Enrico Gasparotto took his second victory in Amstel Gold today and dedicated his victory to the family of Antoine Demoitié, his Wanty-Groupe Gobert team-mate who tragically died in recent weeks.
“I had incredible legs today. Everything went as we planned. It is the most beautiful victory for the team,” Enrico Gasparotto said. “The team did a really good job. We had a rider in the break and then Björn Thurau in a chase group. The rest of the team protected me very well. It was perfect.”
The team lined up with Mark McNally, Frederik Veuchelen, Marco Minnaard, Enrico Gasparotto, Björn Thurau, Marco Marcato, Kenny Dehaes and Tom Devriendt. The team had the plan of getting a rider up the road and the breakaway of the day of eleven riders included their rider Tom Devriendt.
They gained a maximum lead of 4’45” on the peloton, and at 62 kilometres from the finish, Björn Thurau attacked with three other riders in a chase group.
With 16 kilometres remaining, the breakaway was caught by the peloton. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) then made a solo bid for victory and had a small lead coming onto the Cauberg for the final time.
However, he was brought back and as he was caught, Enrico Gasparotto attacked. The Dane Michael Valgren made it across to Gasparotto as they passed the summit.
“I knew I had to attack because Orica-GreenEdge was controlling the race for Michael Matthews. If I had sprinted againt him, I would have been beaten,” said Gasparotto.
They worked together to maintain their gap over the peloton. Gasparotto then outsprinted Valgren (Tinkoff) after the Dane had led out.
“I had to wait for the good moment because there was a huge headwind in the last metres. After the Volta a Catalunya I trained two weeks in Spain. I felt already good in Brabantse Pijl. This victory is for Antoine Demoitié’s family. Today, I had an angel on my schoulder. When I thought about Antoine, I went faster.”
“After the tragic event we hoped to win a race. This victory is a reward for the whole team. A WorldTour-race for a Pro-Continental team is fantastic. I would like to thank the entire team,” an emotional Hilaire Van der Schueren said.