April 10, 2022
Amstel Gold Race 2022 – Maastricht – Valkenburg : 254,1 km
Held in the hilly province of Limburg, Amstel Gold Race is the only one-day WorldTour race staged in the Netherlands and is thus considered one of the biggest targets of the year for the home nation.
April 10, 2022
Amstel Gold Race 2022 – Maastricht – Valkenburg : 254,1 km
Held in the hilly province of Limburg, Amstel Gold Race is the only one-day WorldTour race staged in the Netherlands and is thus considered one of the biggest targets of the year for the home nation. If you’re a Dutch rider, Amstel is up there with the five Monuments in terms of racing prestige. Despite the race bearing the Amstel moniker, it is not in fact named after the famous river that runs through Amsterdam, it’s actually named after the Dutch beer brewers, Amstel, who have served as the title sponsor of this race since its inception in 1966. Amstel Gold is often referred to as the first race in the trio of Ardennes Classics, despite the fact that it doesn’t pass through the Belgian Ardennes region where the other races.
Michał Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) won Amstel Gold in yet another agonisingly close photo finish ahead of Benoit Cosnefroy (Ag2r Citroen).
The victory had initially been awarded to Cosnefroy, but a photo finish revealed that the Pole had in fact edged it by the barest of margins with a late lunge.
The two riders did battle in a two-up sprint after breaking clear from a select group of favourites shortly after the Cauberg.
Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) broke clear from that group in the final kilometres to take third.
It was a finish uncannily similar to last year, when Ineos Grenadiers’ Tom Pidcock lost out to Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in a photo finish that caused controversy, but this time an Ineos Grenadiers was deemed to have won by a few centimetres rather than lost.
“It was very tough,” said Kwiatkowski at the finish, after he’d been confirmed as the winner. “A tough finish, a tough sprint. I was super-confident that I could win, but at the same time, the last 50 metres were super-tough, when Cosnefroy still accelerated when I got to the side of him. For me it was all about the win, because I knew that having Tom [Pidcock] in the front group, with both of us, it was all about winning the race.”
He had initially looked crestfallen while Cosnefroy celebrated for joy thinking he’s won, only for their emotions to be reversed just minutes later.
“It was very confusing. I was super-sad in the first place, because, as I said, it was all about the win.
“I learned a little bit from last year, with Tom, that you have to wait, and I still believed that maybe it will come up again saying the photo finish is wrong. But they say third time lucky, you know?
“It’s just incredible, I love this race, and after all the bad moments this season that I’ve had with Covid and previously with the flu and being sick and not being able to follow my race program. And now I’m here as winner of Amstel Gold Race, it’s just an incredible feeling.”
This is Kwiatkowski’s second Amstel Gold career victory having previously won it in 2015, and also his first win since his stage at the 2020 Tour de France, bringing to an end a frustrating run for the Pole.
“I think I proved to myself that I have to be patient and that sooner or later the victory will come … It was very tough for me, the beginning of the season, when your family is getting sick and you or not even able to train, and all the races are for me postponed and the racing calendar is upside down, it was very difficult to get back on track. But here I am.”
Ineos Grenadiers were awarded for an aggressive performance.
It was their strong pace on the Keutenberg, 34km from the finish, that forced the key selection of the race, where Kwiatkowski and Pidcock went away with Cosnefroy, Benoot, Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Victorious), Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates), Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) and Alexander Kamp (Trek-Segafredo).
Kwiatkowski then went solo shortly after this group crested the Cauberg, and was joined by Cosnefroy a few kilometres later when the Frenchman bridged across.
The pair managed to withstand the case behind, and were able to battle it out for first and second on the finishing straight.
How it unfolded
A six-man break was allowed up the road with little fuss ahead of a long, hard day’s racing in the hilly Limburg region of the Netherlands.
Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Emils Liepins (Trek-Segafredo), Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Owain Doull (EF Education-EasyPost) and Luca Rastelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) were the riders in the mood to put their nose to the wind, and opened up a gap of several minutes.
That came down when, in a flurry of activity in the peloton, the dangerous duo of Victor Campaerts (Lotto-Soudal) and Nathan Van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma) jumped clear 96km. They made the bridge some 8km later, forming a new lead group of seven riders after Rastelli dropped back, while Florian Senechal (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) tried in vain for a while to join them in no-man’s land.
However, Campanaerts didn’t keep up with the pace in the breakaway once they reached the climb of Loorberg 58km from the finish, and was dropped from the group with Schelling back into the peloton, seemingly unbothered despite the big effort to get into the break in the first place.
Campanaerts’ teammate Tim Wellens tried to jump clear shortly after, only to be marked closely by Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), meaning the peloton remained together.
The notoriously tight, narrow roads of this race inevitably led to several crashes throughout the day, with Andrea Bagioli (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious) among the victims, and Van Hooydonk briefly fell out of the break when he almost crashed into a parked car 48km from the finish.
Van Hooydonck did however manage to recover to rejoin the break, and then went clear alone on the Eyserbosweg where the group fractured, and the Ineos Grenadiers-led peloton began to reel them in on-by-one. But the Dutchman was himself caught shortly after the summit, meaning the race was all back together with 44.5km still to ride.
