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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
Third last year, Michael Albasini will be one of Mitchelton-Scott’s three protected riders in Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race. The team confirmed on Friday that the Swiss rider, Daryl Impey and former race winner Roman Kreuziger will be the focus of its campaign.
“Every Classic is very special,” said Kreuziger. “From one point you hate it but on the other point you love it. It is full gas all day, you have to keep focused and it takes a lot of mental energy. With the team we have we have many options. It is a pity we won’t have Matteo Trentin there after his crash in Paris-Roubaix but with the experience from myself, Albasini and Impey we can play many cards and attack. I am very motivated, looking forward to the race and putting the numbers on my back.”
Aside from the three leaders, the team will also include Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn, Chris Juul-Jensen and Carlos Verona.
“Amstel is one of my favourite races,” said Impey, the surprise winner of the Santos Tour Down Under. “I have always liked it, it’s like being in an arcade game for six hours. It has so many elements to it and it isn’t so predictable which makes the race. You have to take your chance and I want to have a good result there. We have a strong team lining up and I’m looking forward to the start of the Ardennes.”
Head sports director Matt White said that the omission of the Cauberg from the finale for the second year running will have an effect. “It doesn’t seem much, but it changes the race a lot,” he said, “forcing guys to look to be in moves a lot early than in the past.”