EASTER RISING: VAN DER POEL TAKES SHOCKING AMSTEL GOLD VICTORY

van der Poel in disbelief

First Dutch winner comes from nowhere to take sprint In the most shocking finish at a northern classic in ages, Corendon’s Mathieu van der Poel came from nearly a minute behind race leaders Jakob Fuglsang and Julian Alaphilippe with three kilometers remaining, only to regroup in the final 300 meters as the race leaders played cat-and-mouse, and then punishing them for their tactics with a powerful sprint to the line that sent the home crowd into complete delirium. Van der Poel and his small group came into sight of the leaders just as Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski had joined the Fuglsang-Alaphilippe break, which moments earlier seemed absolutely assured of victory. But two became three, and with everyone on his wheel at the 600 meter sign van der Poel simply pounded the pedals to close on the leaders, disregarding the group glued to his wheel, and powered his way to the line ...

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Phlippe Gilbert put in a final attack before the sprinters took over at Paris-Nice

Last weekend, Philippe Gilbert won Paris-Roubaix after an impressive display of strength both from him and his Deceuninck-Quick Step team. Ahead of Amstel Gold Race , the Belgian has said that there could be more of the same to come on Sunday. During the closing stages of the ‘Hell of the north’, Gilbert had teammate Yves Lampaert for company in the lead group, while Zdenek Štybar and Florian Senechal disrupted the chase. Gilbert heads into Amstel, which he has won four times, alongside Julian Alaphilippe, arguably the stand-out rider of the "It’s a nice race. It suits me," said Gilbert at his team’s pre-race press conference in Lanaken. “I’m still fresh enough and still focused on what’s coming. We’re going for it. “We’ll do it like in the cobbled classics. We start with several trump cards. It offers advantages over the other teams, and it also gives us confidence.” Gilbert ...

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Großschartner wins Tour of Turkey as Ewan takes final stage

The final podium – Conti, Großschartner and Kudus (L-R)

Felix Großschartner ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) won the Tour of Turkey , completing the final stage safely to seal overall victory, as Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) took the stage win in Istanbul ahead of Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe). Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) and Merhawi Kudus (Astana Pro Team) rounded out the final podium, with the top of the GC unchanged from stage 5. After the first four stages ended with sprinters triumphing, stage 6 was expected to be more of the same, even with the final kilometre heading uphill. Much of the stage did indeed follow the usual sprint stage formula, with a break going away early on, kept on a tight leash by the peloton, and eventually caught before the finish. Lorenzo Fortunato (Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM), Hayato Yoshida (Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè), Emerson Oronte (Rally UHC Cycling), Thimo Willems (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Mauricio Moreira (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) ...

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Niewiadoma wins Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition

A joyous Niewiadoma crosses the line

Katarzyna Niewiadoma ( Canyon-SRAM ) won the 2019 Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition , attacking on the final climb of the Cauberg and holding off Annemiek Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) in a dramatic pursuit. The Pole had looked strong on previous ascents of the Cauberg and surged away from an elite group of 15 as the race hit the famous climb for the final time. Van Vleuten was late to respond but made her way up past Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) to crest in second place, leaving a nail-biting 1.8 km run-in to the line. The time trial world champion gained and gained time on the duo, but ran out of road. Niewiadoma could sit up and celebrate in the final 15 metres, with Van Vleuten now right on her back but the victory secure. “To be honest, I still cannot believe what happened,” Niewiadoma said. “I’m filled with so many different ...

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Mathieu Van der Poel wins Amstel Gold Race

Mathieu van der Poel in disbelief as he crosses the line

Mathieu Van der Poel ( Corendon-Circus ) shook his head in disbelief as he crossed the finish line, and so did everyone watching. The simple fact is that the Dutchman won the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. Quite how he did so is another matter entirely. Van der Poel, wearing the Dutch national champion’s jersey on his Amstel debut, was dead and buried with seven kilometers to go. He’d attacked from the main chase group with a handful of others but, a minute down on leaders Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), it looked like any chance of victory had sailed. However, in a remarkable finale - surely the most thrilling in the race’s 54-year history - the Dutchman dragged that small group back up to those chasing in between and then to the front of the race with just 300 metres to go. He hadn’t quite made the ...

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Wellens amazed by Van der Poel but confident for Amstel Gold Race

Tim Wellens puts in a move

With Tim Wellens in good form to start the season, Lotto-Soudal are among the teams looking for a strong result at Amstel Gold Race . The Belgian took third at Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday, and named the men he finished with as the main favourites for the first in the Ardennes trilogy, picking out Corendon-Circus phenom Mathieu van der Poel for particular analysis. Wellens finished behind the 24-year-old and Julian Alaphilippe at Wednesday’s race. The duo are among most people’s favourites at Amstel, with Wellens saying that even his own grandmother sees the Dutchman as near-unbeatable. "A few days ago I was with my grandmother, just before Brabantse Pijl," Wellens said in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad . "She asked ‘is Van der Poel riding? Yes? Oh, then it’s for second place.’ "I had to laugh a lot about that, but it will be true every now and then; every ...

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Remco Evenepoel crosses the line

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Alaphilippe: Mathieu van der Poel is a phenomenon

Julian Alaphilippe, Mathieu van der Poel and Tim Wellens on the Brabantse Pijl

Everyone is talking about Mathieu van der Poel , and Julian Alaphilippe is the latest to praise the young Dutchman, describing him as "a phenomenon". Alaphilippe has been the outstanding rider this season with eight victories, including Milan-San Remo, but Van der Poel, the 24-year-old cyclo-cross world champion, has stormed onto the road in his first spring classics campaign, with victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen and fourth place at the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem. The pair went head-to-head at Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday, where Van der Poel left the more experienced Alaphilippe to win the sprint from the select four-man group. They will lock horns again at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. "I was happy for him," Alaphilippe said ahead of the Dutch Classic. "I do not know him personally, we have not ridden against one another much, but I have followed him a bit because I like cyclo-cross. ...

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