Van der Poel takes stunning Victory at Amstel Gold

In the most shocking northern classic finish in a very long time, Mathieu van der Poel crossed the gap from nearly a minute behind race leaders Jakob Fuglsang and Julian Alaphilippe at three kilometers remaining to go to win the 2019 Amstel Gold Race with a powerful sprint finish.

It wasn’t long ago that the Amstel Gold Race was a predictable, bland affair. Since the route revision of 2013, though, the race has become much more exciting and this year’s race may have been the best yet.

The action started early, with Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) making his move with nearly 40km still to ride. That prompted a flurry of activity in the final hour of racing as the other favourites attempted to make the gap.

With five kilometers remaining, the race looked to be decided. There would undoubtedly be a duel between Alaphilippe and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), who had gone clear with 35km to go. However, with Fuglsang sitting in, mindful of the Frenchman’s sprint power, chaser Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) was able to latch on in the final kilometer. The gap was falling.

At the same time, van der Poel single-handedly dragged a large chase group back into contention. With the lead trio in his sights on the long final straight he bridged the gap and kept on going. He opened his sprint with 400 meters to go, with Clarke on his wheel and the leaders still around 50 meters ahead.

Van der Poel slipped behing Fuglsang for a split second, before powering right past the lead trio into an unstoppable sprint. Clarke rode his wheel much of the way, but never had the power to contend. Van der Poel could hardly believe his luck.

Alaphilippe and Fuglsang Question Time Gap

With a strong lead in the final 10 kilometers, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) looked to have the victory locked between them. But things played out much differently in the finishing straight.

The duo is pointing the finger at questionable time gaps that were presented to the on the road.

“I am not disappointed that I did not win, but I am disappointed in how it happened,” Alaphilippe to Het Nieuwsblad. “At two kilometers from the finish line the race director came to tell us that we had a 35-second lead. That means that they rode 15 seconds per kilometer faster than we did afterwards. I think that such a thing is impossible.”

Fuglsang said the gap lead his team car to coach him to stop pulling so that he might conserve energy for sprint against Alaphilippe:

“I said to them in the car, when they didn’t want me to pull anymore, that they needed to give me the times to the group behind,” he told Cyclingnews. “They told me in the last kilometer that they were 20 seconds behind.

“I looked behind me and saw [Michal] Kwiatkowski 10 meters back. That’s not 20 seconds, so you guys got it wrong. So it’s a little bittersweet.”

Mathieu is Not the First van der Poel with an Exciting Amstel Gold Win

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) added himself to an impressive list Amstel Gold Race winners on Sunday. Another on that list, his father.

In 1990, van der Poel’s father Adrie van der Poel took a thrilling Amstel victory ahead of Luc Roosen. Roosen with a perfect example of premature celebration.

Some Big Names Couldn’t Compete

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) had another very off day, he climbed off his bike and took a DNF after being dropped from the peloton as Alaphilippe made his attack.

World Champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was absent from all the action, failing to get involved in any of the attacks or chases.

We’ll see if either can get it together for La Flèche Wallonne and/or Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but there are certainly worrying signs of lacking form.

