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"Our second objective was to land a top-10 result with Fabian Wegmann but unfortunately he was struck by a puncture just as we entered the finale and three riders supported him back up to the field."

Photo: Sirotti

AMSTEL GOLD RACE

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FABIAN WEGMANN

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LINUS GERDEMANN

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RASMUS GULDHAMMER

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STÖLTING SERVICE GROUP

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19.04.2015 @ 19:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Today CULT Energy Pro Cycling experienced their biggest challenge in the history of the Danish team by taking part in the World Tour race, Amstel Gold Race covering 258 undulating kilometers in the Limburg region in the southern part of Holland. DS Michael Skelde had announced two objectives in this race; to be noticed in a breakaway and to pull a good result. CULT Energy’s Linus Gerdemann executed the first part of the plan but in the finale, World champion Michal Kwiatkowski proved invincible.


The German all-rounder took off in the early break consisting of six riders and created a gap well over ten minutes to the pack where Movistar was controlling the pace to set up their captain, Alejandro Valverde. Pretty soon, the cocktail consisting of high pace, narrow roads, road furniture and the number of short, steep climbs slowly but surely drained the riders before the thrilling finale.


With 50 kilometers to go, the front group split up as they increased the pace to prolong the time in the sun ahead of the field. But it was prolonging the inevitable and with 35 kilometers to go, a new front group consisting of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Simon Clarke (Oreca-GreenEdge), David Tanner (IAM Cycling) and Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) was formed. But they couldn’t agree and Clarke decided to take matters in his own hands and soloed his way into the front of the race. Entering the final eight kilometers, Clarke was caught by the speeding peloton animated by BMC. In the first counter-attack, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) leaped off with Greg van Avermaet (BMC) who didn’t want to pull while Tinkoff-Saxo decided to fire up the engine in the peloton and drag the tandem back.


Hitting the foot of Cauberg, the pack was complete and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) decided to attack with 2 kilometers to go but Michael Matthews (Oreca-GreenEdge) was on his tail immediately. As he didn’t have the strength to help pulling, they were caught by a chase group. Rushing towards the finish line, World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etiss-Quick Step) jumped up from out of nowhere to take the prestigious win.


CULT Energy Pro Cycling's Rasmus Guldhammer was in the pack hitting the foot of Cauberg and finished 37th:

 

"It was an awesome experience getting to ride this race. It's stressful, hilly and suits me perfectly if it ended after 200 kilometers and not 260. However, I made it to Cauberg and was completely out of power. But now I got a taste of Amstel and I really hope we can be back next year. I needed more race kilometers to compete with the best today."

 

DS Michael Skelde states:


"We had two objectives from the start of the race. First of all, we wanted to show that we were in the race and Linus did a perfect job executing the first part of the plan by being out there in front of the field most of the day. Our second objective was to land a top-10 result with Fabian Wegmann but unfortunately he was struck by a puncture just as we entered the finale and three riders supported him back up to the field. Howeever, he was out of fuel and was dropped soon after.  Surely, his illness in the weeks prior to the race can explain the lack of endurance. Overall, I'm happy that we made an impact on the race and the riders demonstrated the unity that they truly have and there was nothing we could have done in the finale to improve this result. Rasmus needs a few more races like these and he could be a final contender already next year," concludes Skelde.

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