Young Michał Paluta spend nearly 200km in the breakaway in UCI World Tour Amstel Gold Race, which was won by Philippe Gilbert.
Info: April 16th, Maastricht – Valkenburg (Berg en Terblijt), 261km
Trasa: undulating, multiple steep bergs
I’m very happy with my debut in the AGR. We wanted to send one of our riders to the break and I was the one who was very aggressive right after the gun. I broke clear 10km into the race, on the climb. When the bunch reeled us in I tried to stay in the pack, but eventually with 30km to go I had to let it go. My legs were solid today and our DS, Piotr Wadecki kept reminding me to save as much energy as possible. Thanks to his advice I was able to stay so long in the front – Michał Paluta said.
21-year old rider managed to get into the breakaway of the day, in his first ever Amstel Gold Race. He went clear with 11 other riders: Vincezo Albanese (Bardiani – CSF), Tim Ariesen (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij), Lars Boom (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie), Nikita Stalnov (Astana Pro Team), Kenneth Van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise), Johann Van Zyl (Dimension Data), Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R La Mondiale), Piotr Vanspeybrouck (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and Mads Würtz Schmidt (Team Katusha – Alpecin).
At one point they had around 8 minutes of advantage, but the peloton was not going to make their life easy and cut the gap to just one minute, with 65km to go. 20km further Paluta got caught, being one of the last man standing.
With 28km remaining, on the climb, big guns launched their attacks, breaking the field apart. 7-man group, which included Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step Floors) emerged at the head of the race and was chased by another 7-man group, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) i Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing).
CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders were not able to stay in the main pack after the series of accelerations and eventually, the highest ranked Jan Tratnik came in over 10 minutes behind, in 89th.
In the final 10km of racing two strongest and most successful riders, Gilbert and Kwiatkowski broke clear. They held off the chasers and in two-man sprint Belgian took the win. Kwiatkowski finished 2nd and Michael Albasini (ORICA-Scott) rounded out the podium.