Amstel agony for Kwiato

16 Apr 2017

Amstel agony for Kwiato

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Michal Kwiatkowski was edged on the line by Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) as he came agonisingly close to winning his second Amstel Gold Race.

Kwiatkowski and Gilbert had pulled clear of an elite breakaway group of seven, which also contained Sergio Henao, after trading attacks on the final climb to setup a final kilometre showdown. 

It was the Belgian champion who prevailed however, as he countered Kwiatowski’s sprint for the line with a late burst on his own to add this title to his Tour of Flanders crown this season.

Sergio Henao put in a superb performance too, finishing just outside the top five after being one of the architects of the decisive move which would settle the race.
Sergio Henao was crucial in Kwiatowski's podium finish

Sergio Henao was crucial in Kwiatowski's podium finish

The Colombian champion reacted to Tiesj Benoot’s (Lotto-Soudal) attack with 38km to go to create an elite group of seven other riders that would eventually decide the 52nd edition of the race.

The group also contained Ion Izaguirre (Team Bahrain Merida), Jose Rojas (Movistar), Michael Albisini (Orica-Scott), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) and was quickly able to extend an advantage of a chasing pack slow to organise themselves.

However, a more select chasing group was able to edge closer and Kwiatkowski bridged the gap to join the front group. 

The Team Sky duo worked well together to stretch the rest of the leaders as the number of climbs slowly decreased and only Gilbert was able to compete with Kwiatowski to setup a grandstand finish. 
Michal Kwiatkowski

Michal Kwiatkowski

What can I say? I was beaten by a great champion, congratulations Philippe
Kwiatowski was clearly disappointed with the result, but was quick to praise Gilbert and his teammates for their efforts.

"It was a great race, but I'm not satisfied with the result.

"But what can I say? I was beaten by a great champion, congratulations Philippe."

"I am very happy with the team's performance, with an effort put by Sergio Henao. We were very motivated to win today. 

He concluded: "All is not lost, just delayed."
Race result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) 6:31:40
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) s.t.
3. Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott) +10"
4. Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) s.t.
5. Jose Rojas (Movistar) s.t.
6. Sergio Henao (Team Sky) s.t. 

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