What is it about the men’s Amstel Gold Race in the past few years?
Mathieu van der Poel’s ridiculous win in 2019. Last year’s photo finish. And now another photo finish to decide the 2022 edition. It feels like there’s always something happening in the Netherlands’ only one-day WorldTour event for men.
Sunday’s 56th edition of the men’s race ended with a desperate lunge for the line from two riders: Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën) and 2015 winner Michał Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers). Cosnefroy was announced the winner, but that decision was soon overturned, with Kwiatkowski taking the spoils. High drama in Valkenburg.
And of course it wasn’t just the men racing on the roads of the Netherlands’ south on Sunday. The women’s race, too, delivered its share of excitement, with a last-gasp surge from Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) proving the winning move – the biggest win yet for the 24-year-old Italian.
It’s the eighth edition of the women’s Amstel Gold Race that kicks off our gallery today, followed by images from the men’s race. The photos you see below appear courtesy of Kristof Ramon, Getty Images, and Cor Vos.
Just a couple of smiley Dutch Trek-Segafredo riders at the start in Maastricht: Ellen van Dijk (left) and Lucinda Brand.
On the menu for the women’s peloton: a bunch of climbs, including four ascents of the legendary Cauberg.
World champ Elisa Balsamo was one of the pre-race contenders.
If Amanda Spratt and Marlen Reusser were talking to one another here, what would they be saying?
A dangerous group got off the front in the second half of the race and looked threatening. Among those out front: Annemiek van Vleuten (right), Demi Vollering (second from right), and Kasia Niewiadoma (centre-left).
It wouldn’t be an Amstel Gold Race gallery without at least one “riders and a windmill” shot.
Despite having so many heavy-hitters in the break, a lack of cohesion saw that group caught as the finish approached.
There was plenty of movement the final time up the Cauberg, with an elite selection pulling clear under the impetus of Van Vleuten. But it was an opportunistic attack from that group …
… by Marta Cavalli that won the day. The 24-year-old attacked at the top of the climb, then soloed home to take her first WorldTour win, four seconds clear of the chasers.
The victory is easily the biggest of Cavalli’s career so far.
Vollering (right) second, and Liane Lippert (third).
Team staff prepare riders’ bikes ahead of the start of the men’s race.
Four-time winner Philippe Gilbert was honoured at the start of his final Amstel Gold Race.
Jens Keukeleire and his son at the start in Maastricht.
It’s still an adjustment seeing big crowds at bike races.
The early breakaway on the rural roads of the Limburg province.
Eventual winner Michał Kwiatkowski in the bunch, biding his time.
Tom Pidcock (centre-right) lies in wait on the Gulperberg. He would go on to attack late in the race, but it was his teammate Kwiatkowski who would ultimately make the winning move.
Mathieu van der Poel was one of the pre-race favourites but wasn’t able to collect his second win in as many starts.
Nathan Van Hooydonck has had an impressive spring and was again aggressive on Sunday.
Ben Turner put in a very strong ride in the closing kilometres, thinning out the field significantly for team leaders Pidcock and Kwiatkowski. He’s been one of the breakout riders of the spring.
Tom Dumoulin rode to 30th place on his local roads.
Emils Liepins watches as the race disappears ahead of him.
A thinned out peloton hits the brutally steep Keutenberg.
Tiesj Benoot (left) rode another strong race on his way to third. Here he is pictured with Kwiatkowski, Pidcock and Cosnefroy on the Keutenberg.
The winning move. Kwiatkowski surged clear of the bunch with more than 20 km to go, with only Cosnefroy able to come across.
The pair collaborated out front …
… while Kasper Asgreen, Van der Poel and others tried behind to rejoin the lead.
Cosnefroy led out the two-up sprint, which was decided in a bike throw. (Note Benoot in the background surging clear of the chase for third).
Cosnefroy was announced as the winner …
… but another look at the finish line photo revealed that Kwiatkowski had in fact won.
Seven years after his first Amstel win, ‘Kwiato’ was back on the top step.
And he was pretty happy about it too.