2013 Amstel Gold Race in quotes
Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff):
Today, we had two captains, Nicki Sørensen and me and with Karsten Kroon as our GPS, we were in a good position to achieve our goal. The whole team did an excellent job out there and I was fully prepared for the finale and I was feeling strong all the way.
On the final climb of Cauberg, I just looked down and pedalled without thinking so much. I’m really happy about this win and it goes to the whole team for a job well done. Maybe we’ll have a glas of champagne tonight but there’s a tough week ahead of us and we have to focus on the job.
Phillipe Gilbert (BMC):
It was hard at the end, there was a lot of wind and we were only with three from our team. I tried it at the Cauberg. But it wasn’t enough; they came back and I just missed the podium.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep):
I felt good actually two weeks after Flanders. I came back home for a few days, rested a few days there and then went to Granada to train with my teammates there. I did good training and still felt fine. I didn’t know before the race how I would feel after 250km, but in the end it was okay. Gianni and I were protected today. I was trying to stay near the front because I knew it was so tricky, this parcour.
There can be many crashes, as you saw with many of them in the back. I actually was a few times in the back and that was good enough for me. As for the final, I did a little mistake and was too far behind, and there was a crosswind from the left side. I was just behind Sagan when Gilbert attacked. He lost the wheel of Gilbert and I was trying to follow Gilbert but I couldn’t. I tried to go to the top with the other guys and tried to do the sprint, not worry about catching the first rider.
Finally, I had really good legs for the sprint. I could do better on the sprint but am happy about my condition and also the teamwork. I am satisfied with what my teammates did for me, and want to thank them. I will do Fleche and Liege for more experience. I felt really good on the Cauberg but the final of Fleche is much harder, but we will see. I will take it day by day.
Damiano Cunego (Lampre):
As usual, Amstel Gold Race is a very nervous race and you must be at the top of the shape to be competitive. I was not at the top, I understood it during the race, so I tried to anticipate my move. The result of this action was not good, so I’m not satisfied.
Diego Ulissi (Lampre):
In the final part if the race, I had no more energies, so I could not be competitive in the head of the group. Anyway, during the race I was pedaling in a quite incisive way: this thing makes me think in a positive way to Fleche Wallone, the race I aim to be protagonist in.
Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol):
This race has confirmed my shape and I am satisfied with the result. I was certain my condition was good, but I couldn’t show it because I was out of competition for a while. By moving along in the group behind Gilbert and Valverde I have shown that the condition is good. The moving of the finish of the Amstel Gold Race isn’t good for me, because that way a group will sprint. I was too far behind when turning up the Cauberg for the last time, so I couldn’t get along when Gilbert attacked.
Before I had jumped away in a group of about six riders, I thought it was necessary to go along because all important teams were present, in that escape or in the front group. At that moment BMC wasn’t very present in the race. But we didn’t succeed in setting up a good collaboration, partly because Simon Gerrans had his teammate Weening in front. This race has definitely given me hope for the Flèche Wallonne next Wednesday. You see that the difference is small between the podium and the twentieth place.
Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep):
I crashed with 100km to go, but then came back, OK no problem. Then with 50km to go I had a flat tire, but came back again, and at the Keutenberg I was a block. From there I had to say ‘bye bye.’ It’s a shame, but after three weeks of not racing and missing a little bit of competition I felt pretty good. Now I go home, and then I will do Tour de Romandie. I want to be good there. Last year I was 2nd, and then 4th in stages. So I want to be a protagonist there.
Davide Bramati, Omega Pharma-QuickStep Sports Director:
We started this morning with the idea to protect Gianni and Michal. Unfortunately Gianni was involved in a crash and then he had a flat tire in a bad moment, so we decided in the last lap to take the initiatives and try to close the gap in function of Kwiatowski. The team did a great effort. The guys did their job perfectly and they stayed united. Kwiatowski finalized the work of the entire team. Also, he showed he can be a protagonist on the cobblestones as well as on the short and steep climbs of the Ardennes classics.