Photo Credit: Cor Vos
The first of the Ardennes Classics took place today at Amstel Gold Race, with laps of a circuit around Valkenburg and taking on the famous climbs of Bemelerberg, Cauberg and Geulhemmerberg. As the race rolled out of the neutralised start a few probing attacks were made before a group of ten riders broke clear with Team DSM’s Chad Haga riding strongly to make the split.
The breakaway worked well together and extended their gap to over five minutes but the peloton kept them on a tight leash and didn’t allow it to grow out any further. As the kilometres ticked by, the gap slowly started to diminish for Haga’s group and heading into the final 40 kilometres they were caught on the Cauberg. The attacks flew from the bunch, but nothing materialised so a reduced peloton entered the closing 25 kilometres together; where Mark Donovan, Kevin Vermaerke and Martijn Tusveld did a good job to position Tiesj Benoot.
On the last ascent of the Cauberg an attack got clear, where the eventual winning trio came from, with Benoot showing good legs to be in the first group behind. A fierce chase then followed but those ahead stayed out to fight for the win, with Benoot getting involved in the sprint for the remaining top ten positions. Unfortunately, he had to brake on the run to the line and ended the day in 15th place for the team.
|1||VAN AERT Wout||Team Jumbo-Visma||5:03:29||500|
|2||PIDCOCK Thomas||INEOS Grenadiers||,,||400|
|3||SCHACHMANN Maximilian||BORA - hansgrohe||,,||325|
|15||BENOOT Tiesj||Team DSM||0:03||35|
|73||VERMAERKE Kevin||Team DSM||3:44||-|
|94||TUSVELD Martijn||Team DSM||6:17||-|
|116||DONOVAN Mark||Team DSM||,,||-|
|1005||HAGA Chad||Team DSM||-05:03:29||-|
|1005||DENZ Nico||Team DSM||,,||-|
|1005||KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren||Team DSM||,,||-|