Vliegen Cracks the Top Ten at Amstel Gold Race17. April 2016, Berg en Terblijt (BEL) — Road Team
Loïc Vliegen demonstrated his good form by finishing in the top ten at his first Amstel Gold Race.
BMC Racing Team was well-represented in the final with Ben Hermans and Samuel Sánchez and Dylan Teuns joining Vliegen in the sprint for the line. It was attack after attack in the final two kilometers which saw Sánchez, Teuns and Vliegen all try their hand.
Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) launched a late attack to take the win, with Michael Valgren (Tinkoff) and Sonny Cobrelli (Bardiani-CSF) rounding out the podium.
Philippe Gilbert, who went in as BMC Racing Team’s leader, didn’t have his best race following surgery on a fractured finger one week ago.
Quotes of the Day:
“I’m really happy to be in the top ten today. The first section of the race was really difficult but I felt better and better throughout the race. I think the cold also affected me a lot with the rain. But to be in the top ten at my first Amstel Gold Race is really special.”
“With Philippe not in the final group at the finish, myself and the other guys had a ‘carte blanche’ from the Sports Directors to see what we could do. I think I launched my sprint a bit too early and the wind wasn’t very favourable but I’m still happy.”
“It’s a course that suits me well. I’m still too young to win a race like this but I think in the future, it’s a race that will be really good for me. I think the Ardennes will be one of my primary objectives in the years to come.”
“It was quite a controlled race and then it really accelerated in the final 50 or 60 kilometers. There were a lot of riders dropped as the race really started to heat up. In the end it wasn’t my day today, but I’ll be back for La Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege so I hope to be better there.”
Valerio Piva, Sports Director:
“You have to be in top physical shape for a race like that. Philippe wasn’t feeling so great in the end so it was up to our younger guys to see what they could do in the final part of the race. We knew that Philippe wasn’t 100% with his finger but he did the best he could on the day. Amstel Gold Race is his race so naturally we tried to support him as much as possible.”
“We had a lot of options for our plan B with our young guys. I’m really happy with Loïc’s top ten in his first Amstel Gold Race and Dylan was always up there at the front. These guys are our future so I’m really happy with the way they raced today. The Ardennes are far from over and we can still do a lot.”
Amstel Gold Race (1.UWT)
One-day race 248.7km
Top 3: Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Michael Valgren (Tinkoff), Sonny Cobrelli (Bardiani-CSF).
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.