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"Our original goal was to win this race with Joaquim. But of course things changed and we have to accept this. We’ll see how Purito feels before we make other decisions about the races still to come," Azevedo says

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele










20.04.2014 @ 21:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Katusha had hopes to win today's Amstel Gold Race with an in-form Joaquim Rodriguez but the Spaniard crashed out after just 90km of racing. While the captain was at the hospital to learn that he had escaped any serious injuries, his teammate Daniel Moreno took over the captaincy role and did solid to come away with 9th.


The Russian WorldTour Team Katusha rider Daniel Moreno finished 9th today at the prestigious classics race Amstel Gold Race in Netherlands.


Katusha Team had a plan going into the 2014 Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, but an accident involving Joaquim Rodriguez after only 90 km required a change of direction for the Russian team.


Team director José Azevedo reported on Rodriguez:


“We started at the beginning to control the race with BMC but then after 90 km we had Joaquim’s crash. He crashed hard and couldn’t breathe. Fortunately nothing is broken but it was a scary moment because his ribs were hurting.”


Rodriguez was taken to a nearby hospital where he was checked out. Test results revealed no fractures but some bruising of the ribs.


Azevedo continued:


“We had to change our plan then and tried to protect Dani Moreno, saving him to do something later in the race. The team rode very well today. Kolobnev made a very good move, and then later Caruso. But in the final when Gilbert attacked, Dani couldn’t follow at that moment, so he stayed with his group and finished ninth.


"Our original goal was to win this race with Joaquim. But of course things changed and we have to accept this. We’ll see how Purito feels before we make other decisions about the races still to come,” he said, referring to Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne and the upcoming Liège-Bastonne-Liège next Sunday.


An attack on the Cauberg by BMC’s Philippe Gilbert proved to be the winning move with no one able to come back to the former world champion. He earned the win five seconds ahead of Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) and Simon Gerrans of Orica GreenEdge.


Moreno was the best of the Katusha riders in ninth with teammates Giampaolo Caruso and Alexander Kolobnev landing in 16th and 19th places


“When Gilbert went, he went so fast," Moreno said. "I could not immediately react but came back with the Gasparotto group. I was hoping that we could reach the leaders, but it was too late. 


"My condition is good. I feel like I did last year when I won Flèche Wallonne. So let’s hope there is more to come. I also think Liège is good for me.”


Katusha’s Alexander Kolobnev had a spectacular day, going solo to reach a strong breakaway group. With 30km to go, Kolobnev bridged across to a group led by Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), chasing the remains of an original 10-man break, but eventually brought back to the main field before it was all together for the final time up the Cauberg.


“As a team we worked very well together and Dani’s result is a good one," Kolobnev said. "In the finale in the toughest part of the race, we were all right there together. We know of course if Joaquim had been there and we were all together, we would have had a chance to win.


"I felt like my old self today. I really like this race and I know the parcours. I knew that climb very well when I jumped away and I calculated the power I needed to reach them. Hopefully I will have other chances soon. Liège is normally a good race for me. I hope to have the same good feelings as I’ve had today.”


Giampaolo Caruso was also active in the end, making a move at 9km to go to protect the chances of Moreno:


“My jump to the front looked spectacular but it was very necessary. I knew when Van Avermaet attacked I had to react and it was my job in order to save the chances for Dani. In the end it didn’t work out but Katusha did a very good job again today.”



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