bon.
16.32: - The 4 leaders were followed by one big group (group 1 and 2 together) and there were still 20 kms to ride.
16.36: - The leaders started the second last Belgian climb - Halembaye (16%). Boogerd attacked but was quickly overhauled by Armstrong. Zberg and Missaglia could not follow them. In the group behind with Bartoli, Tchmil and Museeuw, Laurent Roux (Casino) attacked and was policed by Maarten den Bakker (Rabobank).
16.38: - The 2 leaders (Boogerd-Armstrong) had 6 seconds on Zberg-Missaglia and then there was Roux and Den Bakker.
16.39: - With 16 kms to go, Armstrong was leading the race and Michael Boogerd was sitting on his wheel and not working. He seemed to be waiting for Zberg, who was the better sprinter. Zberg and Missaglia were working together. Den Bakker was also just sitting the wheel of Roux. There were three Rabobank riders in the first 6.
16.42: - Armstrong and Boogerd started the last Belgian climb at St. Pierre (8%). Missaglia and Zberg were at 200 meters but there were only 14 kms to go.
16.46: - Armstrong and Boogerd reached the bridge over Maas at the bottom of St. Pierre.
16.47: - Still 10 kms were left and Zberg and Missaglia were at 10 seconds. A group with 21 riders were at 1 minute.
16.51: - Now there were 4 leaders - Armstrong, Boogerd, Missaglia and Zberg. The duo of Roux and Den Bakker were at 0.32. The peloton was led by Frank Vandenbroucke.
16.54: - The 4 leaders reached the last climb - the Pietersberg (4 kms to finish). Reconstruction: the 4 riders were climbing in line: Armstrong, Boogerd, Zberg and Missaglia. A lot of people were around the sharp corner to the left. On the right side of the road a motor bike rider (with a photographer) had put his bike in front of the crowd. Boogerd missed the bike at the last moment but Zberg hit the motor bike and fell. Missaglia fell over Zberg. This was an act of extreme stupidity by the photographer. Over the top there were 2 leaders again: Armstrong and Boogerd.
16.55: - Armstrong was doing all the work with Missaglia at 0.25. Zberg came next with Roux and Den Bakker a little further back.
16.56: - Two leaders, Missaglia and group of 3 (Roux, Den Bakker, Zberg).
16.58: - With 1 kms to go, Boogerd was still sitting the wheel of Armstrong. Lance started sprint and Boogerd passed him to win by a few centimetres.
The winner told the press at the finish line: "It isn't my favourite style to ride in the wheel of Lance for 20 kilometers. Jan Raas came to me and yelled: 'Stay in his wheel, wait for Zberg and don't take over from Armstrong.' He yelled it several times. Not riding in front is nothing for me. But winning is the only thing that counts. It's great to win in your own country. It's great to see our tactics worked today. Four Rabo's in the top 10 and one of them taking the first spot. And about the accident? It's terrible for Zberg. I know he was the best sprinter of our group. He should have been the winner, I think. But it's a scandal with all the motorbikes. I understand they have to do their work. But today it was not no longer what you would call normal. I had motorbikes in front of me, beside me, behind me. I even hit one motorbike during the race. There were too many of them. I don't think the last word is spoken about this." Michael was very emotional when he met his wife, father and mother after the finish.
Later he paid tribute to Armstrong, who returned to cycling last year after a battle against testicular cancer. Boogerd said he had not spent a day off his bicycle since Christmas. "I'll be celebrating tonight, probably tomorrow and maybe even the day after that."