32nd Amstel Gold Race, World Cup Round 5

Netherlands, April 26, 1997

Results and Reports

1996 Results and Reports

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The LIVE Coverage Page - see what happened as it happened


 1. Bjarne Riis (Denmark) Deutsche Telekom           6.11.19
 2. Andrea Tafi (Italy) Mapei                  		0.46
 3. Beat Zberg (Switzerland) Mercatone Uno
 4. Laurent Roux (France) TVM
 5. Mauro Gianetti (Swiss) Fran des Jeux       	     all s.t.
 6. Michele Bartoli (Italy) MG-Technogym       		0.47
 7. Laurent Jalabert (France) ONCE             		0.48
 8. Andrei Tchmil (Ukraine) Lotto            		1:08
 9. Rolf Aldag (Germany) Deutsche Telekom 
10. Rolf Sorensen (Denmark) Rabobank 
11. Henk Vogels (Australia) Gan 
12. Claudio Chiappucci (Italy) Asics 
13. Andrei Teteriouck (Kazakhstan) Lotto 
14. Rolf Jaermann (Switzerland) Casino 
15. Davide Casarotto (Italy) Srigno           	     
16. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Saeco
17. Abraham Olano (Spa) Banesto
18. Dirk Baldinger (Ger) Polti
19. Maximilian Sciandri (Gbr) FDJ
20. Tristan Hoffman (Ned) TVM
21. Wilfried Peeters (Bel) Mapei
22. Adriano Baffi (Ita) US Postal
23. Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank
24. Bo Hamburger (Den) TVM
25. Peter Van Petegem (Bel) TVM          
26. Axel Merckx (Bel) Polti        		    all s.t.
27. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) US Postal
28. Stefano Della Santa (Ita) Mercatone
29. Nico Mattan (Bel) Mapei
30. Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) TVM     
31. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) Festina
32. Alexandre Gontchenkov (Rus) Roslotto      
33. Richard Virenque (Fra) Festina      
34. Felice Puttini (Swi) Refin
35. Serguei Outschakov (Ukr) Polti 
36. Dario Frigo (Ita) Saeco
37. Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra) US Postal
38. Cidric Vasseur (Fra) GAN
39. Laurent Madouas (Fra) Lotto
40. Udo Bolts (Ger) Telekom
41. Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal
42. Pascal Herve (Fra) Festina
43. Alberto Elli (Ita) CSO
44. Davide Rebellin (Ita) FDJ
45. Ermanno Brignoli (Ita) Batik
46. Marc Wauters (Bel) Lotto
47. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
48. Bruno Cenghialta (Ita) Batik
49. Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei
50. Jens Heppner(Ger) Telekom
51. Josi Luis Arrieta Lujambio (Spa) Banesto
52. Rodolfo Massi (Ita) CSO
53. Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei
54. Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) Banesto         
55. Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank
56. Erik Breukink (Ned) Rabobank
57. Marcello Siboni (Ita) Mercatone
58. Peter Meinert-Nielsen (Den) US Postal
59. Eddy Bouwmans (Ned) Foreldorado-Golff
60. Marcelino Garcia Alonso (Spa) ONCE
61. Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Rabobank			1.58
62. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom				2.17
63. Andrea Peron (Ita) FDJ
64. Jo Planckaert (Bel) Lotto
65. Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita) Maglifico 			2.21
66. Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Maglifico 		2.24
67. Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Asics
68. Sergio Previtali(Ita) Scrigno
69. Massimo Donati (Ita) Saeco				2.34
70. Michael Blaudzun (Den) Rabobank        		2:36
71. Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) Cofidis			2:40
72. Amilcare Tronca (Ta) Scrigno
73. Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Roslotto 			2.41
74. Patrick Jonker (Ned) Rabobank
75. Alex Zulle (Swit) ONCE 				5.36
76. Mario Chiesa (Ita) Asics
77. Angelo Lecchi (Ita) Maglifico
78. Fabio Baldato (Ita) Maglifico
79. Bart Voskamp (Ned) TVM
80. Alexandre Moos (Swit) Saeco 			11.53

191 starters, 80 classified.

World Cup Standings after 5 races

 1. Bartoli                                   	196
 2. Sorensen                                  	180
 3. Jalabert                                  	107
 4. Tchmil                                    	104
 5. Riis                                      	100
 6. Frederic Guesdon (France) Fran des Jeux   	100
 7. Erik Zabel (Germany) Deutsche Telekom     	100
 8. Casarotto                                  	 98
 9. Johan Museeuw (Belgium) Mapei              	 95
10. Frederic Moncassin (France) Gan           	 94
11. Jo Planckaert (Belgium) Lotto              	 94
12. Zberg                                     	 92
13. Tafi                                      	 77
14. Alberto Elli (Italy) Casino               	 70
15. Max Sciandri (Britain) Fran des Jeux       	 69

Dutch TV-interview with Bjarne Riis

Did you choose for a long solo?

Riis: 'Yes, sometimes you must take some risk. And it was a good risk today. You never know before. The Amstel Gold Race is always a very tactical race. It went out as a difficult race. We had a break-away and I felt very good myself. I felt strong. So I thought: it's my chance to go alone'.

But before that escape, there was something we couldn't see very well. Did you have a flat?

Riis: 'No, I had a broken front wheel and I had to wait very long to get my teamcar.'

You looked mad, angry.

Riis: 'Yes I was, because it took too much time. It was a problem because I wanted to change my wheel as soon as possible. I thought: otherwise it's maybe too late for me.'

After the change of your wheel you came back and ....fffttt, you were away.

Riis: 'Yes, I thought: this is the moment'

Did you calculate which other riders were with you in the group?

