Amstel Gold Race: what they said . . .

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April 21st, 2014.  So after gathering their collective breaths after the final climb of the Mur de Huy, what did the riders and team staff themselves have to say at the end of the 49th Amstel Gold Race?

 April 21st, 2014.  So after gathering their collective breaths after the final climb of the Mur de Huy, what did the riders and team staff themselves have to say at the end of the 49th Amstel Gold Race?

Jim Ochowicz (president & general manager of BMC Racing)

A lesson in how to give credit where it’s due, “This victory was a result of perfectly executed strategy and 100% delivery by the team of that strategy, from start to finish. I give full compliments to everybody: the riders, managers, staff, all the way down the line.”

Philippe Gilbert (2014 Amstel Gold Race winner)

Always nice to show the family dad having a good day in the office, “This was a particularly emotional win for me, my wife and my kids were here for the first time in two years.  So to win will be something they will never forget.  I have been dreaming of this.”  Let’s hope you don’t forget this one either Philippe; your win was certainly one to stay in the brain.  Sanchez’ attack?  Don’t worry it was all part of the plan, “My teammates really did a great job before the final ascension of the Cauberg, they all did a very good job to place me in the best position.  During the briefing, it was planned for Samuel to do an attack at the foot of the Cauberg.  It was not a surprise for me, but I think it was one for my adversaries.”

Jelle Vanendert (runner-up)

Nothing like a bit of adversity to spark a near race-winning performance, “The race didn’t start well for me, I crashed after about 40km.  I hit my knee and had much pain.  That moment I wasn’t sure I would finish the race, it was difficult to get back on track.  Eventually I could make the switch.”  Nothing like having little brother watching your back, “For the team the race went as planned with Pim Lithgart in the front group and Tim Wellens who responded when the strong teams started the final.  My brother Dennis took care of me.”
 

Simon Gerrans (third place)

Sadly three thirds don’t make one whole win in cycling, “Third time third – particularly with third last year – is a little disappointing, I would have loved to have improved my result.  The goal was to win today, so anything less would always have felt like we had fallen a bit short but to finish on the podium of Amstel Gold is still a pretty satisfying result.”  A team can only take you so far when there ain’t no give and take with the others, “Coming into the finish Pieter [Weening] and Simon [Clarke] placed me perfectly into the bottom of the climb, they gave me the opportunity to attack the last time up the Cauberg.  Philippe attacked right past me, and he got a gap straightaway.  There wasn’t any cooperation behind, so we were left racing for the minor places.”  In retrospect happy or no-happy?  “I wasn’t expecting a result, but I was certainly hoping for one.  I was confident in the team and myself coming into the race today, and we all did a fantastic job.  We would have liked to have won, but when you race the way we raced and come away with the podium, it’s a good day.”

Geraint Thomas (DNF)

After a crash ridden season has the Team Sky rider been the unluckiest man in the peloton this year?  Courtesy of Twitter, “Someone decided he wanted to have a wee and just turned 90degrees right, nowhere to go, apart from the deck #storyofthelastfeweeks”.  I hope a month’s break brings back some crash-free riding Geraint; happy spring break!

To view the Amstel Gold Race report click here.  For results click here.

By:  Ed Wright


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