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In theory, the removal of the Cauberg from the 2017 Amstel Gold Race should have worked against Philippe Gilbert (QuickStep Floors). After all, it was on that particular climb that the Belgian fashioned his three previous wins in The Netherlands’ only one-day WorldTour race, and likewise his victory at the 2012 Road World Championships.
But on Sunday, Gilbert showed that it was a case of ‘No Cauberg, no problem’. The QuickStep Floors recruit got himself into an elite lead group late in proceedings and then followed a decisive move from Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) on the day’s final climb. In the two-up sprint that followed, Gilbert was the underdog, but the 34-year-old Belgian timed his run to perfection, sitting up with enough time to celebrate as he crossed the line.
The win continues Gilbert’s imposing start to the 2017 season; a season that includes a stage win and the overall at the Three Days of De Panne, a thrilling solo win at the Tour of Flanders, and second-place finishes at Dwars Door Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke. Perhaps most impressive about his win on Sunday was the fact it came after an early crash that left him with a small tear in his kidney, an injury that will see him miss Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege this week.
We hope you enjoy the following gallery from the 2017 Amstel Gold Race, with images courtesy of Kristof Ramon, Ashley & Jered Gruber and Cor Vos.