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“I have mixed feelings. Top ten was my minimum goal. The sixth place isn’t a bad result, but it could have been better. At first I wasn’t positioned well."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

AMSTEL GOLD RACE

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JELLE VANENDERT

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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19.04.2015 @ 20:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tony Gallopin finished in the top ten of the Amstel Gold Race. In a sprint with eighteen riders the Frenchman was sixth.

 

The early breakaway consisted of six riders. They had a maximal lead of eleven minutes. In the peloton Movistar, Orica-GreenEdge and mainly BMC led the chase. Before halfway, Jelle Vanendert hit a car. He has abrasions and hurt his left shoulder and hip. Normally he will be able to start in the Flèche Wallonne.

 

On the Eyserbosweg, the 28th hill of the day, Simon Clarke and David Tanner bridged to the last two escapees. Later three others, one of them was Nibali, joined Clarke and Tanner. With eight kilometres to go all escapees were caught.

 

A reduced peloton started the last ascent of the Cauberg with top at 1.7 kilometres from the finish. Tim Wellens tried to answer an early move of Ben Hermans. On the top Philippe Gilbert and Michael Matthews had a small gap. A group with Tony Gallopin could return and a sprint decided about the victory. World champion Michal Kwiatkowski won. Alejandro Valverde was second, Michael Matthews third. Tony Gallopin finished on the sixth place.

 

“I have mixed feelings," Gallopin said. "Top ten was my minimum goal. The sixth place isn’t a bad result, but it could have been better. At first I wasn’t positioned well, but thanks to a strong effort of Jürgen Roelandts I could come to the front at the beginning of the Cauberg. Five hundred metres before the finish I lost some energy due to the wind. When Kwiatkowski passed me by I didn’t have any power left to react and to conquer a podium place. It was the first time I played a role in the final here, that’s encouraging for the future.”

 

“I’m disappointed I wasn’t good enough to follow the best on the Cauberg and I didn’t get to the finish with the first group," Wellens said. "At the bottom of the last climb I was positioned well and when Ben Hermans attacked I tried to bridge. I soon felt a top result wasn’t possible. The next races are different, so I won’t make a drama of this.”

 

“There was a lot of speculation if there would be attacks before the final ascent of the Cauberg or not," manager Marc Sergeant said. "We decided not to join an early breakaway. The scenario showed that was the right decision. The counterattack of Nibali was a strong attempt. Afterwards it got back together again and the last ascent of the Cauberg was decisive. Because of the circumstances Jelle couldn’t defend his chances. Tim wasn’t strong enough for top ten. Tony could get a top ten place. We came for a podium spot, but we didn’t achieve that goal.”

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