21/04/19 - 10:35 AM
Road race - Men
Amstel Gold Race • Stage1

Road race - Men

Follow the Amstel Gold Race live with Eurosport. The Amstel Gold Race race starts at 10:35 on 21 April 2019. Find Amstel Gold Race results, calendar, standings and table. Get all the info on the teams to watch.
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I'm struggling to comprehend what I've just seen, but we will have a full race report for you shortly.

Thanks for joining me today!


Wow. Just wow.


Van der Poel came from incredibly late, pulled a group of about six riders actross the gap for about a kilometre, then overhauled Julian Alaphilippe.


That was stunning. Again.


Mathieu van der Poel wins!


Alaphilippe launches !


The trio are 500m out.


Kwiatkowski catches Alaphilippe!


Flamme rouge for Alaphilippe and Fuglsang as Mathieu van der Poel puts in a herculean effort to charge across, leading a group of riders.


Schachmann has caught Trentin and Kwiatkowski.


Fuglsang takes a drink. He's now, finally, refusing to take a pull on the front.


These two have 3km to go and a comfy cushion of 38 seconds to the next group. Barring a crash, one of them has won this


Fuglsang goes again. This time he tries to ride Alaphilippe off his wheel on the flat, but the effort is wasted. The Frenchman just tags the move, then rides back onto the front...


He's good.


How do you beat Alaphilippe when he's on form like this? Answers on a postcard...


Alaphilippe is equal to the acceleration though.

Trentin meanwhile has clawed his way back to Kwiatkowski's wheel.


Every turn that Fuglsang gives to Alaphilippe is another nail in his coffin. The Dane needs to stop working or go long.

As I say that, Fuglsang digs in and ups the tempo on today's last climb, the Bemelerberg!


And in today's least-surprising update...


Schachmann is really pushing it and he just gets it a little bit wrong on a corner, nearly losing his back wheel.


This race is going to be won by the two-up TT team of Alaphilippe and Fuglsang.


It's Bardet's turn to launch an attack from G3. Trentin has been dropped by Kwiatkowski. Schachmann? He's still out there, somewhere...


Schachmann is solo, somewhere behind the Kwiatkowski pair. Fuglsang and Alaphilippe continue their bro-down.

Fuglsang must eventually stop working though, he stands no chance against Alaphilippe in a sprint. We might see him go for a long attack, or simply start sitting on the Frenchman's wheel.


After all that effort to close the gap, Kwiatkowski and Trentin are fading fast. From 10 seconds their deficit is back up to 25. It's looking great for Alaphilippe and Fuglsang.


Romain Bardet shows himself on the front of group 3 but he's reticent to actually work.


EF are chomping into the advantage now. 48 seconds.


Mega crowds here on the Cauberg as the leading four riders climb it for the final time today.


The two groups of two may soon become a foursome. Some big TT efforts from Kwiatkowski and Trentin have closed the gap to around 10 seconds.

Finally EF hit the front and are putting some serious effort into the chase.


EF Education are looking stacked in group 3. They have four riders. They must use some matches now or their hopes of a win are gonna disappear.


Fuglsang and Alaphilippe have 19 seconds on Kwiatkowski and Trentin. Then a minute back is the chase group of about 25 riders.


It sounds as though Alejandro Valverde has also been dropped from group 3. He's always gone better at Fleche and Liege, so it's no surprise he's not all-in for today.


And Schachmann goes now! The German rider is on flying form and is many people's dark horse pick for today.


Meanwhile, Woods' team-mate Alberto Bettiol has got a small gap on the rest of group 3.

You feel that they have to do something soon in group 3 or the race will disappear up the road with Fuglsang and Alaphilippe.


Michael Woods is dropped from the second group.


Absolutely frenetic stuff. Woods and co are chasing hard but Fuglsang and Alaphilippe are working beautifully together.

The gap is growing between group 2 (Trentin, Woods, Kwiatkowski) and group 3 (the rest).


This is very, very long for Alaphilippe to go from. He's always had the gas to beat most people in any sort of sprint, so to invest energy in an attack like this shows just how good he must be feeling.


Only about 25 seconds separates the front three groups on the road.


So amid all that, the break has been caught and dispensed with.. the leaders of this bike race are Alaphilippe and Fuglsang.

Behind them are Woods, Trentin and Kwiatkowski.


This is looking good for Alaphilippe and Fuglsang. Matteo Trentin, Euro champ's jersey aflutter, is putting down some watts as he attempts to catch them.


Peter Sagan's misfiring 2019 season continues. He's been dropped.


The Frenchman is with Jakob Fuglsang of Astana, whose team-mate Alexey Lutsenko is delayed with a mechanical.


Julian Alaphilippe is on the attack!


We've just seen a nasty crash involving Matthias de Witte. He looks to be OK after nosediving over a brick wall on the outside of a turn. That could have been much worse.

We are starting to see some more attack as the race breaks down.


Just a little tester from van der Poel. He and Izagirre are back in the bosom of Mother Peloton.


The Dutchman used the Guiperberg as a launchpad for his attack, just zipping away from the bunch.


Alberto Contador's disc wheel! What an attack from Mathieu van der Poel. The Dutch phenom has launched himself clear of the peloton, taking Gorka Izagirre with him, and the pair already have 40 seconds on the peloton.


Only eight left in the break now. They look hot. Hot and tired. They have 1'13".


Wout Poels, remember him? I think I can see him at the front of the peloton. Think he did quite well in an Ardennes Classic once.


Lots of open jerseys today because of the heat, it's almost like watching La Vuelta.

The breakaway's gap dips below two minutes for the first time. They're getting cooked by the sun, but is their goose?


Gap is down to 2'17 now. The chase effort has been steady, rather than really full gas, but the slow reeling in has certainly begun.


Dimension Data's transfer policy is, apparently, 'buy good Amstel guys'...


Mike Woods is my pick for today. He's said before that this is his favourite race and, while a slightly tougher course might favour him, a race like Liege-Bastogne-Liege, there's no reason he can't do well on this parcours.

EF Education have had their best season-start for quite some years, with Alberto Bettiol's win at Tour of Flanders the indisputable highlight. They are a team riding high on success and are showing so much self-belief.


Almost all of AG2R are at the back of the peloton right now. They have a dizzying array of options for today, including Oliver Naesen, Romain Bardet, and Larry 'The Warlord' Warbasse who signed for the French outfit after his old team, Aqua Blue, went bust in spectacular fashion last year.


Many, many climbs to come today. The riders will go up the Cauberg three times in total, with the Bemelerberg - the final climb of the race - also featuring multiple times.


Caleb Ewan wins Stage 6 of the Tour of Turkey! Will try and find you a finish video for that.

It's the Australian's second victory at the race. He's had a bit of a stop-start beginning to his time at Lotto Soudal, so it's nice to see him finding some form ahead of the Giro d'Italia.


The Dutch TV directors are showing us lots of shots of Mathieu van der Poel. They must rate his chances in Holland's most high-profile bike race, (other than Hammer Limburg of course).

The 24-year-old has been on scintillating form this year, with a win at Brabantse Pijl to go with his fourth places at Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem.


Work to bring back the break is being shared between the big favourites' teams; Deceuninck, Bora Hansgrohe and Astana.

Astana has brought an absolute arsenal of firepower to this race, as they look to continue their super-successful season. They won the race last year with the now-moved-to-Dimension Data Michael Valgren.


No Tim 'Da Killer' Decelercq for Deceuninck Quickstep today. Apparently he is back in the military research lab where Patrick Lefevere found him resting up before being deployed to crush more Pro Continental riders' hopes at the Tour de France.


Here's that stunning finish from the women's race, for you...


Grega Bole and Michael Schar would probably be your two biggest names in the break. Both would be handy assistants if someone from their team were to jump clear of the peloton.

Schar rides for Greg van Avermaet's CCC team, while Bole is on Bahrain Merida who have the dangerous duo of Dylan Teuns and Sonny Colbrelli. Their presence up there also means neither team has to help with the chase behind.


Paolo Simion looks to have come up lame. He appears to have cramp, which is doubtless a symptom of racing in the incredibly hot weather we're experiencing here today in Holland. That'll be the end of his participation in the breakaway I'd think.


Ok, here's the situation. In the break we have ten riders. They have a healthy lead of 5'50" on the peloton.

Michael Schär (CCC Team), Nick van der Lijke (Roompot-Charles), Paolo Simion (Bardiani-CSF), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Aaron Verwilst (Sport Vlaanderen Baloise), Grega Bole (Bahrain-Merida), Jimmy Janssens (Corendon-Circus), Tom Van Asbroeck (Israel Cycling Academy), Marco Minnaard and Jerome Baugnies (Wanty-Gobert)


100km to go in the B-race.


Well then. If the chaps can manage something half as good as that I'm in for a very frantic afternoon.


