Van Avermaet and Teuns Fall Short at Amstel Gold Race Despite Aggressive Racing15. April 2018, Berg en Terblijt (NED) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet and Dylan Teuns laid it all out on the line at Amstel Gold Race with multiple attacks in the finale but ultimately fell short of the result they wanted with Van Avermaet the best-placed BMC Racing Team rider in 14th place behind winner Michael Valgren (Astana Pro Team).
A new finale to the 263km race provided an explosive last 40km in which Van Avermaet and Teuns made the select group of favorites, after a relatively uneventful first 200km.
Nine riders went clear early in the race and established a solid advantage of 16 minutes in the first half of racing.The peloton slowly began to bring them back and then with a big injection of pace, quickly brought the gap down to under five minutes in side the final 100km.
With 60km to go, BMC Racing Team made their way to the front as the pace picked up and the battle for position leading into the new finale started, which saw Van Avermaet and Teuns joined by Alessandro De Marchi and Damiano Caruso when the first selection was made. V
an Avermaet and Teuns were well positioned in the first 15 riders in the final 35km on the approach to the Keutenberg and on the early slopes, Teuns tested his legs and those of his rivals with an attack on the steep climb but wasn’t given the freedom to go clear.
From there, multiple attacks came from the group but were all neutralized with Van Avermaet and Teuns quickly jumping on any dangerous moves.
Van Avermaet attacked approaching the third passage of the finish line and managed to get a gap on the group as he set off in pursuit of the remaining breakaway riders.
The group behind chased hard and as they caught Van Avermaet inside the final 15km, a new attack came which saw a small group bridge to the breakaway and establish a new leading group from which Valgren won.
Behind, Teuns and Van Avermaet were chasing hard but were unable to close the gap to the group while up ahead, Valgren attacked inside the last 2km with Romain Kreuziger (Mitchelton-SCOTT) and the duo battled for the victory, while the final podium spot was claimed by Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain Merida).
Van Avermaet crossed the line in the main chase group, 53 seconds behind Valgren, and was followed by Teuns in 25th place.
Amstel Gold Race signals the end of the classics season for Van Avermaet while Teuns is set to line up next at La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“I was in the first group I was where I needed to be but it wasn’t the best moment to do an attack I think and when they caught me, Valverde went directly and it wasn’t possible to follow those riders. I did another attack on the Bemelerberg but when the riders ahead are attacking, it’s not easy to come back. It’s a shame because I think I could have done a good result, I maybe could have won. Dylan and I were in good condition.”
“I’m disappointed, especially again about today. I think with these legs I could have done much more than I did so it’s frustrating. I feel like I had the legs to do so much more. The classics season was ok. I was always there but it wasn’t good enough for me to be honest. Now I will take some rest, try to rebuild my shape, and then see how it goes. Now I need to have a think about some other goals this year.”
“The first 200km were not easy because the breakaway had a big advantage so the speed was high from the beginning. It was not an easy race because of this. Maybe it was good because there was already a section from the first important point, where we knew we had to be in good position. We were there with four guys so we couldn’t have done better. Everyone was looking at each on the Krusiberg which is where the race was made last year. I felt good and there was a move on the Keutenberg which is a steep climb so it suits me. I followed at first but then I thought I would try something and maybe there would be some other riders who wanted to join me, but when I looked back they were all in my wheel.”
“I did the same on the Cauberg but it was the same situation and then again on the run out of the climb, and then went Greg went so it was perfect. Greg had a gap but not enough of an advantage before the fast descent. I was in a bad position and it was my fault. I had to be more in front. I had done two big efforts and was maybe recovering a bit and wasn’t attentive enough. When they caught Greg, they went straight over him so of course he couldn’t react to it. Then, I started to pull for Greg and then Greg tried to go across on the Bemelerberg, but my race was over then. I’m confident about how I was on the climbs but I’m disappointed. This isn’t the result that I came for. I made one mistake in 260km and it was at the crucial point.”
Valerio Piva, Sports Director:
“We did a perfect race until the final. Then, Greg did a good attack but finally they closed to him and then when Alejandro Valvarde (Movistar Team) and the others went, Dylan was not ready to follow and we missed the move. That was the race. We lost today without any excuses.”
Amstel Gold Race
Maastricht > Berg en Terblijt (263km)
Top 3: 1. Michael Valgren (Astana Pro Team), 2. Romain Kreuziger (Mitchelton-SCOTT), 3. Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain Merida)
BMC Racing Team top 3: 14. Greg Van Avermaet, 25. Dylan Teuns, 34. Alessandro De Marchi