Riis: 'Yes, of course. But you never know anything for sure. At the end of a classic everybody is tired. Even the sprinters. And there is still a climb on 3 kilometers before the finish.'

But a solo over more than 35 kilometers?

Riis: 'That was my chance. I felt very strong. I was okay and had a good chance to go alone.'

Riding in the rain, is that fun?

Riis: 'It's never fun to ride in the rain. But when you are motivated and have good legs you don't think about it. It's just: ride.'

In the last descent you were slipping in the corners.

Riis: 'The last 15 kilometers I thought: take care, you have to stay on your bike and not to crash. Be careful in the corners.

What is the feeling after winning the Amstel Gold Race?

Riis: 'I have a fantastic feeling. After winning the Tour de France to show you can win a classic too. That makes you a complete rider. It was a big day for me.'

More Reports

Denmark's 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis on Saturday rode to victory in the Amstel Gold Race, the fifth event in this year's World Cup calendar.

Riis arrived alone in Maastricht after escaping from the main pack 36 kilometres out to capture the first "classic" of his career at the age of 33.

Italian Andrea Tafi, Switzerland's Beat Zberg, Laurent Roux of France and another Swiss, Mauro Gianetti, followed the Dane over the line 46 seconds later.

World Cup leader Michele Bartoli of Italy was a further second adrift, followed by Frenchman Laurent Jalabert.

Tafi later admitted he thought Riis "was bluffing" when he made his bid for home so far out, but the Dane said he knew what he was doing.

"I took risks but it worked," he said. "I proved it wasn't stupid. I thought of the Albi stage in the 1994 Tour de France and attacked in the same way."

Riis is the first Dane to win this race since its inception in 1966, and the first Tour de France winner to capture one of the spring classics since Bernard Hinault in 1980.


Tour de France champion Bjarne Riis won the Amstel Gold World Cup cycling race on Saturday, recording the first one-day classic victory of his career after a 35-km solo break.

The Dane finished 46 seconds ahead of second-placed Andrea Tafi of Italy, who edged Beat Zberg of Switzerland into third place in the sprint which concluded the 258-km race. Zberg also finished third two years ago.

Not noted for his performances in the one-day classics of the World Cup, Riis has exploded into this year's 10-race series but insists the Tour de France remains his main goal this year.

``I'm following my programme for the Tour with consistent training, my schedule is more or less the same as last year,'' Riis told a news conference after the race.

``The way I rode the race wasn't for pleasure or for the spectacle, it was to win.''

Riis said he chose to attack just after changing a wheel with a broken spoke because he knew his rivals would not be expecting such a move. ``I know everyone was thinking it was risky but I won,'' he added.

``If you don't take risks you don't win. I was feeling good so why not?''

Putting on a display of controlled power as he battled winds and rain, Riis's only nervous moment came in the closing stages when he had to put a foot down as he skidded across slippery cobbles on a tight bend on the last descent of the race.

Italy's Michele Bartoli went clear at the top of the World Cup standings on 196 points after finishing sixth on Saturday ahead of previous joint leader Rolf Sorensen of Denmark. Sorensen was 10th. They had shared the lead on 164 after last Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege race.

Sorensen, now second on 180, is the only rider to have scored World Cup points in each race of this year's series. The competition now takes a break until the San Sebastian race in Spain in August.

Belgium's World Cup holder Johan Museeuw finished out of the points in 53rd place, a miserable showing for the classic specialist who won the Amstel in 1994 and placed third last year.

Museeuw, who also wears the world road race champion's rainbow jersey, has been plagued by bad luck this season, falling twice and missing victory in the Paris-Roubaix with a puncture.

Fifth in the World Cup standings after last week's race, Museeuw's chances of winning the Cup for the third time in a row took a knock as he drifted to ninth overall.

Last year's Amstel winner Stefano Zanini saw his chances of winning this year evaporate as a mechanic fumbled to replace his back wheel after he dropped out of a leading group halfway through the race.

Bjarne Riis

Age: 33

Team: Deutsche Telekom

Professional debut: 1986

Quick facts: Born in Herning, Denmark. Moved to Luxembourg aged 20. First made his name in the international peleton with stage wins in the 1989 Giro and Tour de France with French team Systeme U. Placed 3rd in 1995 Tour de France, won the Tour outright in 1996, having worn the leader's yellow jersey for the Deutsche Telekom team from the ninth stage to the finish. First Dane to win the Amstel Gold race.

More Reports

Bjarne Riis broke away by himself with 40 kilometers (25 miles) remaining and rode alone across the finish 46 seconds ahead of the pack Saturday to win the 32nd Amstel Gold race.

The reigning Tour de France champion broke early in pouring rain near Kanne on the Belgian leg of the course. The 33-year-old Dane then had to stop to replace his front wheel.

When he returned to the lead group, a furious-looking Riis exchanged brief words with Swiss Beat Zberg and then immediately launched an unexpected attack and opened a 60-70 meter gap within seconds.

He continued to pull away, but had to slow down almost to a standstill to take sharp bends on the wet cobblestones during the descent from the St. Pierre hill 10 kilometers (6 mils) from the finish.

The lead pack of seven riders broke up during the last two of the route's 29 climbs.

It had pack cut his lead to 22 seconds, but as the course flattened out on the approach to the finish in Maastricht, a determined Riis restored his sizeable lead.

He completed the 258 kilometers (161 miles) in 6 hours, 11 minutes, 19 seconds.

Italian Andrea Tafi won the sprint for second place a wheel's length ahead of Zberg, Frenchman Laurent Roux and Swiss Mauro Gianetti.

Michele Bartoli finished sixth, keeping the Italian atop the World Cup standings after five events.