34-year-old Enrico Gasparotto turned back the clock at Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race in the Netherlands, taking his first pro victory since he won the very same event back in 2012.

The Wanty – Groupe Gobert rider jumped clear of a whittled-down peloton with Tinkoff’s Michael Valgren on the Cauberg, the final climb of the race, just after catching an attacking Tim Wellens (Lotto – Soudal). The pair then managed to hold out over a flat final 1.8 kilometers to contest the win between themselves. An exhausted Valgren was unable to put up much of a fight in the sprint, allowing Gasparotto to freewheel over the final few meters to his a second career Amstel Gold title. He paid tribute as he crossed the line to former teammate Antoine Demoitié, who died following a collision with a motorbike at Gent-Wevelgem in March.

Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani – CSF) led the bunch across the line a few seconds later to take third place.

Top 10

  • 1. Enrico GASPAROTTO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, in 6:18:02
  • 2. Michael VALGREN, TINKOFF, at :00
  • 3. Sonny COLBRELLI, BARDIANI CSF, at :03
  • 4. Bryan COQUARD, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :03
  • 5. Michael MATTHEWS, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at :03
  • 6. Julian ALAPHILIPPE, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :03
  • 7. Diego ULISSI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :03
  • 8. Giovanni VISCONTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :03
  • 9. Loic VLIEGEN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :03
  • 10. Tim WELLENS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :03

An 11-rider breakaway — with Americans Alex Howes (Cannondale) and Larry Warbasse (IAM Cycling) in among the group — jumped clear early on in the 258km race from Maastricht to Berg en Terblijt. The escapees were given some breathing room, but once the gap got up around five minutes, the pack began to gradually close down the advantage.

The tough climbs whittled down both the breakaway and the peloton over the course of the afternoon. Pre-race favorites and former winners Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) were among those dropped well before the finish line on the up-and-down parcours.

Slowly but surely, the peloton brought the breakaway back, ultimately making the catch inside the final 15 kilometers.

2013 winner Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff) tried to go solo with around 8km remaining, but he could not open up much of an advantage. Then it was Wellens’ turn to try an attack. The 24-year-old Belgian caught Kreuziger and sailed past as the race approached the Cauberg. He took an advantage of around 15 seconds into the foot of the climb, but that wasn’t enough to hold off a charging pack.

Gasparotto led a succesfful attempt to bridge to Wellens and then pressed on with Valgren in tow. A much-reduced peloton lacked organization in the chase, allowing the duo to maintain the gap as the road flattened out.

A savvy Gasparotto slotted in behind Valgren for much of the final kilometer, forcing the Danish rider to face the wind for a few hundred meters. When Gasparotto made his move with around 200 meters remaining, Valgren did not have the energy to follow, given the veteran time to savor the moment, and to honor Demoitié at the line.

“This victory is incredible,” said Gasparotto. “Yesterday, Antoine’s wife came to our hotel to meet us.

“It was hugely emotional, one of the most of my life.”

Three seconds behind Gasparotto at the line, Colbrelli won the sprint for the final spot on the podium, ahead of Bryan Coquard (Europcar) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge).

