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by Shane Stokes
April 14, 2018
Ill Haas revises Amstel goal, withdraws from remaining Ardennes Classics; Mitchelton-Scott names three leaders for Amstel Gold Race; Nibali and Gasparotto spearhead Bahrain-Merida team in Amstel Gold Race; First mentor partnership announced by Cyclists’ Alliance; Handmade Bicycle Show Australia returns to Melbourne end of April; VeloClub prize pack up for grabs; New GravelNats added to Amy’s Gran Fondo weekend; Video: Mitchelton Scott’s Paris-Roubaix; Video: UCI Women’s WorldTour – What does it take to secure the leader’s jersey?; Video: Brokespoke Mountain – bikepacking bikehacking ride
He’s made clear that winning the Amstel Gold Race is the biggest target of his career, but Nathan Haas has had to accept that this goal is on hold for this year. Fourth last season, he hasn’t felt well in training and will undergo a medical examination in Belgium on Monday.
Before then, he’ll ride the Amstel Gold Race, but with the revised target of helping his Katusha-Alpecin team. “It’s no secret that this is my favourite race of the year, so it’s really hard to not be in my best condition,” he said. “I’ve been trying to train through the illness, but unfortunately, my form is not where I would like it to be.
“Even though it will be hard, I’m still super excited to be on the start line at Amstel. I’ll be looking at this year’s race as an opportunity to practice, and keep the race fresh in my mind, and hopefully be able to help some of my strong teammates get a result. Leadership isn’t only about racing to win; it’s also about sharing knowledge and experience, and this is how I’m approaching Amstel Gold this year.”
Haas was one of the strongest in last year’s race, but missed out on going with the final attack by Philippe Gilbert (QuickStep Floors) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky). He was fourth past the line and had been focussing on being at his best in this year’s race.
His optimism was fuelled when he beat Greg Van Avermaet to win stage two of the Tour of Oman, but things clearly haven’t worked out in his final build-up to the race.