Amstel Gold Race: Marianne Vos sprints to victory as Wiebes celebrates too early

Photo finish on the line at the end of shortened race

Clock12:16, Sunday 14th April 2024
Marianne Vos throws to victory in the women's Amstel Gold Race

© Getty Images

Marianne Vos throws to victory in the women's Amstel Gold Race

Marianne Vos (Visma-Lease a Bike) just pipped Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) on the line to win the women's Amstel Gold Race, after the SD Worx rider sat up and celebrated too early.

A fairly large group came to the line of the shortened Ardennes Classic with a sprint deciding the day. Wiebes looked the fastest, and sat up thinking she had won, but a well-timed final throw from Vos earnt her a second victory in this race.

Ingvild Gåskjenn took third for Liv AlUla Jayco, after Lidl-Trek missed out on the podium despite doing the work to bring the break back in the finale.

A three-rider breakaway of Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon-SRAM), Yara Kastelijn (Fenix-Deceuninck) and Eva van Agt (Visma-Lease a Bike) was away in the final 30km, and had a minute advantage still with 6km to go, but were eventually brought back on the Cauberg after a concerted chase from Lidl-Trek.

After less than 45km of racing, the peloton was stopped for over an hour, and when they restarted, they only did three of the final laps, essentially making for a 55km circuit race to decide the day.

"Well with Amstel Gold Race you're always very excited but with the neutralised section during the race you know there are more important things in life than cycling," Vos said at the finish.

"For a moment we were all just waiting, and hoping for better news but when the restart is there you need to focus again and get ready for a big final.

"You know it's going to be hard from the re-tart and there were full attacks with people wanting to get in the breakaway. With Eva van Agt in the three we had a good rider up there, so it was a perfect situation for us. Then you still need to focus for the last time up the Cauberg and the team got me in a really good position and then the final sprint was special."

In the sprint, even Vos doubted her chances in the final moments, but pushed on right to the line to take her third big victory of the spring.

"I was boxed in with Lorena Wiebes on the left and I thought that we were not coming out again but then Lorena found a gap and obviously she was just too early to celebrate," she said.

"I just wanted to keep going. Only on the jump I had more speed so I thought that I could have had it but of course it's a shame for Lorena, but I'm happy with the victory."

Route alteration makes for attacking race around Limburg

Before the lengthy neutralisation, little had happened in the early part of the race. One lone attacker went away after 10km, in the form of Anne Knijnenburg (VolkerWessels), but she was shortly brought back.

Clara Emond (EF Education-Cannondale) and Quinty Schoens (VolkerWessels) were the next to attack and got a small gap, just before the race was halted.

After 45km, the race was stopped, and remained stopped for just over an hour as the race emergency services dealt with an accident ahead of the race, where a police motorcyclist had been hit by a car on the Bergseweg, the third climb of the day. During this time, the race organisers worked on rerouting the race, and eventually came up with a very different and shortened route for the women.

Getting moving again after over an hour, the peloton rode, still neutralised, to the finish line in Valkenburg, where they then restarted, taking in only three laps of the final loop – rather than a planned four – and missing more than 40km and several climbs from the run-in, for a total of 55km left to race. The final lap, which has a slightly different finale, was also altered, taking the total distance from 158km to just shy of 100.

Emond and Schoens weren’t reinstated in the lead, with the race essentially restarting from scratch with only 55km to go, making for a very different kind of race. The peloton was racing at full gas from the get-go, with attacks and aggression starting as soon as they hit the Geulhemmerberg, but nothing going clear amidst the high pace.

Hitting the Cauberg for the first time with 40km to go, Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) launched a big attack, immediately cracking the race apart after it had been tightly grouped. The Italian’s move drew out a group of six, with Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime), Amber Kraak (FDJ-SUEZ), Anna Henderson (Visma-Lease a Bike), Elise Chabbey and Kasia Niewiadoma (both Canyon-SRAM) all joining her.

Crossing the finish line for the first time, this strong group had a lead of 10 seconds, and looked hard to bring back, but work from Movistar and AG Insurance-Soudal closed them down on the Geulhemmerberg, and all was together again.

A counter-move went quite quickly, this time made up of Ricarda Bauernfeind, Yara Kastelijn and Eva van Agt. As a slightly less threatening group, this trio wasn’t closed down straight away, and built up a lead of over a minute surprisingly quickly with Anouska Koster (Uno-X Mobility) chasing in between.

The attacks in the peloton started again on the Bemelerberg, but weren’t really eating into the leaders’ advantage just yet. On the narrow Limburg roads, it was hard for teams to really get organised in the chase, and quite easy for teams to block the road if they wanted to.

Approaching the Cauberg again, it was a full-on lead out in the bunch, with Lidl-Trek and SD Worx-Protime leading the way as they hit the climb, which did start to bring the gap down. Longo Borghini attacked again near the top, with Vollering chasing her down as the race approached 20km to go, and things once again regrouping despite Lidl-Trek’s best efforts.

This meant that starting the final lap, the leaders still had an advantage of 25 seconds, but the peloton were clearly motivated to close that, with Ellen van Dijk (Lidl-Trek) hitting the front before handing over to Amanda Spratt on the next climb. The impetus seemed to drop on the flat, though, and it looked touch-and-go as to whether the bunch would be able to bring the leaders back with only two climbs left and the gap back to a minute.

On the Bemelerberg, Van Agt tried to attack from the breakaway but couldn’t really make a difference, whilst behind the only move to speak of was an acceleration from Ella Wyllie (Liv AlUla Jayco) whilst SD Worx and Lidl-Trek were ominously quiet in their attempts to chase.

With 5km to go, the gap eventually started to come down, quite quickly once Lidl-Trek amassed on the front, and it looked like it would all be decided on the Cauberg. Hitting the climb, the peloton were hot on the break’s heels, and it was Spratt who closed the gap with 2km to go.

With the break caught, it was Niewiadoma, Vollering, Longo Borghini, Wiebes, Vos and Labous who were on the front of the quite big group surviving on the climb. As the road levelled out and such a big bunch remained, it became clear that it would be a sprint to the line, and Vollering hit the front to lead out for Wiebes. The Dutchwoman opened up on the left hand side of the road, and looked to be the fastest, but as she sat up a few metres from the line, Vos sped up the inside and threw her bike to take the victory.

Promising Norwegian Ingvild Gåskjenn followed Vos’ wheel to take third ahead of Pfeiffer Georgi (dsm-firmenich PostNL) whilst Longo Borghini took fifth, Lidl-Trek’s best result after working hard in the finale.

Visit our Racing page for more reports, results and news from the biggest men's and women's race.

Race Results

1

nl flag

VOS Marianne

Team Visma | Lease a Bike

2H 35' 02"

2

nl flag

WIEBES Lorena

Team SD Worx-Protime

"

3

no flag

GÅSKJENN Ingvild

Liv AlUla Jayco

"

4

gb flag

GEORGI Pfeiffer

Team dsm-firmenich PostNL

"

5

it flag

LONGO BORGHINI Elisa

Lidl-Trek

"

6

it flag

GASPARRINI Eleonora

UAE Team ADQ

"

7

za flag

MOOLMAN-PASIO Ashleigh

AG Insurance-Soudal Team

"

8

nl flag

KRAAK Amber

FDJ-SUEZ

"

9

nl flag

KASTELIJN Yara

Fenix-Deceuninck

"

10

it flag

PALADIN Soraya

CANYON//SRAM Racing

"

Provided by FirstCycling

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