The peloton was torn apart by early breakaways in a race that never settled down after the blistering start, but a chasing pack featuring Alejandro Valverde and Greg van Avermaet did threaten to reel in the leaders inside the final 30 kilometers.
Another five-man break put paid to Valverde and Van Avermaet’s chances, but the small group were unable to catch Gilbert and Kwiatkowski, who toyed with each other in the finishing straight.
Kwiatkowski, aware that he had less explosive power than Gilbert, set out for home early and almost caught the Belgian napping. But Gilbert’s class shone through as he eased back into the Team Sky rider’s slipstream and sling-shotting around for the win.
Amstel Gold Race
Lizzie Deignan takes second behind Anna van der Breggen in Amstel Gold Race