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Amstel Gold Race. Nikita Stalnov in a 200-km breakaway

The 52nd edition of the Amstel Gold Race has opened the traditional Ardennes week in Netherlands. The peloton passed 261 km from Maastricht to Berg en Terblijd near Valkenburg.

For 25-year-old Kazakh rider Nikita Stalnov today’s race was a chance to show himself in a long-day breakaway. Together with 11 riders, Stalnov attacked inside the first kilometers of the race, moving himself in a strong breakaway group. This break was able to get a good advantage over 10 minutes staying in front of the race for more than 200 km. The peloton caught this group with only 50 km to the finish.

- I had a goal to go in a breakaway to protect team’s interest, so I was able to do it. I felt quite good during the whole day, my legs worked well. So, I can say I am pretty happy with the way I did this race. Of course, after 210 km in the break I was tired, but anyway, I tried to help my teammates with all I had remained in my legs after the peloton caught us. I liked this race very much. I knew these roads since successful for Kazakhstan World Championships won by Alexey Lutsenko. I hope to come back here next year but already with some bigger ambitions, - said Nikita Stalnov.

For Stalnov it was the first ever experience of such a long breakaway at the UCI WorldTour classic race.

The Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert became the winner of the Amstel Gold Race 2017, outsprinting Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski. Michael Albasini completed the race podium with third place.

Astana Team rider Michael Valgren attacked from the chasing group with a few km to go to try to get a place inside the Top-10. But, later, he was caught by the rivals. Thus, he finished 35th inside a big group.

On Wednesday, April 19th, Astana Proteam will continue the Ardennes week with another classic race La Flèche Wallonne.

Photo credit: © Bettiniphoto

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