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Goolaerts’ death casts pall on Amstel Gold race
April 15, 2018
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Maastricht: Cycling’s spring classics roll into the Netherlands on Sunday with a powerful cast of pretenders in the Amstel Gold Race where champion Philippe Gilbert will hope to make up for last week’s flop at Paris-Roubaix.

World Champion Peter Sagan triumphed in the Roubaix velodrome last Sunday with a long-range break from 55km out in a race overshadowed by the heart failure and death of 23-year-old Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts.

Ahead of last Wednesday’s De Brabantse Pijl race, the peloton held a minute’s silence and wore black armbands for their fallen colleague with winner Tim Wellens pointing to the sky in his memory at the finish line.

Sagan’s ambitious long-range attack mirrored those in previous classics races this spring, leading to victory for Vincenzo Nibali at Milan-SanRemo and Nicki Terpstra at the Tour of Flanders.

The Amstel Gold Race, a 262km run from Maastricht to Valkenburg, features an astonishing 35 climbs that make Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde joint favourite with the British bookmakers alongside Sagan.

Agencies

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