Amstel Gold Race
Netherlands 18 April 2021 1 stages ( 218.7 km )
Vansevenant impresses at Amstel Gold Race
Mauri Vansevenant delivered an unforgettable ride at his debut Amstel Gold Race, which took place Sunday afternoon on a circuit-based circuit featuring the Geulhemmerberg, the Bemelerberg and the Cauberg. Netherlands’ sole World Tour one-day race produced an intense and adrenaline-filled final hour or racing, with Mauri as one of the main protagonists.
After managing to bridge across to the peloton following a mechanical inside 50 kilometers to go, the 21-year-old from Oostende was involved in a crash, just as he was making his way towards the front. Undeterred by this, he quickly remounted and started a furious chase, getting within touching distance of the group on the Cauberg, only to lose contact again, this time after being forced to change his bike.
Showing the heart of a lion, Mauri started a frantic chase that saw him make significant inroads into a gap that looked insurmountable and join the group of Julian Alaphilippe on the last lap, when they were trailing the leading trio by 20 seconds. The tenacious Vansevenant – who took his racing to another level this season, as evidenced by his results in a series of one-day and stage races – buried himself for the World Champion, erasing a good chunk off the deficit before finally peeling off the front just a few kilometers from the line.
His outstanding effort helped Alaphilippe get a fifth consecutive top 10 at Amstel Gold Race, with the rainbow jersey wearer finishing sixth, just two seconds behind the small group from which Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took the win.
“I had bad luck with that mechanical, something from which it’s always difficult to come back, but I managed to return to the bunch only to hit the deck. I remounted and chased hard only to face another problem at the start of the Cauberg, which is never pleasant, as there it’s always nervous. I lost time and was quite far, but that didn’t discourage me, as I felt that the legs were good and I could do something on this parcours, which normally doesn’t suit me.”
The most important thing was that I could help Julian today.
“I had to produce a big effort to make it back into the group, but I was motivated by joining him and giving it my best in the chase. As soon as I bridged across, I didn’t hesitate for one second and took the front, trying to close the gap to the leaders, but in the end I just ran out of energy. It was my first presence here and I arrived at the start without any expectations, but I come out of it with a lot of confidence for the next races”, said Mauri at the finish.
Photo credit: ©Wout Beel