2019 Amstel Gold Race Results

Rank Name Team Time
1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu Corendon – Circus 6:28:18
2 CLARKE Simon EF Education First ,,
3 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team ,,
4 ALAPHILIPPE Julian Deceuninck – Quick Step ,,
5 SCHACHMANN Maximilian BORA – hansgrohe ,,
6 LAMBRECHT Bjorg Lotto Soudal ,,
7 DE MARCHI Alessandro CCC Team ,,
8 MADOUAS Valentin Groupama – FDJ ,,
9 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale ,,
10 TRENTIN Matteo Mitchelton-Scott ,,
11 KWIATKOWSKI Michał Team Sky 0:02
12 MOLLEMA Bauke Trek – Segafredo ,,
13 COSTA Rui UAE-Team Emirates 0:46
14 VAN AVERMAET Greg CCC Team ,,
15 IMPEY Daryl Mitchelton-Scott 0:54
16 MATTHEWS Michael Team Sunweb ,,
17 MCCARTHY Jay BORA – hansgrohe ,,
18 KREUZIGER Roman Team Dimension Data ,,
19 SMITH Dion Mitchelton-Scott ,,
20 SBARAGLI Kristian Israel Cycling Academy ,,
21 GESINK Robert Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
22 ULISSI Diego UAE-Team Emirates ,,
23 SKUJIŅŠ Toms Trek – Segafredo ,,
24 HERMANS Ben Israel Cycling Academy ,,
25 BATTAGLIN Enrico Team Katusha – Alpecin ,,
26 KONRAD Patrick BORA – hansgrohe ,,
27 MEURISSE Xandro Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team ,,
28 NAESEN Oliver AG2R La Mondiale ,,
29 HENAO Sergio UAE-Team Emirates ,,
30 GILBERT Philippe Deceuninck – Quick Step ,,
31 VAN BAARLE Dylan Team Sky ,,
32 MOLARD Rudy Groupama – FDJ ,,
33 DEVENYNS Dries Deceuninck – Quick Step 4:02
34 VAN ASBROECK Tom Israel Cycling Academy 4:19
35 VERMEERSCH Gianni Corendon – Circus ,,
36 HAAS Nathan Team Katusha – Alpecin ,,
37 BOLE Grega Bahrain Merida ,,
38 COQUARD Bryan Vital Concept – B&B Hotels ,,
39 VENTURINI Clément AG2R La Mondiale ,,
40 VAN GESTEL Dries Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise ,,
41 GASPAROTTO Enrico Team Dimension Data ,,
42 DUIJN Huub Roompot – Charles ,,
43 COSNEFROY Benoît AG2R La Mondiale ,,
44 LAMMERTINK Maurits Roompot – Charles ,,
45 MOHORIČ Matej Bahrain Merida ,,
46 WARBASSE Larry AG2R La Mondiale ,,
47 MARTENS Paul Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
48 VAN DER LIJKE Nick Roompot – Charles ,,
49 MÜLLER Patrick Vital Concept – B&B Hotels ,,
50 CHEREL Mickaël AG2R La Mondiale ,,
51 MEISEN Marcel Corendon – Circus ,,
52 VALGREN Michael Team Dimension Data ,,
53 HIRSCHI Marc Team Sunweb ,,
54 PAUWELS Serge CCC Team ,,
55 SPRENGERS Thomas Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise ,,
56 BURGHARDT Marcus BORA – hansgrohe ,,
57 VAN AERT Wout Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
58 MARCZYŃSKI Tomasz Lotto Soudal ,,
59 ALBASINI Michael Mitchelton-Scott ,,
60 MONFORT Maxime Lotto Soudal ,,
61 CRADDOCK Lawson EF Education First ,,
62 IZAGIRRE Gorka Astana Pro Team ,,
63 TEUNS Dylan Bahrain Merida ,,
64 SÁNCHEZ Luis León Astana Pro Team ,,
65 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team ,,
66 ROSA Diego Team Sky ,,
67 LUTSENKO Alexey Astana Pro Team ,,
68 CARUSO Damiano Bahrain Merida ,,
69 BETTIOL Alberto EF Education First 7:53
70 COLBRELLI Sonny Bahrain Merida ,,
71 OWEN Logan EF Education First ,,
72 HOWES Alex EF Education First ,,
73 VAN WINDEN Dennis Israel Cycling Academy ,,
74 PACHER Quentin Vital Concept – B&B Hotels ,,
75 DE TIER Floris Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
76 DE WITTE Mathias Roompot – Charles ,,
77 PETILLI Simone UAE-Team Emirates ,,
78 BARBERO Carlos Movistar Team ,,
79 GOGL Michael Trek – Segafredo ,,
80 GOŁAŚ Michał Team Sky ,,
81 AMADOR Andrey Movistar Team ,,
82 BENEDETTI Cesare BORA – hansgrohe ,,
83 SLAGTER Tom-Jelte Team Dimension Data ,,
84 JANSSENS Jimmy Corendon – Circus ,,
85 LINDEMAN Bert-Jan Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
86 WEENING Pieter Roompot – Charles ,,
87 JUUL-JENSEN Christopher Mitchelton-Scott 7:56
88 SCHÄR Michael CCC Team 9:12
89 BERNARD Julien Trek – Segafredo ,,
90 HONORÉ Mikkel Frølich Deceuninck – Quick Step 10:59
91 SEIGLE Romain Groupama – FDJ 11:17
92 PASQUALON Andrea Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team ,,
93 CHEVRIER Clément AG2R La Mondiale ,,
94 EIKING Odd Christian Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team ,,
95 VERMOTE Julien Team Dimension Data ,,
96 JENSEN August Israel Cycling Academy ,,
97 RIESEBEEK Oscar Roompot – Charles ,,
98 DEVOLDER Stijn Corendon – Circus ,,
99 DELTOMBE Kevin Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise ,,
100 DUNBAR Eddie Team Sky ,,
101 BAUGNIES Jérôme Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team ,,
102 BOUWMAN Koen Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
103 ZABEL Rick Team Katusha – Alpecin 13:09
104 THEUNS Edward Trek – Segafredo 13:39
105 SCHULTZ Nick Mitchelton-Scott 15:41
106 POELS Wout Team Sky ,,
107 VERONA Carlos Movistar Team ,,
108 KÄMNA Lennard Team Sunweb ,,
109 BARBIN Enrico Bardiani – CSF ,,
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