Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

44th Amstel Gold Race - UPT

Netherlands, April 19, 2009

Main Page    Results    Live report

Ivanov finally wins his "favourite race"

By Brecht Decaluwé in Valkenburg

Ivanov calls the Amstel Gold his favourite race
Photo ©: ISPA
(Click for larger image)

He's threatened with Ardennes assaults in the past but today Serguei Ivanov made good on the promise shown and won a dramatic Amstel Gold Race. While it was a dream come true for the Russian, it served as Team Katusha's most significant triumph to date.

The former Astana rider capitalised on a flourish of activity during the latter part of the race to take his place in a three-man group nearing the finish. With a charging peloton hot on their heels, it was then a matter of surviving out front and fighting out the sprint.

Ivanov out-sprinted Saxo Bank's Karsten Kroon in the uphill sprint as the duo left Rabobank's Robert Gesink behind on the final climb of the Cauberg, with the lanky Dutch rider rolling in for third.

Despite having won a Tour de France stage Ivanov claimed the Amstel title was, "the biggest win of my career. This is my favourite race and over the past ten years I have always done well here." Ivanov best finish had been second in 2002. "Today the team worked very hard for me, I am very thankful to them."

The race was overshadowed by a serious crash involving Saxo Bank's Fränk Schleck and Silence-Lotto's Matthew Lloyd. Both were taken to hospital, but first reports indicated no serious injuries.

Stubborn Bozic bridges up later

Right on time - 10:15am - the peloton rolled out of sunny Maastricht where a sizeable crowd had gathered under sunny skies. In contrast to the one-day races earlier this season the peloton quickly allowed a group away on its own. Niki Terpstra (Milram), Rubens Bertogliati (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni), Sergey Klimov (Katusha), Yukiya Arashiro (Bouygues Telecom) and Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano) were the men given a long leash.

Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) noticed the peloton wasn't planning to chase the five riders down and started a long but successful solo pursuit. During the first passage of the Cauberg – after 72 kilometres - the six leaders had a gap of almost 14 minutes on the peloton.

As in years past, with no rider in the early break, Rabobank was forced to work for the peloton's progress, although his year the Dutch outfit was helped by Euskaltel-Euskadi and Caisse d'Epargne and 50 kilometres later the advantage from the leaders had already been cut in half.

Triple world champion starts affairs on the Geulhemmerweg

The break the first time up the Cauberg
Photo ©: Elmar Krings
(Click for larger image)

The race suddenly exploded when the peloton reached the Cauberg for the second time. Rabobank commenced hostilities with an attack from Pieter Weening. After the Cauberg his teammate Oscar Freire took over and sneaked away with a big group. On the Geulhemmerweg, Freire accelerated again, and this time the Spaniard took off in an 18-man group that only gained a 90-second advantage over the leaders.

At the back of the peloton Fränk Schleck and Matthew Lloyd were the biggest casualties of a nasty crash, with both riders taken to hospital by ambulance for an assessment of their injuries.

While Niki Terpstra jumped away from the leader's group on the climb following the Geulhemmerweg - the Bemelerberg - Freire kept hammering in the big chasing group.

With 20 kilometres elapsed following his acceleration on the Geulhemmerweg, Freire bridged up to Terpstra, taking Marcus Burghardt and Valerio Agnoli along for the ride. The four-man group built a 20-second lead that was kept in check by Alejandro Valverde's teammate, Oscar Pereiro, and the Caisse d'Epargne boys. On the Loorberg, with 36km to go, the Freire long-distance attack was neutralised and all riders were back together.

Ceasefire on the Eyserbosweg

The 200m to go sign didn't count earlier in the race
Photo ©: ISPA
(Click for larger image)

Belgian rider Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) immediately attacked and got away with Koen De Kort (Skil-Shimano) and Michael Rogers (Columbia-Highroad). On the Gulperberg they were caught back but Devenyns accelerated again, this time joined by Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC), Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas), Rogers, Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil) and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank). The speed in the peloton remained high though and this breakaway was contained as well.

Andy Schleck led the peloton at a steady pace over the Kruisberg while Gasparotto did the same over the famous Eyserbosweg. In the descent Kreuziger sneaked away on his own and he rode up the following climb of the Fromberg on the big ring. Still, he gained no more than 100 metres over a peloton that was reduced to no more than 50 riders.

Serguei Ivanov (Katusha), marked by Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), tried to bridge up towards Kreuziger but the attempt from the Russian fell short since the Italian didn't co-operate in this counter-attack.

On the Keutenberg, the penultimate climb, Simon Gerrans (Cervélo TestTeam) caught Kreuziger, followed by Ivanov, Robert Gesink (Rabobank), Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto), Andy Schleck, Michael Albasini (Columbia-Highroad), Christian Pfannberger (Katusha) and Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank).

Meanwhile, the likes of Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) and Davide Rebellin (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli) missed this move and were consequently effectively shut out of contesting the finale.

Gesink attacked the leader's group after the climb of the Keutenberg. The Dutchman was joined by Ivanov and Kroon a little later, and while Albasini tried to bridge towards the leaders on his own, it didn't stick. The leading trio was left on its own out front and soon after were the occupants of the podium's three steps.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by ISPA/www.ispaphoto.be

Images by Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews

Images by Gregor Brown/Cyclingnews

Images by Elmar Krings

Images by Sirotti/www.sirotti.it

Images by Erik Van Breugel/www.cyclingmoments.com

Images by DCP/Bert Geerts

Results - 257.8km

1 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha                                        6.38.31 (38.814 km/h)
2 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank                                              
3 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                                                0.08
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                            
5 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                            
6 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Saxo Bank                                          
7 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Cervélo TestTeam                                           
8 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank                                                      
9 Christian Pfannberger (Aut) Team Katusha                                        
10 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank                                              
11 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram                                              
12 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux                                     
13 Jerôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step                                                 
14 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                         
15 Michael Albasini (Swi) Team Columbia - Highroad                                
16 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank                                            
17 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli         
18 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas                                                 
19 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas                                                 
20 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank                                            
21 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                      
22 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team                          0.26
23 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale                                       
24 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step                                              
25 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - Highroad                              0.36
26 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram                                                 
27 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                     0.57
28 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                        1.06
29 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step                                                
30 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Silence-Lotto                                          1.29
31 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank                                        2.26
32 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank                                                    
33 Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team                             
34 Chris-Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank                                      
35 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Slipstream                                   2.38
36 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha                                           2.45
37 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator                      2.52
38 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam                                       2.56
39 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                        
40 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                        
41 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                  3.09
42 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli          
43 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                       
44 Ben Hermans (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator                           4.30
45 Dimitri Muravyev (Kaz) Astana                                                  
46 David De La Fuente (Ita) Fuji-Servetto                                         
47 Gerben Löwik (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team                                
48 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Liquigas                                                 
49 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                                 
50 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom                                    
51 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Fuji-Servetto                                         
52 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                             
53 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram                                              
54 Francesco Ginanni (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli        
55 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step                                                 
56 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Katusha                                                   
57 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                                  
58 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                                
59 Inigo Landaluze (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                        
60 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux                                           
61 Edward King (USA) Cervélo TestTeam                                            
62 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia - Highroad                                     
63 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank                                                    
64 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team                           
65 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank                                                4.48
66 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team                               
67 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                                
68 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram                                               
69 Francesco Reda (Ita) Quick Step                                                
70 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana                                                     
71 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia - Highroad                                  
72 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step                                                
73 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step                                               5.23
74 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                          
75 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Team Columbia - Highroad                            6.02
76 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis                               
77 Joan Horrach (Spa) Team Katusha                                                
78 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia - Highroad                                   
79 Alan Pérez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                             
80 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano                                              
81 Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis                              
82 Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo TestTeam                                         
83 Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                            
84 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                              
85 Ricardo Van Der Velde (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream                                
86 Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                                
87 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française des Jeux                                     
88 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale                                          
89 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream                                     
90 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team                              
91 Sergey Klimov (Rus) Team Katusha                                               
92 Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana                                                
93 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                                             
94 Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas                                                
95 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) AG2R La Mondiale                                       
96 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Milram                                          
97 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Cervélo TestTeam                                          
98 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Liquigas                                                
99 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - Highroad                                     
100 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha                                    9.10
101 Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française des Jeux                                        
102 Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                            
103 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                       9.34
104 Alberto Losada (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                         
105 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank                                                 
106 Bingen Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis                            
107 Luca Solari (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli             
108 Brian Bach Vandborg (Den) Liquigas                                            
109 Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux                                   9.42
110 Reinier Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team                          9.47
111 Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom                             10.38
112 Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                   13.52
113 Ricardo Serrano (Spa) Fuji-Servetto                                           
114 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator                       
115 Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team                                
116 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas                                                 
117 Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervélo TestTeam                                      
118 Adi Engels (Bel) Quick Step                                                   
119 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                      
120 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                           
121 Rui Costa (Por) Caisse d'Epargne                                              
122 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom                                   
123 Anthony Roux (Fra) Française des Jeux                                         
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                             
DNF Marco Bandiera (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                          
DNF Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                                          
DNF Alexandre Pliuschin (Mda) AG2R La Mondiale                                    
DNF Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                                      
DNF Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale                                          
DNF Jesús Hernández (Spa) Astana                                                  
DNF Berik Kupeshov (Kaz) Astana                                                   
DNF Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana                                                  
DNF Benjamin Noval (Spa) Astana                                                   
DNF Steve Chainel (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom                                     
DNF Julien Belgy (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom                                      
DNF Vincent Jerome (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom                                    
DNF Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom                                   
DNF Evgeny Sokolov (Rus) BBox Bouygues Telecom                                    
DNF Vasil Kiryenka (Blr) Caisse d'Epargne                                         
DNF Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                          
DNF Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne                                         
DNF Alexandre Usov (Blr) Cofidis                              
DNF Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis                                
DNF Egoi Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                         
DNF Juan José Oroz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                        
DNF Ruben Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                           
DNF Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                         
DNF Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux                                      
DNF Juanjo Cobo (Spa) Fuji-Servetto                                               
DNF Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Fuji-Servetto                                           
DNF Jesus Del Nero (Spa) Fuji-Servetto                                            
DNF Javier Megias (Spa) Fuji-Servetto                                             
DNF Jason Donald (USA) Garmin - Slipstream                                        
DNF Huub Duyn (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream                                           
DNF Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Slipstream                                       
DNF Christian Meier (Can) Garmin - Slipstream                                     
DNF Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin - Slipstream                                     
DNF Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas                                                     
DNF Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank                                                   
DNF Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                                                 
DNF Mathew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto                                              
DNF Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha                                               
DNF Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram                                               
DNF Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                                               
DNF Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram                                               
DNF Franck Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank                                           
DNF Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam                                          
DNF Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam                                         
DNF Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                              
DNF Benjamin Gourgue (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                              
DNF Martial Ricci Poggi (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                           
DNF Koen Barbé (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago                                    
DNF Rubens Bertogliati (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli      
DNF Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli         
DNF Jose Serpa (Col) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli              
DNF Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                                
DNF Theo Eltink (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                                
DNF Steve Houanard (Fra) Skil-Shimano                                             
DNF Piet Rooijakkers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                           
DNF Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                              
DNF Jan Bakelants (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator                            
DNF Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator                             
DNF Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator                          
DNF Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator                             
DNF Sven Renders (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator