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“It was difficult when it came down to two of us, but we certainly tried. We gave it everything once we were alone, but it was a hard day with the strong winds,” Jakob Fuglsang said.

Photo: Sirotti

AMSTEL GOLD RACE

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ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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JAKOB FUGLSANG

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22.04.2014 @ 08:44 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Astana appeared to be one of the main forces driving the speeding peloton through the narrow Dutch roads on Sunday, however, seventh place was all the Kazakh team managed to deliver thanks to the renowned classics specialist and former winner of the Amstel Gold Race, Enrico Gasparotto.

 

Even though almost all of the pre-race favorites were present when a reduced group hit the Cauberg for the last time, one of the most thrilling moments of the race took place earlier, when Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) went clear with almost 40 kilometers to go and was quickly joined by Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), in-form Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) and impressively consistent Bjorn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).

 

As there were no doubts in the peloton that a dangerous combination is able to make it to the finale or serve as a launch pad for one of the riders to repeat Kreuziger’s victorious attack from 2013, Omega Pharma-Quick Step set a furious chase as they missed a move. Escapees stayed away much longer than it was expected, but despite a really good cooperation the final quartet consisting of Preben Van Hecke (Topsport-Vlaanderen) and Christophe Riblon (Ag2R La Mondiale) from day’s early breakaway caught by Fuglsang and Van Avermaet were eventually reeled in with about seven kilometers to go.

 

Fuglsang, who as a result finished Amstel Gold Race 29th, regretted a lost opportunity to play the finale, suggesting that the move has been made too early to stand a chance of staying up the road until the finish line. In the same time the Danish rider acknowledged, however, that an attack seemed to dangerous to be missed by his team and he was the one with best legs and position to follow Voeckler after he took off.

 

“I had my chance, maybe the break went a little too early, but we needed to have somebody there and I was in a good position when we hit the climbs there,” Fuglsang told Cyclingnews after crossing the line in 29th place.

 

The 29-year old Astana rider also pointed out that weather conditions significantly decreased chances of a small group to keep the speeding peloton at bay.

 

“It was difficult when it came down to two of us, but we certainly tried. We gave it everything once we were alone, but it was a hard day with the strong winds.”

 

“It was a strange race because the speed was so high, [rather than attacking] everybody was focussing on staying in a good position because of the wind, too,” he analysed.

 

“All in all, at least, I’m happy with my condition,” and as he pointed out, with Fleche and Liege-Bastogne-Liege to come, more chance may come his way.

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