Amstel Gold Race results

  • 1. Enrico GASPAROTTO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, in 6:18:02
  • 2. Michael VALGREN, TINKOFF, at :00
  • 3. Sonny COLBRELLI, BARDIANI CSF, at :04
  • 4. Bryan COQUARD, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :04
  • 5. Michael MATTHEWS, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at :04
  • 6. Julian ALAPHILIPPE, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :04
  • 7. Diego ULISSI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :04
  • 8. Giovanni VISCONTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :04
  • 9. Loic VLIEGEN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :04
  • 10. Tim WELLENS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :04
  • 11. Simon GERRANS, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at :04
  • 12. Roman KREUZIGER, TINKOFF, at :04
  • 13. Jan BAKELANTS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :04
  • 14. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :04
  • 15. Warren BARGUIL, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :04
  • 16. Maurits LAMMERTINK, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at :04
  • 17. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :04
  • 18. Dylan TEUNS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :04
  • 19. Arthur VICHOT, FDJ, at :04
  • 20. Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :04
  • 21. Floris DE TIER, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at :04
  • 22. Diego ROSA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :04
  • 23. Robert GESINK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :04
  • 24. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :04
  • 25. Tony GALLOPIN, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :04
  • 26. Jelle VANENDERT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :04
  • 27. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, BMC RACING TEAM, at :04
  • 28. Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA, TEAM SKY, at :04
  • 29. Lars Petter NORDHAUG, TEAM SKY, at :04
  • 30. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :04
  • 31. Petr VAKOC, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :08
  • 32. Alex HOWES, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at :34
  • 33. Serge PAUWELS, DIMENSION DATA, at :34
  • 34. Ben HERMANS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :34
  • 35. Oliver NAESEN, IAM CYCLING, at :41
  • 36. Giulio CICCONE, BARDIANI CSF, at :41
  • 37. Alberto BETTIOL, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at :41
  • 38. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :41
  • 39. Daryl IMPEY, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at :41
  • 40. Manuele MORI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :41
  • 41. Wouter POELS, TEAM SKY, at :41
  • 42. Simon GESCHKE, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :41
  • 43. Bob JUNGELS, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :41
  • 44. Lawrence WARBASSE, IAM CYCLING, at :41
  • 45. Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :41
  • 46. Pieter WEENING, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at :41
  • 47. Simon CLARKE, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at :41
  • 48. Laurens DE VREESE, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:01
  • 49. Sep VANMARCKE, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:01
  • 50. Cyril GAUTIER, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 1:01
  • 51. Andriy GRIVKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:01
  • 52. Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ, TEAM SKY, at 1:01
  • 53. Pieter SERRY, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 1:36
  • 54. Enrico BATTAGLIN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 1:36
  • 55. Alexey LUTSENKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 2:05
  • 56. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, DIMENSION DATA, at 2:07
  • 57. Michael ALBASINI, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 2:12
  • 58. Matteo TRENTIN, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 3:20
  • 59. Bertjan LINDEMAN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 3:37
  • 60. Tom Jelte SLAGTER, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 4:18
  • 61. Jaco VENTER, DIMENSION DATA, at 4:33
  • 62. Kristian SBARAGLI, DIMENSION DATA, at 4:33
  • 63. Lorenzo ROTA, BARDIANI CSF, at 4:33
  • 64. Mario Jorge FARIA DA COSTA, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 4:33
  • 65. Aleksei TCATEVICH, TEAM KATUSHA, at 4:33
  • 66. Huub DUYN, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 4:33
  • 67. Toms SKUJINS, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 4:33
  • 68. Jan POLANC, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 4:33
  • 69. Robert KISERLOVSKI, TINKOFF, at 4:33
  • 70. Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL, TEAM KATUSHA, at 4:33
  • 71. Angelo TULIK, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 4:33
  • 72. Marcus BURGHARDT, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:33
  • 73. Matteo MONTAGUTI, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 4:33
  • 74. Gorka IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 4:33
  • 75. Matteo BONO, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 4:33
  • 76. Vegard Stake LAENGEN, IAM CYCLING, at 4:33
  • 77. Paul MARTENS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 4:33
  • 78. Michal GOLAS, TEAM SKY, at 4:33
  • 79. Anthony ROUX, FDJ, at 4:33
  • 80. Davide REBELLIN, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 4:33
  • 81. Philippe GILBERT, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:33
  • 82. Sergei CHERNETSKI, TEAM KATUSHA, at 4:33
  • 83. David TANNER, IAM CYCLING, at 4:33
  • 84. Mathew HAYMAN, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 4:33
  • 85. Tiago MACHADO, TEAM KATUSHA, at 4:33
  • 86. Silvan DILLIER, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:33
  • 87. Ben GASTAUER, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 4:33
  • 88. Gianni MEERSMAN, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 4:33
  • 89. Michel KREDER, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 4:33
  • 90. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, TEAM KATUSHA, at 4:33
  • 91. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 4:33
  • 92. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:33
  • 93. Christopher JUUL JENSEN, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 4:33
  • 94. Benoît VAUGRENARD, FDJ, at 4:33
