Bjorg Lambrecht sixth in first Amstel Gold Race
Bjorg Lambrecht finished sixth during his first Amstel Gold Race today. At around 40 kilometres from the line, the race really lit up when Alaphilippe and Fuglsang attacked and opened up a nice gap. For a long time, it looked like the two riders would battle for victory but that was not what Mathieu van der Poel had in mind. In a chasing group, with amongst other Lotto Soudal rider Bjorg Lambrecht, the Dutchman took the initiative, closed the gap to the leaders and eventually sprinted to victory. The 22-year-old Lambrecht took sixth place in that sprint for the victory. Tim Wellens had a bad day and was not able to play a role in the race.
Bjorg Lambrecht: “Finishing sixth in my first Amstel Gold Race is almost like a dream come true. Before the race, I would have signed for something like this but today, the race unfolded to my advantage. I was on the limit during the final four to five climbs but I still managed to launch an attack and immediately ended up in a nice group. I only realised that we would join the two leaders the moment we had Kwiatkowski in our sights. Van der Poel managed to close the gap on his own. During the sprint for victory, I had to touch my brakes for a moment. Otherwise, a top five would have been possible.”
“Before the Ardennes Classics, I would not have dared dreaming of performances such as these. However, I knew that I was in a good shape. Today, I was able to continue the same way I performed in the Tour of the Basque Country. But let us keep both feet on the ground towards Fleche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The team guided me perfectly today. I only had to follow and listen to the instructions of my experienced teammates. They brought me in a good position and informed me about the crucial points. It is kind of a luxury to race that way. I look forward to the coming week, where there won’t be any pressure to perform. I clearly took another step forward in my second year as a pro and that’s something I have to enjoy now.”
Tim Wellens: “I had a bad day today. I still felt good on the Kruisberg, but the lights went out on the Eyserbosweg. I don’t really have an explanation. It was hot today but for sure, no extreme temperatures. So I do not want to use that as an excuse. I felt really good in the Brabantse Pijl last Wednesday, so hopefully it was nothing more than an off-day and I can play my role coming Wednesday and Sunday. But it is of course not a nice feeling to get dropped.”
Finishing sixth in my first Amstel Gold Race is almost like a dream come true.