Few riders are more popular in the women's peloton than Niewadoma


Kasia Niewadoma wins Amstel Gold for the first time in her career. She fought all the way to the line, managing to stay ahead of an incredible chase effort from Annemiek van Vleuten.

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio was crashed out in the sprint for third and is walking her bike over the line.


Stunning! Niewadoma takes it by a bike length! What a finish.


Niewadoma has 250m...


500m to go!


This is going to go right to the line!


Niewadoma takes the flamme rouge. She is really feeling it. I think van Vleuten will catch her.


Van Vleuten is second to crest the climb. Behind her, Marianne Vos is going backwards. The rest of the riders are melting away.


She grits her teeth and hammers out the watts. She has ridden absolutely everybody off her wheel.


Niewadoma lights it up with another attack. Boom!


Cauberg time, for the final time today. Van der Breggen is dropped.


The catch is made! Again! All the big names are back together. I think that "12 seconds" must have been a transponder error.


Borghini, Spratt and Moolman Pasio are all together now and have - roughly - 12 seconds.


Anna van der Breggen is worried about these riders up the road and is working herself to close the gap. Five kilometres to go!


Those two come back, and it's Spratt and Moolman Pasio's turn to have a dig. They are in the gap between Borghini and the bunch.


Anna van der Breggen has launched an attack and her old sparring partner Annemiek van Vleuten is following. Bastianelli is getting an armchair ride.


The chasers have Borghini in their sights now on the climb.


Marta Bastianelli of Virtu Cycling is still in this elite chase group. She is leading the Women's WorldTour and has had an absolutely blistering start to the season with victories at Flanders, Omloop and Drenthe already. You wouldn't bet against her if it came down to a sprint finish.


We are hitting the Bemelberg for one last time. Borghini is chugging away 17 seconds up the road ahead of a small group of galacticos.


Annemiek van Vleuten has hit the front of the second group on the road for the first time today. Her small pull is a feint, though, leading to an attack over the top from team-mate Amanda Spratt.

As the move is covered by the other teams and they begin to look at each other, Longo Borghini builds her lead.


You said it, Jonathan!


And it's back together! Marianne Vos has been indefatigable today - truly the most deluxe of domestiques. Beers will be on Moolman Pasio tonight if she can finish this off for the CCC team.

The break was caught on a climb, but immediately over the summit Longo Borghini attacks again!


Fireworks on the Cauberg!

First a crash on the corner leading into the climb. It looked like a Boels Dolmans rider took out Lucinda Brand. Then Kasia Niewadoma took the opportunity to bridge over to the break, attacking out of the second group on the climb's lower slopes. The Polish rider showed some incredible power to cross the gap.

Now we have four leaders with an advantage of 15 seconds, as Vos dangles tortuously off the back of the lead group.


Trek are all over this race. Wiles and Deignan sit P2 and P3 in the chasing group while Borghini is smashing it up in the leading group.

Katy Hall is doing as little as possible in the leading group. You wonder if Spratt and Borghini will try and shake her loose soon.

The gap is 21 seconds.


Up front, Borghini is giving it the big'un as she looks to put Hall and Spratt in the hurt locker.

Meanwhile, in the second group Vos heads back to the front after nipping back for a bottle. Lizzie Deignan (Trek Segafredo), in her first race back in her new team colours, sits on Vos' wheel. The Yorkshirewoman has a team-mate in the break so she will be happy just to sit in, maybe even disrupting the chase efforts.


A punchy looking group of three has skipped clear of the leaders. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton Scott) is driving it forward, and with her are Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo) and Katy Hall (Boels Dolmans). Of the three, Hall looks to be suffering the most.

In the second group on the road, Marianne Vos is being put to work for her CCC team-mate Ashleigh Moolman Pasio to try and close the gap which currently stands at 18 seconds.


Tayler Wiles, who jumped ship from Drops Cycling at the end of last season to join the newly-formed Trek Segafredo women's team, is tapping out the tempo on the front now.

The women have just over 30km to go.


It's a gorgeous day in the countryside near Maastricht. The roads are dry and that means Lucinda Brand can absolutely hammer it as she leads the front group down a descent. She's a powerhouse riders as well as a sublime bike handler.


Today should be a fantastic race. We're some way away from having live pictures of the action, but in the men's race we're hearing that there's already a breakaway up the road with eight minutes of advantage.

The women's race, on the other hand, is much closer to the pointy end of proceedings. They have about an hour to go...


Good afternoon! Welcome to the Amstel Gold Race live blog with me, Tom Owen (@tomowencc on Twitter).