  • 95. Maciej PATERSKI, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 5:39
  • 96. Jurgen ROELANDTS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 5:56
  • 97. Angel VICIOSO ARCOS, TEAM KATUSHA, at 6:19
  • 98. Bjorn THURAU, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 7:35
  • 99. Matej MOHORIC, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 8:03
  • 100. Preben VAN HECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 8:03
  • 101. Sven erik BYSTRØM, TEAM KATUSHA, at 8:49
  • 102. Roy CURVERS, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 8:49
  • 103. Benjamin KING, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 8:49
  • 104. Kristijan KOREN, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 8:49
  • 105. Gijs VAN HOECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 8:49
  • 106. Lukasz OWSIAN, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 8:49
  • 107. Antwan TOLHOEK, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 8:49
  • 108. Berden DE VRIES, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 8:49
  • 109. Valerio CONTI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 8:49
  • 110. Antoine DUCHESNE, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 8:49
  • 111. Juan Jose LOBATO DEL VALLE, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 8:49
  • 112. Jesper HANSEN, TINKOFF, at 8:49
  • 113. Daniele COLLI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 8:49
  • 114. Imanol ERVITI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 8:49
  • 115. Pier Paolo DE NEGRI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 8:49
  • 116. Pavel BRUTT, TINKOFF, at 8:49
  • 117. Alessandro DE MARCHI, BMC RACING TEAM, at 9:11
  • 118. Chad HAGA, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at 11:24
  • 119. Marinus Cornelis MINNAARD, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 15:49
  • 120. Otto VERGAERDE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 17:16
  • DNF Michal KWIATKOWSKI, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Ben SWIFT, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Danny VAN POPPEL, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Tony MARTIN, ETIXX – QUICK STEP
  • DNF Julien VERMOTE, ETIXX – QUICK STEP
  • DNF Ruben FERNANDEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Rory SUTHERLAND, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Luke DURBRIDGE, ORICA – GreenEDGE
  • DNF Adam YATES, ORICA – GreenEDGE
  • DNF Johannes FRÖHLINGER, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN
  • DNF Fredrik LUDVIGSSON, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN
  • DNF Pim LIGTHART, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Marcel SIEBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Tiesj BENOOT, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Mike TEUNISSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO
  • DNF Maarten TJALLINGII, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO
  • DNF Jay MCCARTHY, TINKOFF
  • DNF Evgeny PETROV, TINKOFF
  • DNF Yury TROFIMOV, TINKOFF
  • DNF Fumiyuki BEPPU, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Laurent DIDIER, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Fabio FELLINE, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Ryder HESJEDAL, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Niccolo BONIFAZIO, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Kiel REIJNEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Frank SCHLECK, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Lars BOOM, ASTANA PRO TEAM
  • DNF Fabio ARU, ASTANA PRO TEAM
  • DNF Dario CATALDO, ASTANA PRO TEAM
  • DNF Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, TEAM KATUSHA
  • DNF Mikael CHEREL, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Alexis GOUGEARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Christophe RIBLON, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Alexis VUILLERMOZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Odd Christian EIKING, FDJ
  • DNF Murilo Antonio FISCHER, FDJ
  • DNF Jérémy ROY, FDJ
  • DNF Kévin REZA, FDJ
  • DNF William BONNET, FDJ
  • DNF Jerome COPPEL, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Stef CLEMENT, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Sondre HOLST ENGER, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Stefan DENIFL, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Nathan BROWN, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM
  • DNF Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Nathan HAAS, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Natnael BERHANE, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Youcef REGUIGUI, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Sander HELVEN, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Eliot LIETAER, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Dries VAN GESTEL, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Jens WALLAYS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Johnny HOOGERLAND, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Mark MCNALLY, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Tom DEVRIENDT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Kenny DE HAES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Marco MARCATO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Thomas VOECKLER, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF THOMAS BOUDAT, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Fabien GRELLIER, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Tony HUREL, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Ryan ANDERSON, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Josef CERNY, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Adrian KUREK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Jaroslaw MARYCZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Leszek PLUCINSKI, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Simone PONZI, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Damiano CUNEGO, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Grega BOLE, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Giacomo BERLATO, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Yuma KOISHI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Kazushige KUBOKI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Riccardo STACCHIOTTI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Nicola BOEM, BARDIANI CSF
  • DNF Simone ANDREETTA, BARDIANI CSF
  • DNF Nicola RUFFONI, BARDIANI CSF
  • DNF Luca STERBINI, BARDIANI CSF
  • DNF Alessandro TONELLI, BARDIANI CSF