Amstel Gold Race 2009: It is Ivanov!!!
Ivanov finally wins his “favourite race”
He’s threatened with Ardennes assaults in the past but today Serguei Ivanov made good on the promise shown and won a dramatic Amstel Gold Race. While it was a dream come true for the Russian, it served as Team Katusha’s most significant triumph to date.
The former Astana rider capitalised on a flourish of activity during the latter part of the race to take his place in a three-man group nearing the finish. With a charging peloton hot on their heels, it was then a matter of surviving out front and fighting out the sprint.
Ivanov out-sprinted Saxo Bank’s Karsten Kroon in the uphill sprint as the duo left Rabobank’s Robert Gesink behind on the final climb of the Cauberg, with the lanky Dutch rider rolling in for third.
Despite having won a Tour de France stage Ivanov claimed the Amstel title was, “the biggest win of my career. This is my favourite race and over the past ten years I have always done well here.” best finish had been second in 2002. “Today the team worked very hard for me, I am very thankful to them.”
The race was overshadowed by a serious crash involving Saxo Bank’s Fränk Schleck and Silence-Lotto’s Matthew Lloyd. Both were taken to hospital, but first reports indicated no serious injuries.
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