I know this is the least prompt post of the season… It’s a busy time ok? !
However, it would be 100% remiss of me not to go back over the great spectacle that the 2022 Amstel Gold Race was.
2021 was exciting with a hairs breadth separating Wout Van Aert and Tom Pidcock on the open flat space at the top of the Cauberg.
2020 had seen that counter attack from Mathieu Van der Poel. The one where he closed an impossible looking gap in super quick time before joining in and winning the sprint finish.
It might not have the history and cultural attachment of Flanders and Roubaix, but this race has had seen better finishes recently. You might need to whisper that in the low Countries though.
This year we had the same end game. A 2-up sprint after the splintering of a breakaway group. Benoit Cosnefroy and Michal Kwiatowski were the two go ahead riders and they were suitably aware enough of the riders behind them coming back (having probably watched Flanders re-runs)
The French rider led out within the last 200 metres and looked to have won. He was even called as such with the tv cameras focusing on the celebrations of him and his team-mates from AG2R/Citroen.
But when the side on shot came on the screen, it was clear that, as with last year, there had been a terrible error calling the winner so soon.
Veteran Ineos rider Kwiatowski had just nudged his wheel over the line first and the tv cut to the Pole and away from the desolate looking Cosnefroy.
You can argue whether its a good look for cycling not to be able to call a winner without changing their minds, but it was another chapter for the Amstel and another indicator that this is a race on the up.