THE HAGUE, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Belgian cyclist Wout Van Aert claimed victory in the Dutch classic Amstel Gold Race in the hills of the province of Limburg on Sunday by beating Tom Pidcock by a millimeter.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Amstel Gold Race was canceled last year and this year the race was completed on an adapted course without an audience. The course consisted of 12 rounds of 16.9 kilometers between Maastricht and Valkenburg and one final round of 15.8 kilometers.
Early in the race, a group of 10 cyclists broke away from the peloton with a gap fluctuating between three and four minutes. After the 11th and penultimate climb of the Cauberg only Belgian cyclist, Loic Vliegen was left off this leading group.
Vliegen couldn't sustain the pace and Pidcock (Ineos) launched a decisive attack, accompanied by Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe). After 218 kilometers and a total of 38 climbs, Van Aert started the sprint in the village of Vilt from the front and pushed his wheel over the line at the same time as Pidcock.
A photo finish ultimately handed the Belgian Jumbo-Visma rider the victory, with which he took revenge for the midweek defeat against Pidcock in La Fleche Brabanconne. Schachmann finished third and Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) won the sprint for fourth place.