Ineos Grenadiers continued to set a searing pace, and forced a significant selection on the Keutenberg 34km from the finish when twelve riders went clear from the peloton.
Those left behind failed to mount an organised chase, with Tim Wellens and Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Victorious) trying separately to bridge the gap solo.
A stand off on the Cauberg among the leaders was broken by attacks first by Hirschi and then Pidcock over the top, but it wasn’t until after the summit that a rider went clear, when Kwiatkowski managed to get a gap.
Once the Pole’s lead had grown to over ten seconds, Cosnefroy produced an explosive acceleration to drop the others, and caught the Pole with 19km still to ride.
Pidcock and then Teuns tried in vain to bridge up to them, and by the foot of the final climb of the day, the Bemelerberg, Kwiatkowski and Cosnefroy’s lead over the chasers was up to 30 seconds.
Strong turns from Hirschi and Asgreen on the climb helped bring the gap down to 20 seconds, but there wasn’t a fully committed chase on the run-in to the line, allowing Kwiatkowski and Cosnefroy to sprint for victory.
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers 6:01:19
2 Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
3 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:10
4 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:20
5 Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
6 Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
7 Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
8 Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
9 Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
10 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
11 Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
12 Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:29
13 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:42
14 Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:43
15 Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-EasyPost
16 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech
17 Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:50
18 Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
19 Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Movistar Team
20 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
21 Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
22 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers
23 Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:29
24 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
25 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
26 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
27 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
28 Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
29 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM
30 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
31 Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
32 Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:04:25
33 Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:31
34 Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
35 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
36 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
37 Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:06:26
38 Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
39 Jan Maas (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
40 Johan Jacobs (Swi) Movistar Team
41 Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM 0:06:29
42 Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
43 Jannik Steimle (Ger) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:07:25
44 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
45 Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
46 Max Kanter (Ger) Movistar Team
47 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
48 Jonas Koch (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
49 Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
50 Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM
51 Sandy Dujardin (Fra) TotalEnergies
52 Tom Devriendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
53 Stan Van Tricht (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
54 Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) Astana Qazaqstan Team
55 Kenny Molly (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
56 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
57 Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team
58 Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies
59 Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
60 Jenno Berckmoes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
61 Iñigo Elosegui Momeñe (Spa) Movistar Team
62 Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroen Team
63 Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
64 Remy Mertz (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
65 Thibault Ferasse (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
66 Abner González Rivera (PuR) Movistar Team
67 Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
68 Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel-Premier Tech
69 Daryl Impey (RSA) Israel-Premier Tech
70 Aimé De Gendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
71 Winner Anacona (Col) Arkea-Samsic
72 Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
73 Stefano Oldani (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
74 Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
75 Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Arkea-Samsic
76 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
77 Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
78 Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
79 Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
80 Alexandre Delettre (Fra) Cofidis
81 Sander Armée (Bel) Cofidis
82 Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
83 Ben Turner (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
84 Connor Swift (GBr) Arkea-Samsic
85 Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
86 Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
87 Owain Doull (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost
88 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
89 Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
90 Niki Terpstra (Ned) TotalEnergies
91 Filippo Baroncini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:10:56
92 Emils Liepins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo 0:11:10
93 Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane’
94 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
95 Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
96 Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
97 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) TotalEnergies
98 Cesare Benedetti (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
99 Johan Meens (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
100 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
101 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma
102 Clément Russo (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
103 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
104 Quentin Jauregui (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
105 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
106 Vito Braet (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
107 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
108 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
109 Jens Reynders (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:13:11
110 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel-Premier Tech
111 Nico Denz (Ger) Team DSM
112 Marco Brenner (Ger) Team DSM
113 Ruben Apers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
114 Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
115 Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
116 Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkea-Samsic
117 Vinicius Rangel Costa (Bra) Movistar Team
DNF Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
DNF Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
DNF Laurens De Plus (Bel) Ineos Grenadiers
DNF Magnus Sheffield (USA) Ineos Grenadiers
DNF Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Martin Laas (Est) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNF Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal
DNF Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNF Daan Hoole (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost
DNF Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
DNF Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Education-EasyPost
DNF Filip Maciejuk (Pol) Bahrain Victorious
DNF Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
DNF Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious
DNF Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis
DNF Szymon Sajnok (Pol) Cofidis
DNF John Degenkolb (Ger) Team DSM
DNF Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM
DNF Casper Pedersen (Den) Team DSM
DNF Leonardo Basso (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNF Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNF Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNF Valerio Conti (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNF Finn Fisher-Black (NZl) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Alexys Brunel (Fra) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNF Alexandre Balmer (Swi) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNF Dion Smith (NZl) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNF Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Israel-Premier Tech
DNF Tobias Bayer (Aut) Alpecin-Fenix
DNF Michael Gogl (Aut) Alpecin-Fenix
DNF Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
DNF Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
DNF Julian Mertens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNF Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNF Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNF Victor Koretzky (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNF Alan Boileau (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNF Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNF Jonathan Hivert (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNF Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane’
DNF Johnatan Cañaveral Vargas (Col) Bardiani CSF Faizane’
DNF Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane’
DNF Luca Rastelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane’
DNF Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane’
DNF Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane’
DNS Marijn van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost